If you are suffering from an illness, disease, emotional or behavioral problem and if you have been unable to find relief and healing, natural medicine, naturopathic medicine, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, holistic medicine and acupuncture hold the answers you've been seeking.
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is characterized by signs of inattention, impulsiveness, distractibility, and poor concentration. ADHD has been reported to be from three to five percent of school-age children with a higher incidence in boys than girls. The most common medical treatment for ADHD is the drug methylphenidate or Ritalin. Over two million American school-aged boys are taking Ritalin. A non-drug approach to treating ADHD that has shown to improve concentration and focus is to eliminate food additives, food allergies, and sugar, support brain function with proper vitamins and minerals, and to address exposure to heavy metals that may interfere with brain development. top
Allergies are responses mounted by the immune system to a particular food, inhalant or airborne substance, or chemical. Common symptoms may include stuffy, runny, or itchy nose; sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; headache; fatigue; postnasal drip; sore throat; dark circles under the eyes; an itchy feeling in the mouth or throat; abdominal pain; diarrhea; and the appearance of an itchy, red skin rash.
Primary treatment principles include eliminating exposure to allergens, implementing a hypoallergenic diet, strengthening the digestive system and minimizing the histamine response with nutrient and herbal therapy. Acupuncture is also very helpful for reducing sinus and nasal congestion. top
Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain that involves social, behavioral, and cognitive impairment. Signs and symptoms include communication problems, such as a lack of eye contact or response when called; fixation on specific subjects or toys; difficulty with changes to routine or surroundings; and repetitive body movements, such as head banging or hand flapping.
Children with autism have shown great improvement when placed on a hypoallergenic diet, treated for heavy metal toxicity that may impair brain development, and given the appropriate vitamins and minerals to support proper brain function. top
With over 17 million Americans suffering from clinical depression and 28 million on antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, depression is an extremely prevalent problem in the US. Signs and symptoms of depression include:
1. Insomnia or excessive sleep habits
2. Poor appetite accompanied by weight loss or increased appetite accompanied by weight gain
3. Loss of energy
4. Diminished ability to think or concentrate
5. Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities or decrease in sexual drive
6. Physical hyperactivity or inactivity
7. Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach, or inappropriate guilt
8. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of depression, please consult with a qualified naturopathic doctor to identify possible contributing factors to your depression such as, nutrient deficiencies, nicotine, alcohol, and other illicit drug use, stress, premenstrual syndrome, low adrenal function, sleep disturbances, side effects of certain prescription drugs, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, food allergies, heavy metals, low serotonin levels, and numerous preexisting conditions – cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis.
Naturopathic treatment for depression includes vitamin and mineral supplementation, diet and lifestyle counseling and botanical medicine to provide the essential nutrients necessary for healthy nervous system function, optimal and balanced neurotransmitter production, and mood enhancement. Acupuncture is also recommended to improve depression by affecting the synthesis of neurotransmitters that balance mood. top
Diabetes mellitus is an inability to metabolize carbohydrates resulting from inadequate production or utilization of insulin. People with diabetes cannot properly process glucose or sugar. This results in high glucose levels in the blood and impaired uptake of glucose by the cells of the body. There is an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, poor wound healing, infections, and loss of nerve function. Common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, and excessive appetite.
Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the use of proper diet, therapeutic dose of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, and exercise to safely lower your blood sugar, improve utilization of glucose by your cells and tissues, and prevent or minimize organ damage associated with diabetes.
Acupuncture has also been shown to be helpful in improving diabetic neuropathy. In a preliminary trial, 77% of people suffering from diabetic neuropathy experienced significant reduction in pain following up to six acupuncture treatments over a ten-week period.
1 1. Abuaisha BB, Costanzi JB, Boulton AJ. Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy: a long-term study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1998;39:115–21. top
Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis is a common condition characterized by chronic itchy, inflamed skin. The rash is often red, dry, and scaly and commonly affects the front of the wrist and elbows and the back of the knees. Scratching and itching can lead to darkened and hardened areas of thickened skin.
Effective treatment principles include balancing the immune system to decrease allergic hypersensitivity and inflammation and identifying and eliminating food sensitivities, such as milk, eggs, and peanuts. Roughly 81% of all cases of childhood eczema are due to these food allergies. In addition, inhibiting histamine release and allergic factors in the skin with the use of anti-inflammatory and mast-cell stabilizing nutritional supplements and herbs is an important part of the naturopathic treatment plan. top
Fatigue is a common symptom that can be due to numerous causes such as poor sleep, stress, low thyroid function, adrenal fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle. Serious causes of fatigue such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, serious infections, and cancer need to be properly assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.
