When patients come to see me for the first time, they often tell me that they wish they had come sooner. So I always ask “why didn’t you?”. There are many reasons that people hesitate, some say they didn’t want me to tell them they couldn’t drink coffee anymore or eat cheese. Some people say they didn’t want to upset their family doctors. A lot of people say they weren’t ready to work on themselves for a change. But most just didn’t know what to expect from the visit.
Naturopathic medicine focusses on optimizing your body so that it can heal and that you can feel your best. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I will work with you to identify the underlying cause, or root cause, of your condition and determine what we need to do to restore “normal” physiology and functioning. We also work together to ensure that you are doing everything you can to prevent that condition from returning. Prevention is one of the principles of Naturopathic Medicine after all!
Your first visit will be lengthy, lasting between 60 and 90 minutes typically. During this time you can expect the following…
A lot of questions:
We will be diving deep into your complaint(s). I’ll be asking all about how the condition evolved, what it looked or felt like initially and what it looks and feels like now. We will look at your past medical history and your family history and how those can relate to your current state of health. We will talk about your current medication and supplement schedules, your diet, your sleep patterns, your digestion (bowel movements are going to come up!), your menstrual history, and more.
A physical exam:
Depending on your complaint and current condition we will do a physical exam that might be all encompassing or focus on a few systems of the body. We will look at your vital signs and discuss any recent changes or findings.
I ask new patients to bring a copy of their most recent blood work if possible, as we may be able to use this to give us clues as to what is going on or what we need to look at further. If you don’t have recent blood work, that is OK!
A treatment plan:
After we have a chance to go over the answers to your questions, your physical exam findings and your blood work we will come up with a treatment plan that is unique to you and something that you will be able to manage. This will likely encompass some mild dietary changes and nutritional supplement changes. We may add in some botanical support or hydrotherapy and lifestyle changes. It might seem a little overwhelming, so these things are introduced slowly as needed. We will also create a schedule for following up to give your body time to get used to these changes and to form some new habits.