Among the many misconceptions regarding naturopathic medicine is the slowly dwindling belief that NDs serve as an “alternative” to allopathic or “conventional” medicine. While it’s certainly true that some of the central tenets of naturopathy (ex. Treating the cause, while supporting the healing power of nature) appear somewhat incongruent with other treatment approaches, there are several fundamental aspects of medical practice that are common to MDs and NDs alike. Among them is the vital importance of a proper assessment and diagnosis, and the testing strategies needed.
While some NDs may emphasize traditional evaluations and assessment techniques (such as tongue & pulse diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine), at IHC they are not performed in lieu of standard modern testing. In fact, one of the great strengths of IHC is this combined perspective, which uses both traditional methods alongside modern medical testing. Some of these tests may include blood, stool and urine tests commonly recommended by MDs (such as complete blood counts, serum chemistry, urinalysis, etc). At IHC we also make use of more advanced and functional tests, which while less broadly used in the medical community, are nonetheless rooted in rigorous scientific scrutiny and evaluation. Such tests include:
- Genomic testing (to evaluate an individual’s specific nutritional/dietary requirements and deficits)
- Food sensitivity testing
- Comprehensive stool analysis
- Heavy metal testing
- Hormone metabolism and elimination (which may provide additional information beyond simply testing a specific hormone’s blood level)
- A variety of cancer-related tests, which may aid in the determination of a specific tumour’s aggressiveness, the likelihood of a pre-existing cancer’s metastasis or recurrence risk (through the detection of microscopic tumour cell fragments or DNA in the bloodstream)
As with the treatments that may follow them, the appropriateness of any test for a specific patient is dependent upon the individual, and should be part of the discussion with their naturopathic doctor. That said, the field of lab testing continues to expand both in its diversity and the potential impact it may bring to patients. To return to a key philosophy of naturopathic medicine, it only makes sense that before we can effectively treat the cause of an individual’s health concerns, we must first learn all that we can about not only their concern, but the patient as well.
To discuss the various testing options available at IHC, and which ones may be right for you, please contact IHC at (604) 888-8325, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naturopathic Doctor at the Integrated Health Clinic