A comprehensive naturopathic approach will help identify the causes to fatigue and offer the appropriate treatment recommendations with the use of lifestyle and dietary changes, vitamin and mineral support, and herbal medicine. top
Fibromyalgia is a disorder marked by chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Approximately three to six million people in the US are affected by fibromyalgia of which are mostly women between the ages of 25 to 45 years. Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not clear, the pain of fibromyalgia may be due to low levels of serotonin. In addition, research has demonstrated that the axis connecting the three glands primarily responsible for the stress response (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) may be dysfunctional in people with fibromyalgia.
The primary treatment goals in fibromyalgia are to raise serotonin levels, assure adequate vitamin and mineral levels, particularly magnesium, and improve sleep quality. In addition, a whole foods diet rich in vegetables and low-intensity exercise plan is essential for treating fibromyalgia. Acupuncture is also recommended for pain relief. top
Headaches may be associated with a serious medical condition, but most headaches are usually not serious. Headaches usually fall into two categories, tension headaches or migraines. Tension headaches are characterized by a gradual onset of steady, constant, dull pain or tight pressure that starts in the forehead or in the back of the head. Migraines are commonly marked by throbbing or pounding sharp pain and may include photosensitivity, visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting.
The naturopathic approach to treating headaches includes identifying the factors that trigger tension and pain, such as food sensitivities, stress, and poor posture. Other factors such as hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, chemical sensitivity, low serotonin levels, withdrawal from caffeine or other drugs also need to be addressed. Vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal medicine, and acupuncture are effective therapies to reducing frequency of headaches and providing pain relief. top
High cholesterol is one of the risk factors associated with heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke. It is currently recommended that the total blood cholesterol level be less than 200 mg/dl. LDL cholesterol directly linked to heart disease should be below 130 mg/dl, while HDL cholesterol, protective against heart disease should be greater than 35 mg/dl.
In most cases, elevations of blood cholesterol are due to dietary and lifestyle factors, however, elevations can also be due to genetic factors. High cholesterol levels have also been associated with low thyroid function. It is recommended that you have your thyroid levels checked in addition to your cholesterol levels.
The most important approach to lowering a high cholesterol level is a healthful diet and regular physical activity. Your naturopathic doctor will help create a heart healthy diet plan specific for your needs and lifestyle. In addition, a variety of effective vitamins, minerals, and herbs will be recommended to safely lower your cholesterol and protect your heart. top
High blood pressure
High blood pressure also known as hypertension is a condition that requires the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body. High blood pressure can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Although the cause is unknown, several factors such as obesity, genetics, high salt intake, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lead exposure play a role.
The naturopathic approach is adept at treating high blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease since it involves an extensive amount of patient education on proper dietary changes and stress management. In addition, safe nutritional supplements, Chinese and western herbs, and acupuncture are used effectively to lower blood pressure and optimize heart function. top
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders characterized by abdominal pain or distension, alternating constipation and diarrhea, gas, bloating, and anxiety. IBS is typically diagnosed once other conditions that mimic IBS are ruled out. These include excessive intestinal permeability also known as leaky gut syndrome, dysbiosis or disturbed bacteria microflora, intestinal candidiasis, parasites, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic disorders.
A naturopathic doctor can help you identify the cause of IBS with a thorough history, physical examination, and comprehensive stool analysis. A comprehensive stool analysis will help detect the presence of bacterial overgrowth, parasites, yeast, digestive enzyme deficiencies, and poor intestinal permeability. These problems can be properly addressed with the use of nutrient and herbal therapy. Major effective natural measures for treating IBS are increasing dietary fiber, eliminating food allergens, managing stress effectively, and reducing intestinal spasms with herbal formulas. top
Infertility is defined by doctors as the failure to become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse. In females, it can be caused by low thyroid function, sex-hormone abnormalities, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, endometriosis, scarring of the tubes connecting the ovaries with the uterus, or other factors. In men, infertility is usually associated with a decrease in the number, quality, or motility of sperm. Heavy metal and environmental toxicity can also contribute to infertility and repeated miscarriages. The specific cause of infertility should always be diagnosed by a physician before considering possible solutions.
Female and male infertility is treated with elimination of alcohol, smoking, and caffeine since it may interfere with fertility. Addressing nutritional deficiencies that may inhibit fertility with appropriate nutrient therapy and treating hormone dysfunction with herbal medicine is also recommended. Detoxification of heavy metals and environmental toxins is essential for optimal reproductive health. In addition, acupuncture may be helpful in the treatment of some cases of female infertility due to problems with ovarian function and has helped many couples increase their chance of conceiving during IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments. top
Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is the most common reason people seek medical treatment. Common causes of low back pain include poor muscle tone, joint problems, torn muscles or ligaments, and herniated or slipped disc. Because low back pain can be due to potentially serious problems such as spinal tumor, infection, fracture, nerve damage, osteoporosis, arthritis, or pain caused by conditions found in internal organs such as the kidneys, low back pain should be assessed by a qualified health practitioner.
