Naturopathic medicine offers many alternative treatment options for women dealing with fertility issues. Conventional medicine alone cannot adequately treat fertility issues such as hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, stresses, and other lifestyle factors, which all impact on your ability to conceive. For example, regular ovulation can be affected by your weight, sleep patterns, caffeine consumption, or history of birth control pill use, among other factors. Treatment at our clinic may include optimization of your nutritional intake, hormone balancing using herbal medicine and specialized vitamin supplements, a stress reduction program, and acupuncture therapy. These therapies can be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional fertility treatment, such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), and IUI (intrauterine insemination).
Pre & Post Natal Care
During pregnancy, Naturopathic medicine can offer support to conditions such as morning sickness, fatigue, high blood pressure, digestive upset, heartburn, constipation, and later on to help prepare for labor, or even turn your baby before birth. Women often prefer a more natural approach to their health issues at this time, in order to avoid or limit the use of potentially harmful medications. After your baby is born, you may want help to improve your energy levels, help with breastfeeding difficulties, or support for postpartum blues. This is an important time for rebuilding your health and energy reserves, and a Naturopathic doctor can offer advice to bring you back into strong, vibrant health.
Many women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) resulting from hormonal imbalance, and often, poor nutrition. Symptoms such as anger, depression, anxiety, breast tenderness, bloating, pain, and fatigue can make each month challenging at best. The most effective treatment begins with dietary changes such as quitting coffee, eating more organic foods and other recommendations to help with estrogen metabolism. PMS also responds extremely well to acupuncture and Chinese herbs. This is a condition that is largely preventable with Naturopathic medicine and a healthy lifestyle!
So many women experience menstrual cramps, and they can often be debilitating. They can stem from hormonal imbalance or a uterus that is out of optimal position. Menstrual difficulties can be helped by natural means, while conventional medicine offers only birth control pills and pain killers. A hormonal imbalance can often be corrected with dietary changes, improved nutrition, acupuncture, or herbal supplements. The results may take longer, but they are lasting and promote better overall health.
Endometriosis is a condition that often responds very well to Naturopathic medicine. Dietary changes are usually most important in reducing monthly pain. Other ways of addressing endometriosis include liver support, reducing "estrogen dominance," correcting hormonal imbalances, treating anxiety, eating more organic foods, and regular exercise. By reducing abnormal estrogen stimulation, symptoms are often greatly reduced without surgery.
There are many different types of hormonal imbalances: estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency, thyroid problems, adrenal fatigue, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, to name a few. With a close examination of your symptoms, menstrual history, laboratory results, and physical examination, a treatment plan will be worked out to address your case. Treatment usually begins on the nutritional level, and later on will include herbal support, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and possibly bio-identical hormones to restore balance to your hormonal system. The goal of Naturopathic treatment for hormone imbalance is always to support your body in producing and rebalancing hormone levels, rather than artificially providing additional hormones in the form of birth control pills, progestins or other synthetic hormones.
Menopause and Perimenopause
Menopause and perimenopause are certainly some of the greatest health care challenges facing women today. With the recent controversy surrounding the adverse effects of hormone replacement therapy, many women today are seeking safer alternatives to ease the menopause transition. Symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression can all be minimized. Treatments may include dietary and nutritional programs, homeopathic remedies, herbal and vitamin supplements, acupuncture and bio-identical hormone replacement. It is also important at this time to deal with any risk factors for osteoporosis, breast cancer (and other cancers), and heart disease, which we will thoroughly discuss with you.
Prevention of breast cancer - If your family has been affected by breast cancer, there are many things that you can do to reduce your risk. These include dietary changes such as eating more organic foods, increasing your intake of foods like broccoli, cabbage, onions and garlic, and also reducing your body's toxic load with regular detoxification programs. There are also many other aspects involved including your mental/emotional health, hormonal balance, and environmental exposures to toxins that can be explored. An individual treatment plan will be formed to address your particular areas of risk, along with the use of salivary hormone testing to check for hormone levels.
Treatment of breast cancer - This is generally done in conjunction with conventional cancer treatment programs. Naturopathic medicine can address your nutritional state, hormonal balance, reducing toxic exposures, and emotional health, among other things.
Anxiety and Depression
These are two conditions that are commonly treated with pharmaceuticals that have very difficult side-effects. The goal of Naturopathic medicine is to treat the cause, not the symptoms. Anxiety or depression could be related to hormonal imbalance, prolonged stress, thyroid dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, intestinal health, history of eating disorders, or an acute emotional issue. Treatment is then two-fold: first locating and addressing the underlying cause, then immediate treatment of the anxiety or depression by natural means (Targeted Amino Acid Therapy, herbs, vitamins, improved nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc).
Fatigue is probably the most commonly seen complaint in any Naturopathic clinic. Fatigue includes feeling run down, not waking up feeling rested, and having too little energy to keep up with your usual fast-paced life. As typically done in Naturopathic medicine, we first need to find the cause of your low energy. Fatigue can be caused by low thyroid function, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, intestinal yeast overgrowth, poor nutrition, food sensitivities, iron deficiency, deficiency of other vitamins such as vitamin B12, insomnia, and chronic stress, to name a few. Once we have determined what is causing the fatigue, we can find the right treatment so that your energy is restored.
