edgemontnaturopathic
Why Doctor Google isn’t a great doctor

Why Doctor Google isn’t a great doctor

Why Google isn’t a Great Doctor

We all know that if we turn to google to diagnose our health concern we’ll likely walk away thinking we have cancer. But there are far more reasons to see a health care provider in person.

 

The Healing Relationship

The doctor-patient relationship is special. It is centered on caring for the patient and on improving their welfare, in some ways mimicking a parent-child relationship, and vastly different from a typical business partnership. Both parties are present in the room for one reason, to improve the patient’s welfare. We all need someone in our corner, someone to cheer us on when we feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Further, having a chance to talk about our concerns and our health can give us a chance to reflect. It also provides a chance to ask questions and learn more about our bodies and health, empowering us. 

 

Diagnosis is an Art

Naturopathic doctors spend a lot of time learning to gather information by listening to the patient and performing physical exams. Knowing what questions to ask, or what exam to perform can make the difference between an accurate, or a missed diagnosis. Experience also plays an important part in making a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will have likely seen your condition before. 

 

Find the Root

A key part of naturopathic medicine is trying to find what caused the health concern. For example, let’s say you have acne. Is acne caused by hormonal imbalances, digestive issues or nutritional deficiencies? Determining the underlying cause dictates what treatments are recommended. A more personalized treatment plan that takes into account your mind, body, and spirit will often lead to faster healing. 

 

Safety

At graduations, naturopathic doctors and medical doctors swear oaths to primum non nocere (first do no harm) and to care for their patients. But there are also legal obligations. Regulatory colleges are created in partnership with provincial governments. These colleges have a legal obligation to protect the public. In BC we have the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia. They administer exams to prospective naturopathic doctors (NDs), investigate complaints against NDs and determine if a naturopathic doctor is eligible to see patients.

When you’re seeing a regulated healthcare provider in Canada you can trust that they have been well trained. They will give not only the advice that will benefit you most, but also ensure that it is safe or will make you aware of possible risks so you can make an educated decision. When reading on the internet, not only can you not be sure if the advice is effective, is it safe? 

 

It’s Not All Bad

The computer is an amazing invention that has forever changed our world. It has helped to bring healthcare to rural communities through telemedicine, is helping to revolutionize medical imaging and has lead to strives in medical research. It allows healthcare providers to better communicate and work together as a healthcare team, patients to research and better understand their health, and allows like-minded, or similarly afflicted individuals to connect, share information and support each other. Even in this time of great advancement, there is immense value in sitting down with someone who cares to discuss your health. It’s why family doctors and nurses are so valued in our society. So next time Doctor Google diagnoses you with cancer, your body just feels ‘off’ or you just want a regular check-up to stay on top of your health, consider going to visit a local health care provider. We’re always in your corner here at Edgemont Naturopathic.

Immune system support

Immune system support

Cold and flu season is here!

Here are three foods to support your immune system with winter:

 

Tulsi tea

Tulsi, is also known as Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum. This tasty herb has gentle anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal potential through its ability to support the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant and can help support the body in times of mental and physical stress. It helps to prevent cellular damage from environmental pollutants and prolonged physical exertion. This healing plant has a long history of use in the ayurvedic traditions of India.

Pumpkin seeds 

These seeds offer a dietary source of zinc as well as protein, magnesium and other trace minerals. Zinc is essential for proper immune system function as nearly all immune system cells depend on it. Zinc deficiency leads to inflammation and decreases in B, T17 and Treg cells.

Brassica family

The brassica family of plants includes many familiar faces: cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes, and cauliflower. What might surprise you is that in addition to containing various compounds that support liver function, they are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C rapidly decreases in the body during stress or infection. Adequate levels of vitamin C support many immune cells, such as natural killer cells and lymphocytes. 

 

References:

Beveridge S, Wintergerst E, Maggini S, Hornig D. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2008;67(OCE1):85-94. doi:10.1017/s0029665108006927

Cohen M. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(4):251. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554

Domínguez-Perles R, Mena P, García-Viguera C, Moreno D. Brassica foods as a dietary source of vitamin C: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(8):1076-91. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.626873.

GLEW R, GLEW R, CHUANG L et al. Amino Acid, Mineral and Fatty Acid Content of Pumpkin Seeds (Cucurbita spp) and Cyperus esculentus Nuts in the Republic of Niger. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2006;61(2):49-54. doi:10.1007/s11130-006-0010-z

Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(12):1286. doi:10.3390/nu9121286

Our Most Common Tests

Our Most Common Tests

To help identify the cause of your symptoms, our naturopathic doctors can order a wide range of tests. These can include blood tests through lifelabs, or functional testing through a wide variety of labs. Lab tests are always recommended based on your individual health history. Keep reading to learn about the three tests our naturopathic doctors recommend most often:

 

IgG Food Sensitivity Testing

 

How is the test performed?

