What is the first appointment like with a Naturopathic Doctor?
Why are follow up visits necessary?
How frequently will I see the doctor?
Who can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?
Do we accept insurance?
Can a Naturopathic Doctor be my pediatrician?
Do I have to discontinue my medications?
What can an ND provide that an MD may not?
How is a Naturopathic Doctor Educated and licensed?
How does a Naturopathic Doctor differ from a Traditional Naturopath?
^top What is the first appointment like with a Naturopathic Doctor?
The first appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor typically lasts 11/2 hours. The doctor will conduct an in-depth verbal interview to discuss current health issues, past medical history, as well as diet and lifestyle. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to use a comprehensive health history to help identify the cause of the illness. The doctor will also perform pertinent physical exam, specific to the patient’s needs. After a discussion about labs and current supplements, a customized treatment plan is presented to the patient with specific recommendations on diet, herbal medicines and homeopathic medicines.
^top Why are follow up visits necessary?
During a follow up visit, the Naturopathic doctor will review your health issues, discuss the most recent treatment plan, discuss any lab testing, diet or lifestyle goals, and make necessary changes and improvements on the treatment plan.
Naturopathic doctors focus on prevention, working to systematically improve their patient’s health and optimize wellness. Patients choose how they would like to use Naturopathic medicine in their lives to stay healthy and prevent illness.
^top How frequently will I see the doctor?
The frequency of the visits varies greatly depending on the complexity of the patient’s case and how quickly they are looking to improve their health. During the follow-up visits the doctor will re-assess your progress, talk about the changes in your health and symptoms, review lab testing and make changes to your treatment plan. As your health improves, the visits typically become less frequent.
^top Who can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine can help almost all types of conditions. Since Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care providers, they are adept at diagnosing and treating chronic and acute health conditions.
Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Pre & Post Surgical recovery
Headaches and Migraines
Sinus Congestion and Acute Sinusitis
Bronchitis and Pneumonia
Irregular heart rates
High Blood Pressure
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Grave’s and Hashimoto’s Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Irritable Bowel syndrome
Crohn’s/Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Heartburn (Acid reflux disease)
Constipation & Diarrhea
Liver & Gallbladder conditions
Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid
Diabetes Mellitus & Insipidus
Urinary tract infections
Low sex drive
^top Do we accept insurance?
It is hard to say for sure if your insurance will cover Naturopathic medicine. It’s not a question of us accepting your insurance. It’s more a matter of your insurance covering our services. HMO’s are never covered because everything must be done through the “network”. If you have a PPO insurance plan there is very often coverage for laboratory tests and a possibility of coverage for the naturopathic visits. Our patients pay out of pocket at the time of the visit and then submit the necessary paperwork to their insurance for reimbursement. The reimbursement is quite unpredictable and depends on the complexity of your insurance plan.
^top Can a Naturopathic Doctor be my pediatrician?
Yes. A Naturopathic Doctor is trained in all aspects of pediatric care including Well-child visits. At Vitalia, new patient pediatric visits for children 12 and under are typically 1 hour in length. The doctor will perform a health history that is similar for an adult and assess the patient to identify the underlying cause of the health issues. Naturopathic doctors are successful in treating all types of childhood acute and chronic diseases using natural medicines.
^top Do I have to discontinue my medications?
A common misconception is that Naturopathic and conventional medicines don’t mix. The opposite is true. On the subject of drug-herb-nutrient reactions, Naturopathic doctors are the most trained of all primary care physicians. Naturopathic medicine can integrate and improve outcomes of the patients health, while taking prescription medications. Naturopathic medicine can be complimentary to all types of healing the patient chooses to use.
^top What can an ND provide that an MD may not?
A Naturopathic Doctor will look at your health from a holistic perspective, seeking to understand and treat the underlying causes of your illness. Typically a visit with a Naturopathic doctor is more extensive, exploring different perspectives on health and healing. You will be encouraged to become an active participant in your health, with guidance and support to achieve diet and lifestyle goals.
^top How is a Naturopathic Doctor Educated and licensed?
Naturopathic doctors attend four-year, graduate-level, accredited naturopathic medical schools where they are trained as primary care doctors of natural medicine. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education is the accrediting agency for Naturopathic colleges and is recognized by the US Department of Education. The three major areas of study are biomedical sciences, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapeutics.
The biomedical sciences segment of the curriculum provides an in-depth study of the human body through lectures and labs. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, environmental and public health, pharmacology and diet-nutrient-herb interactions.
Clinical studies and experience prepares students to educate patients and the public on health promotion and disease prevention. It also prepares them to diagnose the causes of a range of primary care conditions and to effectively help patients manage their conditions using a broad range of therapeutics.
Diagnostic courses include physical and clinical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, and diagnostic imaging. A range of primary care issues are covered in courses ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics. The healing therapies that are studied include diet and clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, health psychology and lifestyle counseling.
^top How does a Naturopathic Doctor differ from a Traditional Naturopath?
Naturopathic Doctors have more than 1,200 hours of clinical experience with more than 3,000 hours of classroom training. They study all of the basic medical sciences and are trained to be the primary care physicians of natural medicine. After passing licensing exams, an ND can apply for a California state license for Naturopathic Doctors. They must continue their training through seminars to maintain active status as a licensed ND. Traditional Naturopaths’ education and experience vary, they are not licensed or regulated in California.