Our philosophy and treatment
Naturopathic physicians are trained to treat the whole person and not just their symptoms. We have been taught to consider all levels of their health; body, mind and spirit.
To do no harm is another tenet of our philosophy; utilizing natural remedies which speed healing without causing harm to the body. ND's have learned to look beyond symptoms into the deeper levels of a patients illness.
For example, a patient experiencing chronic head pain visits their allopathic physician (MD); they will usually receive a medication such as imitrex to eliminate their head pain/migraine.If they visit a naturopathic physician; we would look at the reasons for their recurrent headaches . Common causes for headaches/migraines are food allergies(gluten intolerance), hormone imbalance(especially in women), and iron deficiency. Bloodwork and food allergy tests would probably be performed. Once addressed, the patients headaches are now gone and the need for medications eliminated.
Another example highlighting naturopathic philosophy/treatment is with patients complaining of fatigue. Fatigue is a very common complaint for most physicians to hear about on a daily basis.The MD (allopathic) model is to run a blood test which looks at an iron and TSH level. If these are ok, the patient is told that nothing is wrong; if their fatigue appears to recur they might offer an antidepressant to their patient.
The ND(naturopathic) model would be to ask several questions uncovering reasons for their fatigue;such as poor sleep, heavy cycles in women, chronic pain, stress(which can lead to adrenal dysfunction), poor nutrition and last,but not least, subclinical hypothyroidism. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an extremely common disorder found only by those specifically trained to look for it;most naturopathic physicians and antiaging medicine doctors understand how to detect its presence. It may not show up in bloodwork, hence the term subclinical. The TSH is only a screen and not the only lab value adressed. Free T3 and Free T4 and Reverse T3 are all to be considered, as well as asking patients whether or not they experience the following symptoms: dry skin, dry hair or loss, mental lethergy, poor libido, tendency towards constipation, feeling cold often(especially their extremities), and difficulty losing weight. This is by far the most prevalent imbalance I see in my office; it is probably seen iin upwards of 90% of all of my patients and is much more common in women. Another name for this is thyroid conversion disorder; it causes so many symptoms in people; by correcting it , several of their issues they came in with are adressed and their fatigue is now replaced by clarity and energy!
Naturopathic physicians are taught at a postgraduate medical school which specializes in Naturopathic medicine/One such school is Bastyr.
A student desiring to be admitted must first earn their Bachelor of Science in Biology and take testing for admission. Once accepted, then the next 4-6 years of an extremely rigorous academic schedule begins.
ND's need not only study the basics of physiology and pathology but indeed are required to take hundreds of hours in clinical nutrition and biochemistry which help us understand the patients nutritional issues.This is what sets us apart from MD"s; while their program is teaching them how to use pharmacology(drugs) to treat theirt patient's illness; an ND is learning which lifestyle factors and nutritional/hormone imbalance is causing the underlying disease. Once the proper diagnosis is discovered, an ND will treat the underlying issues around the disease and not only their symptoms.We are able to prescribe : Therapeutic nutrition, herbal medicine, natural hormone/bioidentical hormones, homeopathic remedies, specific vitamins, and much more. Depending on the state;we can prescribe medications if needed.
Dr.Lucinda Messer graduated from Bastyr University in 1994. Her practice has evolved from family medicine and childrens health into antiaging medicine and natural cancer therapies, more recently.
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Common health issues treated by Dr. Lucinda
- Candida/Yeast Overgrowth
- Sleep Issues
- Weight Gain
- Thyroid Imbalance
- Poor Libido
- Skin Disorders
- Poor Concentration/Focus
- Food Allergies/Intolerances
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Mild Depression
- Heavy Metal Removal
- Chronic Viral Conditions and Cancer Patients.