Get the 411 on Naturopathic Medicine and Why You Should Hop on the Bandwagon
Photographed By: Kambria Fischer Naturopathic Medicine San Diego
Ever wonder what that fancy term ‘Naturopathic Doctor’ actually means? Get all your FAQ questions answered ASAP by KOI Wellbeing’s Dr. Brooke Leverone. Want to learn more? Attend their free Wine, Women and Hormones Talk with La Vita Compounding Pharmacy at Bastyr University Wednesday, April 25 6 p.m. Naturopathic Medicine San Diego
Q: What exactly is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Brooke Leverone: Naturopathic Medicine believes in the body’s innate ability to heal itself. We complete a four-year, post-graduate medical program where we receive extensive training in sciences and pathologies, as well as herbal medicine, dietary and nutrient therapy, functional medicine and hormonal therapy. The first visit with the doctor is a full hour. This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the patient, which will guide us to the appropriate lab testing. This approach to medicine provides us the opportunity to reveal the root cause of the patient’s symptoms based on their unique biochemistry and physiology, and therefore treat integratively.
Q: What can I expect from a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor?
BL: If you’ve never consulted with a naturopathic doctor, you might be surprised to learn we specialize in treating everything from hormone fluctuations, nutritional imbalances, digestive issues, autoimmune and endocrine disorders to weight management, anxiety, insomnia and chronic fatigue. KOI Wellbeing bridges the gap between traditional and alternative medical care; your initial 60-minute consultation includes a complete medical intake with detailed health and lifestyle assessment. We provide specialty lab testing that includes functional blood analysis, micronutrients, comprehensive digestive analysis, food allergies, neurotransmitters, genetic profiles and hormonal assessment.
Depending on your goals, your customized treatment plan may consist of bio-identical hormones, physician-grad nutraceutical supplements, diet and lifestyle changes, nutrient injections and/or IV therapy to help you achieve optimal wellness. Follow-up visits with a focus on education empower you to take the steps you need to succeed, as well as adjustments for you to plan as needed.
Q: What’s your approach to treating hormone imbalances?
BL: The first appointment involves a thorough health history intake and comprehensive lab testing. Although the client’s chief complaint may be ‘hormone imbalance,’ it is not just about targeting the hormones, but rather looking at the whole system. For example, liver and GI health have a huge influence on hormonal health and it is important that these two areas are addressed when treating a hormone imbalance. Individualized treatment plans include lifestyle changes in addition to physician-grade nutraceutical supplements and/or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most important steps any of us can take for our health?
BL: Healthy stress management and reducing inflammation. These are the key principles to any health and wellness plan and there are lots of ways to achieve this. One of the easiest things to start with is simply making sure that you take 10 minutes out of your day to meditate, pray and/or get some fresh air. These quiet moments help to reduce cortisol, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and allow us to recharge.
Another easy thing you can do for yourself is to find out what foods you are sensitive to and cut them out of your diet. You are what you eat after all, and if you are consuming foods that trigger inflammation in your body, it will impede your ability to reach your health goals. There are many options to further reduce inflammation and manage stress. This can include working on gastrointestinal health and taking personalized nutritional supplements.
Q: If someone was interested in taking supplements for improving their health, what would you recommend?
BL: First, you want to make sure you chose a high-quality supplement. Look for the GMP certification that guarantees purity and potency. Without knowing the specific goals of a patient, my base line recommendation for everyday health includes a good multivitamin and mineral; Omega-3 fish oils (for vegans you can get an algae-based Omega-3); Vitamin D —yes, even in Southern California; probiotics; and adrenal support, this is usually a mix of nutrients and herbs that support day-to-day adrenal function in our busy, fast-paced world. At KOI Wellbeing, we have a wide array of options to choose from. You can stop by anytime to ask questions about our products and which one would be best for you.
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