Diagnostics and Assessments in Naturopathy
Naturopathic Doctors use conventional and naturopathic diagnostic tools for assessing health concerns and determining the most appropriate treatment program.
Thorough Health History
The initial intake with a Naturopathic Doctor is 1½ to 2 hours long. It includes a detailed assesment to find out about your family history, your lifestyle, the stresses in your life, past medical history, history of accidents or injuries and the significant events in your life that have affected your health or well being. Often Naturopathic Doctors will use questionnaires to ensure that they are aware of the factors that may be affecting your current health status.
Understanding your nutritional status, eating habits, patterns and the type of food that you eat on a regular basis is an important part of the Naturopathic assessment. Naturopathic Doctors will often take the time to assess the impact that diet is having on health and your body’s ability to handle the food that you are eating.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to do complete physical exams and use them as a standard part of an assessment. As your health changes or as acute situations arise, Naturopathic Doctors will use aspects of the physical examination to aid in diagnosis and assessment of your health concerns. Having a complete physical exam on a yearly basis is an essential part of preventative health care. Naturopathy is about taking the time to ensure that the “small” symptoms are identified and addressed before they become “big” problems.
Chinese Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine provides additional insight and information about an individual’s health status. Through tongue and pulse diagnosis, a Naturopathic Doctor is able to understand a person’s health status on many different levels.
Comprehensive Laboratory Testing
Naturopathic Doctors use Laboratory testing, including urine analysis, blood work and saliva testing to gather further information for a complete assessment . These tests are essential aspects of a complete medical assessment.
Previous Medical Reports and Diagnostic Testing
All medical reports, such as MRIs, X-rays or scans are valuable assets that a Naturopathic Doctor will use during their assessment of your health concerns. They will refer to another medical health professional when appropriate to ensure that all patients receive the best quality health care possible and that all required information is available in order to fully understand the root causes of a patient’s health concerns.
We thank the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors for this article.
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