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The Founding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

As Naturopathic Medicine becomes increasingly popular, (there are now over 400 licensed California-licensed natural medicine primary care doctors) many people have been wondering, "What exactly is Naturopathy?"

 This is the first of three parts on the six guiding principles of naturopathic medicine - founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence.  These principles are the foundation that all naturopathic doctors use to diagnose and treat patients. 

 The first principle that defines naturopathic medicine is to treat the cause, not merely the symptoms.  If we compare our bodies to our cars, we know that there are a whole host of warning lights that can indicate potential problems, such as the "check engine" or "low gas" lights. When these lights appear, do we disconnect the light so we don't see it or do we try to find and fix the problem? 

 Likewise, when we experience pain, headaches, low energy, mood disorders, etc. - these are our body's "warning lights" that something is wrong. We can ignore the problem and hope it goes away and risk serious complications, another option is to take pharmaceutical drugs to mask these symptoms. And yet another option is to heed the messages and begin to understand what the underlying issues are.

 Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are committed to helping their patients get answers to what might be causing their symptoms. Using depression as an example, is this very serious medical condition caused by an anti-depressant drug deficiency? Or, instead, could the problem be an imbalance of neurotransmitters and  a lack of important nutrients (vitamin D, B vitamins, etc) that the brain needs to function properly? 

  The second principle in naturopathic medicine is do no harm. Hippocrates' instruction to physicians clearly states that whatever intervention a doctor can make is only acceptable if it will do no further damage to the patient's health.  A good example of a naturopathic approach to healing a bacterial infection is, instead of killing all the body's bacteria with antibiotics (anti-life), to get rid of the "bad" bacteria, ND's would instead  strengthen the body's immune system. Antibiotics rearrange the body's microorganisms, leaving an individuals' immune system weakened, and ripe for a very serious yeast infection. Although there are situations that antibiotics might be necessary, NDs would prefer to try a more natural, non-toxic approach. 
 
 Another example of this principle is to not suppress symptoms, which are the body's efforts to self-heal.  The body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection, and as our body heats up, it creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the ND would not allow the fever to get dangerously high, but also would not turn to fever-reducers as a first step. 

 Stay tuned for the next four principles of Naturopathic Medicine, and in the meantime, please feel free to contact Dr. Godby, ND at DrGodby@SacND.com or Meghan at DietitianMeghan@SacND.com with comments or questions.
      


 


Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.




Placer County News Headlines

Rocklin Unified Violated Law with Employee RetaliationA recent ruling by Administrative Law Judge Robin W. Wesley has found that the Rocklin Unified School District broke the law by retaliating against four employees and violated Educational Employment Relations Act

Severe Drought Spurs Additional Water Saving MeasuresDrought Watch: As the lingering effects of a multi-year drought continue to cast their parched shadow on much of California, Placer County continues to take steps to reduce water use and eliminate water waste.

PCWA Limits Outdoor Watering to Two Days Per WeekDrought Watch: Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday (July 31) adopted new drought emergency regulations as mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board.

California Drought Brings Emergency RegulationsDrought Watch: An emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians is now in effect.

Placer United Soccer Claims San Diego Surf CupThe Placer United 97B Red soccer team claimed the San Diego Surf Cup with a 3-1 victory over Marin FC 97 Blue in the Menís U18 Super bracket

California State Parks: Sweeping Changes On The Way?The Parks Forward Commission, an independent panel of experts charged by the Legislature and Governor to review the future of the state's park system, issued its draft plan

Autism and Fragile X Participants sought for Memory StudyThe UC Davis MIND Institute is seeking participants for a study examining the benefits of a computer-based, game-oriented training program for enhancing working memory in children and adolescents with autism and fragile X syndrome.

Concerns Addressed Over Truckee River Rafting Trash With the commercial rafting operations on the Truckee River over for the year, Placer County is working with partners to provide cleanup of the trash and debris along the river.

Roseville Financial Advisor Sentenced for Ripping Off ClientsMichelle Lee Kern, 36, who worked as a licensed financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Roseville has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Roseville, Rocklin among California's Best Cities for Home OwnershipIn a recent Nerd Wallet report, Rocklin, Folsom, and Roseville, rank 11th through 13th (respectively) among California's Best Cities for Homeownership.

Hidden Falls Regional Park Receives GrantPlacer County's "gem of the foothills," Hidden Falls Regional Park, is the recipient of a grant that will fund innovative projects protecting long-term ecological values and economic viability

Roseville Developer Begins Senior Community in Elk GroveUSA Properties Fund will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Arbor Creek Senior Apartments at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 4, at the project site located at Elk Grove-Florin and Calvine roads


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