Trip to the Naturopathic Doctor

The woman who lived in this apartment before me was a vegetarian who was into alternative medicine. She left the business cards of a bunch of doctors and dentists she recommended and last month I made an appointment for the naturopatic doctor in Quezon City.

I visited one other naturopathic doctor in Washington, DC about ten years ago and was unimpressed with the visit. At that time I was looking for ways to treat joint pain and manage exhaustion and that doctor didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. He prescribed a bunch of vitamins and supplements, half of which I purchased–none of which I took. Even ten years ago I had done a lot of reading on how to treat or manage illness through lifestyle changes and the little I knew back then was all the doctor seemed to be aware of as well. It was an expensive visit and I left there with the same questions and no relief.

Fast forward ten years and I am much more knowledgeable about the link between nutrition and health/energy/vibrancy and I have read hundreds of anecdotes of how individuals have managed or cured disease, gotten rid of allergies/arthritis/high blood pressure, etc.  through food or just discovered that the aches and pains and exhaustion that people associate with getting older disappeared when they changed their diet. I know I can feel better and I am actively trying to eat/sleep better (and I think about exercise!) but I was really curious to see what this doctor could tell me.

I had a 10:00 appointment but I got caught up Skyping my relatives and it was raining so I was running late but thankfully she was able to accommodate me. Around 11 am yesterday morning I was sitting in front of Dr. A.

“What seems to be the problem?” she inquired, so I told her my long list of nagging issues. Three hours later, after a long consultation and some testing she indicated her concerns and had a list of suggestions for me. She suspects issues with my thyroid, hormones and adrenals and gave me a referral to get some blood work. She said I was very deficient in zinc and had an excess of heavy metals and pesticides in my system. What astounded me was without asking me what I consume, she informed me I need to eat less of: mandarin oranges and goat cheese (I don’t consume those so that was weird) but also meat, fish from mercury-polluted waters, poultry, red wine and coconut oil! She stated I needed more protein and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, and that my body would benefit from less fat and gluten though I don’t need to steer clear of those entirely. She also said I am not drinking enough water.

In the end she prescribed the following supplements: zinc oxide, omega-3, probiotics, something for my adrenal fatigue and something for the heavy metals. She said I should do saunas, steam bath, dry skin brushing or aerobic exercise daily and drink more water. She sent me out the door with a list of bloodwork to have done and when it comes back she can be even more precise with her recommendations. In the end I purchased the zinc (I have omega-3 and probiotics at home already which I will now make an effort to take) and will consider the others at a later time.

So, yeah, a number of things were obvious: eat more veggies, drink more water, exercise. But I was pleased that she zeroed in on zinc deficiency, though I know that too much zinc can also have adverse effects. I’m most happy with her decision to have me tested for thyroid or hormonal issues so I can determine whether I need to work on fixing those in the coming year. In the meantime, I will eat more cruciferous veggies, drink more water, cut back a bit on coconut oil and do more than think about aerobic exercise!

Have you ever been to a naturopathic doctor? What did you think of the visit?

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