Naturopathic medicine compliments medical care.

Naturopathy—also called naturopathic medicine—is a medical system that evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century.

Naturopathic doctors [ND] now use a holistic approach to understand causes behind your diagnosis and a variety of natural remedies in their treatment methods.

Treatment methods often include:

  • Dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Stress reduction
  • Herbs and other dietary supplements
  • Homeopathy
  • Manipulative therapies
  • Exercise therapy
  • Practitioner-guided detoxification
  • Psychotherapy and counseling.

Studies have demonstrated that naturopathic medicine is safe. Patients reportedly have better overall health outcomes when naturopathic care is added to conventional care. Just be sure to consult your primary care physician [PCP] about new and novel treatments.

Three Naturopathic treatment methods that you should consult your medical doctor about:

1/ Human Chorionic Gonadotropin [HCG Diet] 

HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the FDA has not approved for weight loss. Homeopathic versions of HCG are not approved either and reportedly, should be appropriately labeled to inform consumers. 

The HCG diet produces weight loss results because participants limit calories to just 500-800 calories per day. However, severe calorie restriction increases your health risks.

Severe calorie restriction has health risks:

  • Gallstones
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Blood clots 
  • Vitamins and minerals deficiencies
  • Electrolyte imbalances 

The list of side effects is long too. Known side effects include fatigue, irritability, restlessness, depression, fluid buildup (edema), welling of the breasts in boys and men. 

Given the potential health risks and side effects, it’s a good idea to check with your primary care physician before trying the HCG diet.

2/ B-12 Injections

According to the Mayo Clinic, Vitamin B-12 injections are commonly prescribed to help prevent or treat anemia and B-12 deficiency. However, the injections are also used by some ND practitioners in weight-loss programs.

Proponents of B12 injections for weight loss claim patients experience increased energy and metabolism. Sounds good but it may be just a placebo effect. Reportedly, Vitamin B-12 injections have little noticeable affect on energy or metabolism unless there is an underlying vitamin deficiency.

For most people B-12 injections are harmless. If you’re taking medications, be sure to consult your primary care physician about possible adverse interactions or just get your B-12 levels checked. 

3/ Breast Thermagraphy [aka DITI]

Studies have concluded Breast thermography [also referred to as digital infrared thermal imaging or DITI]  is a valuable adjunct to mammography and ultrasound especially for women with dense breast tissue or breast implants.

DITI is a noninvasive screening procedure that detects and records infrared heat emissions from the breast. The visual image (thermogram) maps variations in skin temperature to detect excessive formation of blood vessels and inflammation in the breast tissue. The procedure has no radiation or physical contact which is a big plus for many women.

The rate of false positives and false negatives [aka: cancer is not present] is higher than mammography which is likely why it is rarely covered by insurers. 

Consult your primary care physician about the best screenings method for you. Early detection of breast cancer increases your treatment options and improves outcomes. 

Cost

Visits and specialized tests can cost anywhere from $50 to $500. Most insurance companies do not include Naturopathic Physicians in their network but may cover the cost as a non-contracted provider. Visits may also be reimbursed as a qualifying medical expense from a MSA or HSA. Consult your insurer or review your policy for coverage details.