Wednesday, January 5, 2011

:: new feature - ask a naturopath with Dr. Natalie Sweett ::

If your New Year's resolution included anything about improving your health you are going to really love our newest weekly feature here at Mon Petit Amour. Calgary Naturopath, Dr. Natalie Sweett, will be answering your questions on the blog every week! We have had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Sweett a few times and she is a wonderful doctor who definitely lives up to her name. For our first week, I'll allow her to introduce herself and the field of Naturopathy. 

When I tell people that I am a Naturopathic Doctor, the statement is often received with a quizzical look and response “What is that?” So if you are one of those who have no idea what I do, you are not alone.

Naturopathic medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to optimizing health and treating illness. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the body to heal itself by identifying and treating the root cause of a particular condition. It is based on the understanding that the human body is a complex mechanism held in a delicate balance through natural processes such as metabolism, optimal cellular function, efficient organ function, etc… Symptoms of illness signal that our balance is disturbed. My job as a naturopathic doctor is to help you restore this balance using natural therapies.

Every patient is unique and thus each treatment protocol is approached differently. My goal as a naturopathic doctor is to guide my patients in making sustainable lifestyle changes through education in health and wellness and a variety of natural means. I have a special focus in my practice for fertility, expectant moms and children. I love seeing little ones, they are so vital and their bodies adapt so well to the changes we make. It is incredibly important to start off on a healthy journey at a young age, in order to prevent the conditions and illnesses that come with age and neglect in regard to your health. It makes things a little more difficult when people turn to me as the last resort for their health conditions but that does not mean that we are unable to turn things around.

Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary health care providers. Our education includes an undergraduate degree followed by 4 years of education and training at an accredited institution for naturopathic medicine. There are only two in Canada, one in Toronto and the other in Vancouver. I attended the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. After our schooling we are required to take and pass the NPLEX and board exams in order to become licensed physicians.

Conditions that are treated using naturopathic medicine:
  • Childhood conditions – colic, diaper rash, alternatives to vaccinations, colds and flus, ear infections, eczema, allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome and Fibromyalgia
  • Cardiovascular conditions – high blood pressure, high cholesterol
  • Digestive problems – bloating, gas, constipation, heartburn, sluggish digestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin condition – acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, rashes
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Sinusitis, colds and flus
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Women’s health – menopause, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Hyper and Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes and hypo/hyperglycemia
  • Weight management
  • Osteoporosis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Men’s health issues – prostate health and erectile dysfunction
  • And much more!

I hope that this short post clears up some of the confusion surrounding what we, as Naturopathic Doctors, do. Please send your questions here. There will be one or two questions answered per week on the blog.

Thanks Dr. Sweett! I look forward to learning more from you in the weeks to come!

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