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I have always gone to an allopathic doctor (an MD). Ever since I was little I remember going to the doctors and waiting in the smelly office for my appointment. I know I saw the same doctor, but he was definitely a stranger to me. I don’t remember him asking me questions or really talking with me at all; I remember peeing in a cup and then having to drink prescribed pink Pepto Bismal  medicine.

More recently I became a “customer” of Kaiser Permanente to try and figure out a 2 year old health problem. A few months after, I made a switch to become a patient of a naturopath in town. If you have never had the experience of going to both I would suggest you see for yourself which you prefer. Below is my experience with using both.

First I Went to Kaiser Permanente:

1st Appointment: The appointment was about 20 minutes. During the time he briefly had me talk about anything major that has happened in my health history (aka Depression? Illnesses in the family? What medicines are you taking?)

  • The paper work consisted of filling out a 2 page health history form.
  • There was a physical done where he checked my stomach, kidneys, checked my heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • He then requested that I have some blood work done.

2nd Appointment: During this time he asked me all the same questions from 1st appointment. He asked for me to get a few more tests and asked if I had a few symptoms. This was about a 20 minute appointment followed by more blood work.

  • I received a red flag on some blood work he requested and shortly after he gave me a diagnosis through an e-mail that I had  inflammatory bowel disease.

3rd Appointment: He asked me a few of the same questions from 1st appointment. Asked me if I had any cramping, stomach problems etc. After I said “umm…I don’t know,” he seemed confident that I did not have the e-mail diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease. His conclusion of the 3rd appointment was (paraphrased) “I see that you have some sort of inflammation in your body, although it is not easy to find out where the inflammation is. If you have any more symptoms or your issues become worse we can do more tests. ”

That is where we left off the last appointment.

Next I Tried Salem Natural Medicine:

1st Appointment: Scheduled as a required 2 hour appointment (she went over 30 minutes talking and asking me questions).

  • What was the paper work? It was about 15 pages of questions regarding health history and current health status, diet diary, lifestyle etc.
  • The physical done was the most I have ever been checked up on: she felt around on my stomach, hit my knees with a stick, checked my heart rate, blood pressure, checked my eyes, my ears, my throat, noticed a swollen lymph node (that was there when I went to see the allopathic doctor), checked my nails, hands  and skin.
  • She asked for the previous blood work as well as new tests.  She asked me to write down a second diet diary for our next appointment.

2nd Appointment: This was an 1 1/2 hour appointment where she asked me multiple questions and went over blood work. She had many questions to ask about my symptoms and health history. She said there are a few things  that my health issues could be and we could work to figure it out. She had a couple ideas of what my issues could stem from and she suggested I first go on a Elimination Diet to check for allergies. The medical testing done for allergies can sometimes come out with a false negative and are very expensive, therefore simply eliminating the foods and reentering them after a period can be more effective.

  • My naturopath has suggested cheap and effective methods to try to figure out what is going on with  my health. I am currently in the process of the 3 week Elimination Diet.

What I have discovered from my experience is that allopathic doctors (MDs) are good for getting medicine and tests ordered because of their status as an MD doctor.

Naturopathic doctors, on the other hand, are good at seeing your body as something to take care of and to heal from the inside out, without the use of band aide substances. Modern medicine can only take us so far, underneath all the quick fix MD doctors and medications there is ultimately an ailment that the body needs to heal. Naturopaths  see the beauty that a body can actually heal itself with the right tools and information.

While we have not found out what my health issues are yet, (I am currently on an Elimination Diet) I have been encouraged by a naturopath who actually looks at my diet, symptoms and test results to put the puzzle pieces together to try and figure out how I can achieve better health.

What is your experience with doctors (allopathic or naturopathic)?


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