A Comparison of Naturopathic Medicine to Conventional Medicine
Naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine are both valuable systems that excel at different aspects of patient care. Naturopathic medicine is the best approach to prevention, because it involves a wellness-oriented diet, lifestyle change and supplements that support the body.
Naturopathic medicine is often the best first step in dealing with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis or eczema, because these conditions improve when diet, lifestyle and nutrient deficiencies are addressed. It’s a great choice for non-emergency acute illnesses, such as colds and flus, because naturopathic medicine modalities effectively support the body’s immune system.
For most diseases, conventional medicine treats symptoms alone, usually with drugs or surgery. While sometimes necessary, this can lead to long-term management with an improvement in symptoms at the cost of side effects, which often require more drugs. Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, attempts to treat the root cause of the health issue so that the body can ultimately heal itself. The results can be measured as a reduction or elimination of drugs, improved vitality and/or a complete reversal of disease.
Many aspects of the conventional approach to medicine are not only beneficial but also essential for the practice of naturopathic medicine. For example, naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained in conventional medical sciences and routinely order conventional labs and scans alongside alternative medicine tests (like nutrient blood tests and food sensitivity panels) to help establish appropriate diagnosis of disease conditions and monitor treatment progress. NDs also refer out to medical specialists for further work-up or when there is a need for acute care stabilization in a health crisis.*
*Content courtesy of Realize Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating about Naturopathic Medicine. For more information see realizehealth.org.