Your Questions Answered!
1. How is your approach different than what I've tried before?
-Conventional treatment for autoimmune disease is aimed at turning off the body's immune system to stop it from attacking itself. Unfortunately, these drugs have many side effects, and leave you susceptible to infections. We need our immune system! Our approach surrounds finding the cause of the immune system over-activation, such as food intolerance, or chronic infection, and supporting the body in recovering without the use of harsh drugs.
2. What if I'm still taking medications to manage my symptoms? Should I stop?
-Nope, conventional medicines are important for keeping your symptoms under control while we work on supporting your body's natural healing process. Our goal is for you to not need medication one day, but we don't have to start there on day one.
3. I've tried cutting gluten or other foods, and didn't notice any benefit?
-Everyone is different! What someone else reacts to may be totally different than what you react to! There are also many chemicals and environmental irritants other than foods that may be worsening your symptoms, or things your diet may be deficient in. Elimination isn't always the answer, sometimes we have to add things to give it support. We'll address all of this in our 2 hour new patient intake to determine these causes and tailor a plan to your situation.
4. I've been told there is no cure for autoimmune disease?
- There is no conventional medical cure for most autoimmune conditions, only management of symptoms. The body will continue to attack itself until the causative factor is corrected. While we don't claim to cure autoimmune disease, we do help you eliminate the cause of immune system over activation , which can lead to remission of your disease. We improve the terrain so the body can work on healing itself. This approach can be widely found as successful throughout the medical literature, though not often implemented by our medical system.
5. Do I have to do a lot of blood work for this? What if I already have labs?
-Chances are your rheumatologist, PCP, or other doctors has done a host of conventional blood work and testing that we'd love to see too. While we won't need to repeat the same labs, we may recommend you get testing they may not have ordered that is aimed at addressing the root cause of your immune system overdrive. Very often the answer you've been looking for can be found in labs that just have not been ordered yet.
6. I've already seen a functional medicine doctor, how are you different?
-Our providers are all naturopathic doctors and/or clinical nutritionists. If you've been to an MD or chiropractor "trained in functional medicine" , usually this means they recieved their training from IFM - The Institute for Functional Medicine. IFM is a 6 weekend long certification, and while there is a lot of good info, there is only so much one can learn about functional medicine in 6 weekends. A Naturopathic Doctor's entire 4 years of medical school is built on functional medicine which is vastly more training in this specialty.
All of our providers also have additional degrees ontop of their doctorates including Masters in Anatomy & Physiology, Clinical Nutrition, and Oriental Medicine, as well as post graduate certification training in acupuncture, functional medicine, oncolgy nutrition, and more. (i.e. we're really smart which gets you better care)
7. I've already tried taking tons of supplements from my functional medicine doctor, and I'm still not better, how is your approach different?
-Again, most "functional medicine" doctors receive fairly little training in nutritional biochemistry and herbal medicine, and that's what sets our Naturopathic Doctors apart. Often times patients bring in functional medicine lab reports and supplement protocols they've been given by other providers and when we review the plans, it's clear the patients have just been treated incorrectly or prescribed certain herbs inappropriately. Herbal medicine is incredibly nuanced and has to be done precisely, which is what sets naturopathic doctors apart from other FM providers. Fixing protocols from less experienced FM providers is what we do everyday.
8. Do you work with people who don't have autoimmune conditions?
-Of course! Autoimmunity is just where we specialize. Our providers were trained in general family practice / internal medicine (meaning we treat all patients) before obtaining specialized training. We'd be happy to work with your friends or family that may have non-autoimmune based conditions that are looking for a natural way to improve their health. Also we have providers who also specialize in other areas such as oncology, women's health, or chronic gut complaints.
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