Q: Will a Naturopath Take Me Off My Medications?
A: A naturopathic doctor’s (ND’s) mandate is not to take you off your meds. This is an unfortunate misconception about naturopathic medicine that can often be an obstacle preventing people from exploring this complementary field of healthcare. The goal of working with an ND is to become healthier, because a healthy, well-functioning body does not have symptoms of discomfort. Naturopathic medicine is complementary to traditional western medicine, not an 'alternative' approach that would require you to “switch sides.” Instead, NDs strive to work with medical doctors (MDs)... and they often refer patients to one another.
NDs focus on how your body functions to help you to attain optimal health. This basically means that they seek to explore why you are experiencing certain symptoms, to help reveal the fundamental causes of your ailments.
Example: If you are currently taking a medication to lower your blood pressure, your ND will coach you on how to reduce your blood pressure more naturally through diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and likely some nutritional support. Furthermore, once your blood pressure begins to decrease, your ND will encourage you to speak with your MD about reducing the dosage of your prescriptions accordingly.
You can rest assured that your ND can provide helpful advice while you are on prescription medications, without interfering with their efficacy or introducing negative interactions. To become licensed and registered in the province of Ontario, NDs must receive training in pharmacology, and are required to further their training through continuing educational courses annually.