We quit going to the pediatric endocrinologist who diagnosed Gabriel with type one diabetes soon after he called us one day to tell us, and I quote… “Something is wrong. Your son is getting better.” He did not seem to have an interest in finding out what we were doing that might have helped produce these results. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are endocrinologists to be found who take an interest in an integrative approach to care, but we were not fortunate enough to find one during our search for solutions.
After the “something is wrong” incident, we searched for several months and finally found a wonderful naturopathic doctor (ND) to follow our two boys. If you can find one that sees type 1 diabetic patients, I recommend you interview them to see if they would be a good fit for your overall care.
We have two NDs; one who no longer takes any new patients (too busy), and another who is an expert in diabetes, nutrition and gastroenterology. She even teaches endocrinologists how to dose for insulin when it is needed. Her name is Dr. Mona Morstein. Her info is on the resource page of our web site in case anybody needs a good doctor.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary care physicians clinically trained in natural therapeutics and whose philosophy is derived in part from a Hippocratic teaching more than 2000 years old: Vis mediatrix naturae – Nature is the healer of all diseases.
Their practice is based on the same basic bio-medical science foundation that allopathic practice is; however, their philosophies and approaches differ considerably from their conventional counterparts. Naturopathic doctors diagnose disease and treat patients by using natural modalities such as physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, counseling, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy, among others. They choose treatment based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
The six principles that guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of Naturopathic medicine include:
First Do No Harm – primum non nocere – Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective.
Our experience is they put their money where their mouth is on this principle by how they practice medicine.
The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae – The human body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
Allopathic doctors will agree with this principle, but we find that naturopathic doctors develop treatment plans that are actually more in line with facilitating the body’s inherent ability to restore health.
Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect – tolle causam – Physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
This is a big departure from standard allopathic care in our opinion. Treating symptoms is important, but treating the cause is more important, so far as it can be done. This area has not been explored sufficiently in standard care medicine.
Treat the Whole Person – tolle totum – The multiple factors in health and disease are considered while treating the whole person. Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet individual health care needs.
We have found this to be an important principle in the treatment of our boys over the last few years. One doctor – one appointment – one treatment plan. We know this is not always possible for everybody, but a naturopath may come the closest to providing this for you.
The Physician is a Teacher – docere – The physician’s major role is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own health. Creating a healthy, cooperative relationship with the patient has a strong therapeutic value.
Now this is where there becomes a huge departure from standard allopathic care. It is usually difficult to spend more time than the allotted 15 minutes, especially if you are going to ask questions about nutrition’s impact on your disease. Our experience with naturopathis doctors has been nothing but positive in their willingness to sit and answer all of our MANY questions.
Prevention is the best “cure” – praevenire – Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Physicians assess patient risk factors and heredity susceptibility and intervene appropriately to reduce risk and prevent illness. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through education and a lifestyle that supports health.
Prevention: What a novel concept! While allopathic medicine is coming around slowly to the idea of preventative medicine, naturopaths are well ahead in this area.
I know this post sounds like a shameless plug for NDs, but this is a health tip worthy of a little more ink. Of course there are good NDs and not so good ones, just like there are good allopathic doctors and not so good ones. We think it would be good for you to consider looking for one of the good naturopathic physicians in your area. Look for those with expertise in the area of diabetes, and particularly type 1 diabetes if that is your diagnosis.