An easy in-office blood test.

Why is it tested?

Food sensitivity testing may be recommended if you experience chronic digestive complaints such as bloating, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea. Other symptoms of food sensitivities include weight gain, water retention, headaches and skin concerns such as eczema or acne. 

What is tested?

This test looks at the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to 94 of the most commonly eaten foods. Eating these foods can increase IgG levels. IgG can bind the food, creating an antigen-antibody complex that is deposited in tissues. This can increase inflammation and cause a wide variety of symptoms. It is important to note that food sensitivities are distinct from food allergies, which are caused by immunoglobulin E (IgE). 

Link to the lab’s website:
https://www.meridianvalleylab.com/services/e-95-basic-food-panel/

 

Post Menopause Hormone Panel

 

How is the test performed?

This is an at-home saliva test. Only 1 sample is required.

Why is it tested?

Hormonal imbalances can be the cause of hot flashes, sleep disruption, fertility challenges, fatigue, irregular cycles, mood changes, acne, weight changes, low libido, and migraines.

What is tested?

Estrogen
Estrogen is important for the maintenance of healthy bones and vaginal tissues. Low levels of estrogen may cause depression, low libido, fatigue and hot flashes. This test looks at three unique forms of estrogen; estrone, estradiol and estriol. Elevated levels of estradiol and estrone in postmenopausal women may be linked to an increase in breast cancer risk. 

Progesterone
In the menopausal period progesterone plays an important role in calming the nervous system. For many women, sufficient progesterone is the key to a good night’s sleep. 

Testosterone
Often viewed as ‘the man’s hormone’ testosterone has a role to play for women as well. Too much can cause facial hair growth, acne, and libido changes. Too little and women may struggle to gain muscle or experience fatigue, low libido, weight gain, and insomnia. 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
This test looks at two forms of DHEA. These are DHEA and the form bound to a sulphur molecule, DHEA-S. In postmenopausal women, 100% of estrogen is made from DHEA. As a result, testing DHEA can provide a fuller picture of her hormonal health. In addition, healthy DHEA levels may play a role in preventing depression, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.

Link to the lab’s website:
https://www.diagnostechs.com/our-tests/female-hormones/

 

Thyroid Panel

 

How is the test performed?

This test is a simple blood draw done in our clinic. 

Why is it tested?

Many men and women in British Columbia have thyroid concerns. These vary from autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease to a mildly underactive thyroid, often linked to long term stress. 

Decreased thyroid function is seen most commonly in British Columbia. This may present as weight gain, fatigue, recurrent miscarriages, dry skin, constipation, always feeling cold, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, thin hair, depression or a swollen thyroid gland. 

What is tested?

TSH
This hormone is the signal sent from your brain to your thyroid gland to promote the formation of thyroid hormone. 

Free T4
This hormone is produced by the thyroid gland in response to TSH stimulation. It’s less active than T3.

Free T3
T3 is made from T4. This occurs mostly in the liver, thyroid, and kidneys. 

Thyroid peroxidase antibody, TSH receptor antibody, Thyroglobulin antibody
One or all of these tests may be included to test for autoimmune thyroid conditions.

Link to the lab’s website:
Lifelabs.com

 

References:

Coe C. Food Sensitivities – Are you eating the right foods for YOUR body? | Marine Drive Naturopathic Clinic. Marine Drive Naturopathic Clinic. http://marinedrivenaturopathic.com/2019/07/food-sensitivities-are-you-eating-the-right-foods-for-your-body/. Published 2019. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Dehydroepiandrosterone | You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology. Yourhormones.info. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/dehydroepiandrosterone/. Published 2019. Accessed October 19, 2019.

Female Hormones – DiagnosTechs, Inc. DiagnosTechs, Inc. https://www.diagnostechs.com/our-tests/female-hormones/. Published 2019. Accessed October 19, 2019.

Samavat H, Kurzer M. Estrogen metabolism and breast cancer. Cancer Lett. 2015;356(2):231-243. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.04.018

Thyroid Antibodies. Labtestsonline.org. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/thyroid-antibodies. Published 2019. Accessed October 20, 2019.

You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology. Yourhormones.info. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oestriol/. Published 2019. Accessed October 18, 2019.