Naturopathic medicine can help with a whole range of digestive disorders such as IBS(irritable bowel syndrome), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, chronic bloating, gas, ulcers, acid reflux, and gastritis. The approach to each is unique to the individual, although the goal is always to find the root or cause of the condition and treat it there. For example, with constipation, it is unlikely that you will simply be prescribed a laxative supplement to ease this symptom. Instead, we will address your diet, fiber intake, water consumption, lifestyle factors, and possible thyroid dysfunction.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is very common among women and can be treated effectively with natural medicine. There is most often an emotional component of this condition related to anxiety which also must be addressed by learning how to prevent stressful situations from manifesting so strongly in the body. We would therefore closely examine and treat the anxiety associated with IBS, and also look at any possible causes of the intestinal irritation such as food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, or intestinal dysbiosis, or yeast overgrowth.
There are several aspects that we address in a Naturopathic approach to weight management: detoxification, education, dietary recommendations, exercise guidelines, and goals and attitudes. In any weight loss program, we also need to address any possible underlying causes of excess weight, for example, thyroid imbalance, adrenal fatigue, or insulin resistance. A Naturopathic weight loss program is a long-term lifestyle change rather than a diet. Weight loss occurs naturally and easily when the body's metabolism is functioning well and you are fueled appropriately.
Revitalize your body with a detoxification program! Detoxification reduces your body's burden of toxins that have accumulated through poor diet, pesticides in foods, polluted air, and water, caffeine, nicotine or alcohol use. You will notice a great change in your energy as your body begins to work more efficiently again. This program focuses on the liver as it is the main organ to deal with our toxins, but also supports the skin, kidneys, colon, and lungs, since they also help us detoxify. This is a great way to jump-start your new healthy lifestyle.
Thyroid conditions are seen more and more frequently lately and can have profound effects on mood, weight, and general well-being. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Wilson's thyroid syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Grave's disease—all of these conditions can be helped naturally, some with natural medicines alone, and others in conjunction with pharmaceutical medications. It is important to first diagnose the type of thyroid disorder so that it can be treated appropriately. For example, Wilson's thyroid syndrome and Hashimoto's thyroiditis are both hypothyroid conditions, but since they stem from very different roots, the treatments would differ too. In Wilson's thyroid syndrome, a condition often related to adrenal fatigue and prolonged stress, the adrenal system must be treated in conjunction with the thyroid. With Hashimoto's thyroiditis, on the other hand, we must look at the body from an autoimmune perspective, where the cause may be related to your gastrointestinal health. Thyroid conditions are also common after childbirth in the postpartum period, and may be related to postpartum depression or 'baby blues'. Thyroid activity also commonly changes at menopause and can be responsible for many unpleasant symptoms such as weight gain and depression.
Chronic Yeast Infections
Women commonly come to the clinic with chronic, annoying yeast infections that just won't clear up with conventional treatment. There are certain things that do make you more susceptible to yeast infections such as prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics or the birth control pill, but regardless of the cause, there is an effective treatment. Usually, when yeast infections keep coming back, there is also an intestinal yeast problem too. Treating intestinal yeast overgrowth has three components: first to eliminate foods that feed the yeast (sugar, simple carbohydrates, fermented and yeasted foods); second, to use natural substances to kill off the yeast; and third, to help reestablish a normal intestinal flora with the use of probiotics such as acidophilus.
Women these days are living extremely stressful lives as they try to balance home life, working, relationships and children, leaving little time for self-care. Chronic stress can manifest in many ways. For example, some people have difficulty sleeping, others are chronically fatigued, and others have anxiety or depression. In these cases, the body needs herbal or nutritional support, time to relax, good nutrition and a readiness to heal. Afterward, it is essential to find ways to maintain balance in our busy lives—whether it be a regular yoga class, time every day for a walk, or learning breathing exercises to help maintain a calm state under stressful circumstances.
Sleeping difficulties can be treated naturally, once we investigate the cause of the condition. Sleep can be affected by dietary choices, stress levels, anxiety, toxicities, thyroid imbalances, worrying, and menopausal changes, among other things. A treatment plan is designed to work on the causes of your insomnia and may include a combination of homeopathic remedies, nutrition, acupuncture, Targeted Amino Acid Therapy, calming herbs, teas, and dietary changes. An in-depth look into your hormonal function also may be completed.
Eczema and Other Skin Conditions
Eczema is a very common skin condition that often begins in childhood and can continue to affect people through adulthood. Eczema is considered an allergic condition. The causes of childhood eczema are often related to gastrointestinal health, and possible food sensitivities, or environmental/chemical sensitivities. When this continues as an adult, there can be triggers like stress and poor nutrition, on top of the gastrointestinal problem. Treatment addresses all of these aspects as a way of curing the underlying cause of the condition so that your skin will be clear.
Frequent Colds and Flus
If your immune function is low, you may be getting too many colds and flu each year. There are many herbs and supplements that can help to rebuild your immune system so that you are healthier each year. It is also important to look closely at sleep, stress, home environment, nutrition, and water intake, as all of these factors can significantly depress immune function. Although it is normal to get a cold once or twice a year, if you are suffering more often, there is a lot we can do to support a healthy immune system.
Naturopathic medicine can help you kick the habit. There is a 10-week program available that provides both physical and mental/emotional support during the process of stopping smoking. The program includes a full naturopathic checkup, an individualized treatment plan, and eight acupuncture sessions. Herbal, nutritional or homeopathic supplements may be recommended to assist you in this process. We will address both the physical withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and the mental and emotional challenges associated with this lifestyle change.
Restorative therapy is a treatment for people who are in a weakened state after surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, hospital stays, or chronic illness. Here we address nutritional needs to strengthen the whole body, visualizations and stress reduction techniques for the mental/emotional impact of your illness, and other therapies to rebuild your system as part of recovery. Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy can also be very helpful.