Matinum

Taking Charge of Your Health


How do you see your role as a naturopathic practitioner alongside a standard medical doctor? Every naturopath does have a little bit of a different role, so I can speak for myself. What I do with my patients is a lot of overall healthcare management. So, they see me for a lot of primary care health reasons, but then I refer them out for this and I refer them out for that. They have a rheumatologist, they have a gastroenterologist. Unfortunately, by the time I end up seeing a lot of patients, the first thing they tell me is, “Sorry, not to be mean, but you’re kind of my last hope.” And I, that’s the honest to goodness truth. By the time they’ve seen me, it’s not, “I had a little bit of heartburn twice, can you help?” “It’s I’ve seen 17 gastroenterologists “and I’m still miserable.” “I’ve tried all the meds, I’m still miserable.” “I’ve done the surgeries, I’ve done everything, “nothing is working.” “What else can I do?” I mean, these are people at their wits end. And I think one of the other things that always worries me, and you clearly, Peggy, do not seem to do this, but there are some natural doctors out there who literally claim they know everything. So, they’re telling you about vaccinations, they’re telling you about everything that you should do and they’re saying, “Well, I know everything.” I think you need to be very cautious as a consumer of healthcare if you encounter anyone who claims to know everything because, again, in my experience, the more you know, the more humble you are because the more you learn in medicine, the more you realize you don’t know and there are a lot of arrogant practitioners of medicine, quite frankly, who did not get good formal training, who think they know everything and they don’t. In fact, they know so very little, they’re arrogant enough to believe they know everything and that’s where we’ve gotta be very careful as healthcare consumers. Dr. Novella, I actually very much, by the way, appreciate your website and what you do. I think medicine should always be rooted in science, that’s essential. But, I also understand people who are at their wits end and maybe just want to go have a conversation with someone who the first step isn’t gonna be to prescribe a pharmaceutical or a surgery or a procedure. I’m gonna ask you, Dr. Novella, if the profession were to become more standardized, do you ever see a place where naturopaths, formally trained, formally certified, could practice side by side with medical doctors? I mean, I have no problem practicing side by side with other professions, but my question is what is naturopathy? What do they bring to the table? They’ve tried to co-op things like nutrition, but I think nutrition is part of science-based medicine. And they seem to be just adhering to this philosophy of reverence for things that are natural, that are religiously natural, so what is it that’s unique to naturopathy that they bring to the table that works? They bring a lot of things to the table that is pseudoscience that doesn’t work, so they would need to purge their profession of pseudoscience to figure out what it is that they do, that they want to do and bring to the table and then focus on that and maybe they can play a role in healthcare. And one thing that comes to mind, before we close out this conversation and Peggy, I will have you address this, you tell a patient, “Look, I’d love for you “to add more spices to your meals “and tumeric,” which is very different than someone saying, “Hey, I’ve got this great IV infusion “of tumeric that I want to try.” And there was recently a really, the reason we decided to do this topic is there was recently a really high profile case where someone died from tumeric IV infusion, so again, no data to prove it’s worthy, it can be a very big time money maker, people promising unproven IV therapies. Quite frankly, there are medical doctors out there who offer some of this hocus, Yes.
I’ll call it hocus pocus. I’m curious, in defending your own profession, can you defend that? Well, in terms of looking at naturopaths as a whole, what I always talk about with all of my patients is the undies versus the endies and if you’re getting advice from somebody, make sure they know, in general, what they’re doing. The end of the day, with all my patients, what I care about the most is their safety, their health and their happiness. And whatever that is for them, whether it’s me, whether it’s an MD, whether it’s a chiropractor, whether it’s them getting a massage once a week, I want people to have proper, safe and efficacious healthcare. Well actually, I have to say, I appreciate your perspective and I think I would just argue that if you’re gonna try some super alternative treatment, read the evidence, do a search, read about it, and master the credentials of your practitioner. And make sure before you start any sort of supplement or naturopathic product that you actually do run it by an MD if you are on natural medication because there are medication interactions, there are toxic side effects and so that would really worry me too. I’m not saying they’re all bad, I’m just saying you have to do your homework, exactly like you said. Dr. Novella, before we say goodbye, where can people get more information about your website? Yeah, so go to sciencebasedmedicine.org and we have everything you need from there. Well, I want to thank both of you so much for offering your input here today. We’ll have more resources on our website.

17 thoughts on “What You Should Do before Trying an Alternative Treatment

  1. Speaking from experience, alternative treatments are actually better than traditional ones. Traditional migraine and pain medications didn't help me at all, but, I have benefitted immensely from Boswellia-Serrata extract, chiropractics, and massage.

