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Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM

 

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Naturopathic Doctors and Diabetes Care


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Woman fatigued with DiabetesDiabetes is rapidly on the rise. Treatment of the condition is now widely recognized as a highly complex process, requiring careful management not only of medications in some cases but also of weight, nutrition, exercise, stress levels and, sometimes, unwitting addiction to carbohydrates.

Often, there is also the complication of related disorders like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and heart-damaging metabolic syndrome (syndrome x). 

However, many people with diabetes are sent to mutiple health professionals for treatment of different aspects of their condition. Sometimes, the resulting delays in appointments as well as a lack of co-ordination of the advice offered by these specialists can lead to confusing or conflicting care instructions for the patient.

These, in turn, may have potentially dangerous consequences for a person with diabetes. Examples can include dangerous blood glucose and insulin swings and inadequate improvements in LDL "bad" cholesterol levels.

But what if there were a "one-stop shop" for diabetes management - in other words, a licensed medical professional skilled in diagnosis, medication, nutrition and lifestyle management, as well as patient education, who also has adequate time to spend with a patient?

Some would say just such an "all-purpose" medical professional already exists, namely the naturopathic doctor, or ND. Given the current shortage of endocrinologists, diabetes educators and primary care physicians with specialist diabetes training, many argue that naturopathic doctors are a much-needed resource.  

NDs are an excellent match for the wide-ranging demands of efficient diabetes management, which can make all the difference to the health of a diabetes patient. 

Trained in four-year accredited postgraduate medical programs and certified under national board examinations, NDs spend the clinical years of their training in outpatient settings rather than in hospitals, focusing on primary care medicine and chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Their approach to medicine has a deep grounding in a set of philosophical tenets - primarily a profound trust in the body's ability to heal itself. 

Symptoms are viewed as signals that various stressors are overwhelming the body's innate self-healing design. So naturopathic treatment is oriented towards removing or better managing the causes of such imbalances and restoring the body's self-healing mechanisms using the safest effective means. 

Along the way, NDs aim to treat each patient as an individual and to educate the patient about a lifestyle approach which promotes his or her optimal health.  The aim is empower people to maintain themselves at a high level of overall wellness.

Natural healingTo effectively and safely apply such a wide range of therapies, naturopathic doctors are well-trained in potential interactions between medications and health-boosting natural vitamins and minerals, also known as nutraceuticals.

The great advantage of access to such a diverse collection of therapies is the ability of NDs to tailor treatment to each individual patient.  This feature of naturopathic care is often the key to successful outcomes for diabetes patients who have experience of failing to respond satisfactorily to conventional medical treatment.

 

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"I have been using the Insulite System for about 6 months. I have noticed that my eating habits seem to have transitioned very naturally.... no starvation or denial, I don't crave junk food or sweets anymore!! I have been able to lose about 20 pounds, slowly, safely, and permanently. This is a "for life" program..."
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  Jamestown, VA
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