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Understanding Your Supplement Needs

Understanding Your Supplement Needs

Supplements 101

When might a supplement be right for you? 

Supplements can help provide an addition to the nutrients you already get in your diet or lower your risk of health problems. Many times, supplements aren’t found in natural food sources and are made artificially. Supplements can include vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, herbs and others. 

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Here are some facts to know

Does a natural approach to wellness appeal to you? If so, you may want to consider seeing a naturopathic provider for your routine health care.

Naturopathic medicine blends modern science with traditional and natural forms of medicine, according to the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. This type of medicine is practiced by different types of providers, including naturopathic physicians.

What do naturopathic doctors do?

These doctors offer primary and, in some cases, specialty care. They help keep people well, and they treat patients when they are ill.

Many things set naturopathic doctors apart from other types of doctors. One is their main focus on natural therapies (such as herbal supplements, massage and spinal manipulation) and lifestyle changes (such as eating a healthy diet and exercising) that help promote a person's self-healing process.

Naturopathic doctors also help empower patients to take charge of their own health. They are trained to treat the whole person and the underlying causes of disease—not just the symptoms. For this reason, if you see a naturopathic doctor, he or she will likely spend a good deal of time talking with you about many factors that may affect your health, such as your environment, your emotional well-being and your family health history.

What conditions do they treat?

You may choose to see a naturopathic doctor for many of the same medical conditions you might see other types of physicians. That may include allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, digestive problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, infections and skin problems.

While naturopathic doctors focus on less invasive and natural therapies that are considered the least toxic, they also perform minor surgeries and prescribe medicines when needed. In some hospitals, they work together with conventional doctors to provide care.

What is their training?

Naturopathic doctors complete four years of medical school at a naturopathic college. As part of their education, they intern in a clinical setting with licensed doctors. In many states, naturopathic doctors must also pass board exams to be licensed.

Additional source: Institute for Natural Medicine