  2. They try less invasive things? That's kinda my understanding
    Or less harmful, harsh, man-made chemicals

  3. I’m planning on becoming an epidemiologist however I am also open to natural medicine. For both sides it’s best to get more than one opinion and to look up the facts. Look up and compare scientific data for any treatment option and understand that not everything will or can be cured. But it’s best to not go in blindly on a treatment without having at least a definition of what the process will or could do. Everything has side effects positive and negative.

  4. Essential oils do work, and they have science-based means. they have all sorts of properties like antiseptic or even analgesic.

  5. I really doubt the ND went to pre-med to no become a medical doctor. Literally pre-meds with no where else to go because they dont have the grades for med school do this. The ones too stupid for MD become ND. Come on….

  6. Oh heaven!!! In defending natropath medicine…do your diligent education and don't just say OK and listen to anyone above. Become an expert at your illnesses, and treatments. Ignorance is no longer an excuse with so many books, and online reference. Stay healthy!

  7. What an actually wrong concept of naturopathy they have…I am a Yoga and Naturopathy dr.and m proud of my profession..well I must remind you Naturopathy is completely a drugless system..it doesnot mean you use natural medications…Neither it’s a pseudoscience…It’s based on a concept that main cause of disease is accumulation of morbid impurities and body has the capacity to heal itself…so it focuses on both aspects of removal of toxins and giving body a chance to heal by itself..so how it works is the application and uses of Panchamahabhootas that is Prithvi aap tej vayu Aakah…the earth water fire air and space consequently that makes body..application of hydrotherapy mudtherapy fasting therapy chromo and magnetotherapy heliotherapy…plus combination of acupuncture therapy physiotherapy and yoga therapy as a whole in a integrative form has given best results to patients which even allopaths had refused to take cases…I just want people not to have wrong concepts in such a pure forms of treatment..and if they really want evidence just google and see how many research papers you see regarding this form of treatment modality..

  8. Hocus Pocus……I wonder what he thinks of the word Pharmakia? The base word for Pharmaceutical is Pharmakia which means concoctions. And as far as I'm concerned that means sorcery of which I'm not in to.
    I can honestly say that my husband was on many big pharma drugs…and one day he decided to change all that and now eats right and takes natural vitamins with zinc, apple cider vinegar, and he used to have neuropathy in his feet and legs, but no more….he takes alpha lipoic acid and vitamin B12 and he does not complain like he used to about his neuropathy. The alpha lipoic acid also regulates his blood sugar. He is completely off of the drugs and he feels much better!

  9. Naturopathy's reputation has been ruined by the people who have scammed patients under the name/claim of naturopathy. Technically every time a traditional medical doctor recommends exercise, improvement in diet and other non-pharmaceutical, non-procedure related treatments, they're practicing naturopathy. We need traditional doctors and alternative medicine doctors to work together, be reasonable, support science-based treatments, truly seek the best treatments for their patients and stop being each other's enemy. Because in the end, if those two types of practitioners blindly push their own treatments and demonize the other industry's treatments, that's when you get people going wholly alternative and blindly refusing effective treatments, and that's when you get patients of traditional medicine doctors "poo-poo"-ing natural treatments and giving naturopathy a bad name. We gotta stop this fight and work together.

  10. OK, I'm not at all big on naturopathy but you interrupted the doctor defending it every time she spoke. I know you have to push for time, but then why don't you allow for another episode on it? A lot of people get into naturopathy because they think it's safer than traditional medicine. One can't deny the whole practice of naturopathy just because there are underqualified practitioners that are ruining people's lives, because the same situation exists among traditional treatments that are being offered by unqualified persons. Instead, what if consumers could have easy access to a worldwide list of practitioners qualified to practice their respective disciplines? It should be easier to determine the authenticity of medical practitioners, with all the scammers that take advantage of honest people looking for treatments.

  11. I wish these doctors could help me. I have two babies. I’ve been sick since I was 7 years old. Severe illnesses. Countless surgeries and procedures always inpatient. I’ve dealt with arrogant doctors who never believe me until it’s almost too late. My leukemia was misdiagnosed 5 times before it almost killed me. My thyroid cancer, even my countless bouts of sepsis were misdiagnosed by arrogant doctors. As a result of these arrogant jerks never believing me and misdiagnosing me….I’ve decided to give up on modern medicine. Right now I’m battling multiple infections and I feel like just letting myself die here at home because I’m too traumatized by those arrogant jerks.

  12. Hocus Pocus—Lipitor-Vioxx–Prozac–and you don't the Big Medical will not string you out. Watch out it is BS vs BS.

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