Low back pain may be effectively treated with lifestyle recommendations to correct posture and alignment, exercise therapy, and proper stretching. Acupuncture is highly recommended to promote blood circulation and healing and reduce pain by releasing natural pain-killing substances in the body called endorphins. In addition, vitamin and mineral supplementation and botanical therapy are often used to decrease inflammation and pain. top
Menopause is the cessation of menstruation in women, which commonly occurs from the late forties to early fifties. Menopause is diagnosed when women are without a menstrual period for six to twelve months. Menopause is a natural transition which many hormonal changes occur, particularly a drop in estrogen and progesterone and increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Some women experience such signs and symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, palpitations, depression and anxiety, loss of memory, poor concentration, vaginal dryness, headaches, and decreased sex drive. Women who are in menopause are at higher risk for developing osteoporosis, heart disease, and Alzheimerís disease. Consulting with a qualified naturopathic doctor is recommended to properly screen and prevent for these conditions.
There are numerous natural solutions for preventing and treating menopause that help to balance hormonal changes. Studies have shown that a nutrient-dense, healthy diet and regular physical activity can reduce hot flashes. Nutrient therapy, botanical medicine, and bioidentical hormones are also very effective for reducing menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture is also a promising treatment for reducing hot flashes and night sweats. top
Menstrual cramps (Dysmenorrhea)
Dysmenorrhea, commonly referred to as painful menstruation affects over 50 percent of menstruating women. Several factors contribute to causing dysmenorrhea. These include behavioral and psychological causes; lack of blood flow to the uterus; and increased production and release of specific types of prostaglandins that cause uterine contractions and pain. Menstrual cramps may also be due to a specific abnormal pelvic condition such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, adhesions, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, congenital malformations, or polyps.
Symptoms of menstrual cramps include abdominal bloating, frequent and intense cramps, pain below the waistline, or a dull ache that may radiate to the lower back or legs. There may also be symptoms of headache, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, frequent urination, and, occasionally, vomiting. A qualified naturopathic practitioner will help identify the underlying causes to your menstrual cramps by taking a comprehensive history, performing a physical exam, and ordering the appropriate lab and imaging tests. Once the cause is identified, the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made. These treatment recommendations may include appropriate dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal medicine, and acupuncture to decrease uterine spasms and muscle tension. top
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis in America. Presently over 43 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage resulting in joint stiffness, pain, swelling, and loss of joint function. Generally, the hands and weight-bearing joints, such as knees, hip, and spine are affected by osteoarthritis. If severe, osteoarthritis can be very debilitating, interfering with work, activity, and psychological health.
The naturopathic approach to treating osteoarthritis emphasizes maintaining healthy body weight and eating a nutritional diet. Research has shown the benefits of glucosamine sulfate, choindrotin sulfate, and S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) for enhancing collagen synthesis and repairing joints. Anti-inflammatory and tissue healing herbs are also recommended for decreasing pain, increasing joint mobility, and healing joint tissue. Acupuncture has also shown to produce positive results for treating osteoarthritis, providing significant pain relief and improving joint function. top
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual Syndrome is a recurrent condition experienced by women during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Typical symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, depression, headache, breast tenderness, low back pain, abdominal bloating, food cravings, and swelling of fingers and ankles. No clear cause has been identified, however hormonal changes likely contribute to PMS symptoms.
The naturopathic treatment for PMS is comprehensive, incorporating proper nutritional intake and dietary changes, regular physical activity, botanical medicine, and acupuncture to help balance hormones, enhance serotonin and endorphin levels, and alleviate the symptoms of PMS. top
Stroke is a condition caused by lack of blood flow to the brain or hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain. Although strokes are the third leading cause of death in the US, most strokes are not fatal. Symptoms of stroke include weakness, numbness, or inability to move an arm or leg; sudden and intense headache; severe dizziness or loss of coordination and balance; difficulty with speaking or understanding; and blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes. People with stroke may also have seizures, vomiting, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. People experiencing symptoms suggestive of having suffered a stroke require immediate emergency care and medical attention. Post-stroke symptoms may include coma, reversible or irreversible paralysis, speech problems, dementia, and visual disturbances.
Preventing and treating conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol or homocysteine levels, and atherosclerosis significantly reduces the risk of developing strokes. Stroke prevention encompasses healthy lifestyle and dietary changes and nutritional supplementation to support optimal heart function and blood sugar regulation. The most effective treatments for stroke involve acupuncture to promote blood circulation and stimulate nerve function and the use of herbal and nutritional antioxidants to reduce the free radical damage associated with strokes. top
Unnecessary weight gain is commonly due to poor diet rich in sugar and fat and inactivity. Other causes that need to be addressed include low thyroid function, medication side effects, hormonal changes in menopause, insulin resistance and diabetes. A successful program for weight loss includes proper diet, adequate exercise, a positive mental attitude, and supplementation with nutrients and herbs to help promote metabolism, regulate blood sugar, and normalize appetite. top