In todays society we should all have a health care team. When assembling your healthcare team interview each member to confirm that you can easily work together. You shouldn’t dread going to see your ND or MD. Here are 6 questions you should ask your ND.
1. Why did you choose to be a ND instead of a MD?
This is an excellent question to ask an ND as you’ll quickly get an overview of their past experiences and what motivated them to follow this path in life. I love getting asked this question as I enjoy sharing my story of my experiences working in the conventional hospital environment for years, then thinking naturopathic medicine was all crystals and magic wands and then actually delving into it and researching it for months. It was at that time that I realized I could practice evidenced based naturopathic medicine which was aligned with my morals and principles and choose not to use any treatments that did not have research or credibility.
2. If you prescribe me supplements how long will I need to take them?
You should never hear that you have to take something for the rest of your life. If you do, ask why and what is the research. Supplements are to be used for a period of time long enough to help you achieve your health goals. Once you are there you will have enhanced your nutrition and ideally will be receiving what you need from food and nature as opposed to having to swallow supplements. I find juicing and green smoothies a great way to avoid supplements as well as fermented vegetables.
3. Are you going to ask me to eat like a rabbit for the rest of my life?
I will never ask someone to eat like a rabbit, ever! First of all I would need to see research that eating like a rabbit is beneficial in the long term. Short term may help decrease inflammation, however over years nutritional deficiencies will begin to show and other problems will develop. Alternatively, nutritional prescriptions will be recommended based on evidence and research. This will mean a healthy volume of vegetables and fruit (notice the order here) but also a variety of proteins and grains. Foods that will be decreased will be refined sugar, trans fats, simple carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels and buns and baked goods.
4. How do you feel about bacon?
This is an extremely important question as you want to know that your ND is up to date on their research on saturated fats and fat consumption in general, and more importantly that your ND understands that life is a balancing act and that not only is their food for the body but also food for the mind. There is no such thing as an all or nothing approach. This doesn’t work long term and at most will only last 3 weeks. Research shows that will power can last for only so long and if you feel you are constantly saying no to things all the time, then eventually you will “fall off the wagon” and binge. Being able to say yes to foods once in a while is health, sustainable and leads to long term results.
5. can you order blood work?
Yes we can order blood work, however it will not be covered by your insurance or health plans. Routine blood work such as cholesterol, complete blood count and triglycerides are very reasonable. However if you require specialized testing such as a 24 hour urine steroid hormone test prices can quickly rise to 400 dollars.
6. If necessary will you communicate with my MD?
Without hesitation this answer should always be yes. No longer do w live in a system where you have one health care provider such as in the 1900’s when doctors did house calls and stayed for supper. Today each and every person should have their own individual health care team comprised of your ND, registered massage therapist, physiotherapist, medical doctor, acupuncturist and psychologist as a minimum. Each person should be interviewed to be sure that you are a good fit. Communication between all members of your team will be important so that you receive the best possible care.