Naturopathic care is effective for a wide range of conditions.This includes seasonal illnesses (aka “the crud”) and acute infections, as well as more complex, chronic and ongoing conditions. I see adults and adolescents, as well as younger children. At this time I do not provide primary care pediatrics.
Medications, Labs, and Imaging
There are times when medications are needed. I am able to prescribe and manage or co-manage common primary care medications, including testosterone, when they are medically indicated. When appropriate I integrate them with non-pharmaceutical medicine for effective care. This assumes that the non-pharmaceutical therapies don’t interfere with the medications. I discuss the risks and benefits of the various treatments with you, and involve you in the decision making.
I do not prescribe most controlled substances such as tranquilizers (such as Valium), sleeping medications (such as Ambien) , and controlled pain medications (such as opioids). If you are currently taking any drug that is a controlled substance (other than testosterone), I will work with your other providers to coordinate a treatment plan that is safe and effective for you.
There are some medications that are best prescribed by a specialist. As well, if you have numerous medications and illnesses, you may be asked to have an internist or family medical doctor as part of your team as well.
If you are on prescription medications and are have questions about how I can manage or work with them, please call the office and ask: (206) 910-6176.
Obtaining Labs, Imaging and Other Testing.
I order lab testing and imaging as needed, typically through standard lab testing companies. If you have insurance, it will be paid for according to their policies, subject to co-pays and deductibles. On rare occasions I may recommend lab that is not “conventional. If so we will discuss ahead of ordering it what the cost is and what insurance coverage is. In some cases, blood work may be drawn in my office. In other cases you may visit a patient service center located near you to have the blood draw done.
Referrals to Specialists and Coordinating Care
If you need a specialist, I will refer you to one and coordinate follow up care as needed. If you already have other providers on board for any health conditions, I’m happy to work with you and them as a part of your team. I communicate with your other doctors so that all involved understand what is being done, and why. Already have a primary care provider? Simply want a naturopathic voice on your healthcare team? I’m glad to provide that for you.
If you need to be hospitalized, I will refer you to a hospital that is in your insurance network. In case of life threatening emergency, of course you will call 9-1-1 and go to wherever the ambulance takes you. In less urgent situations I will have you go to the ER to be evaluated. I call the doctor there and send any needed records in ahead of your arrival (if time allows). If you are admitted by the ER medical team, a team of hospitalists will care for you during your stay in the hospital. I follow up with you after hospitalization.
Some Things to Be Aware Of
I work with integrative (e.g. non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical) therapies, as well with conventional medical therapies. I also deeply respect conventional/modern/Western medicine for what it has brought us. While I am aware of the failings and flaws of individual scientists, I respect the scientific method for what it tells us about our world. And I very much promote the mundane basics of good health. You cannot out-supplement problematic lifestyle choices. Here are some of my standard recommendations for good health. If you have questions about any of these, I invite you to make an appointment to discuss them with me.
- Vaccinate — yourself and any children you may be responsible for, according to the standard CDC recommendations. Vaccines are safe and prevent diseases that you do not want to have to deal with. Even if you believe that you and yours would survive a vaccine-preventable disease quite safely, others that you are around may not be so lucky. So vaccinate for the good of those around you as well as for yourself.
- Stop smoking.
- Keep your drinking within recommended limits (2 drinks per day for natal males and 1 drinks for natal females).
- Eat sensibly: in general, that means vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds and nuts, whole grains, small amounts of animal protein (if you are not vegan). That being said, what you eat may vary depending on any illnesses you have (yes, there are conditions where people cannot tolerate large amounts of fiber or raw vegetables). When it comes to weight loss different diets tend to work for different people. I think it’s fair to say however that a diet of pastries and soda is not going to be good for 99.999% of the population.
- Exercise moderately.
- Recognize that medications can be a life-saving and life-affirming choice in many conditions. If you are on medications, I will ask you to keep taking them until and unless your condition is well controlled without them (yes, we have ways of sorting out when that occurs, even while you are on medications). If you need medications to prevent damage or death, then I will either prescribe them or refer you to a provider who is qualified to manage those medications. The same goes for surgeries. Sometimes there is some “wiggle room” about taking medications, other time there is not.
- Get standard preventive screening exams and tests, such as colonoscopies, and mammograms.
- If you are struggling with challenges in your life that make it hard to take the steps you need to care for yourself, it’s fine to acknowledge that you need help. Whether that’s financial assistance, medication, therapy, surgery, a caseworker: getting that help is an essential part of moving forward with your health.
If taking these steps is a challenge, I will work with you to find ways to make them do-able for you.
The goal isn’t to be 100% natural. The goal is to be as functional and healthy as is optimal and possible – for you. Do not let anyone shame you for making the choices that work best for you. We can continue to use appropriate integrative therapies together with medications and surgery to support you in what you need to live your life, as best as you can.
A word specifically to those living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and various other mental conditions: you are not to blame for your condition, and taking medication is not a failure. Medication can make it possible for depressed, anxious, sleepless people to finally be able to take the steps they need to exercise, sleep well, eat decently, get to therapy routinely. If medication is needed, take it, and honor yourself for taking care of yourself.
The same caution applies to cancer patients, as well as those who have conditions that can cause damage or death if left untreated with conventional medications.