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Oct 7, 2016

Cost Effectiveness of Naturopathic Medicine

Most chronic disease are due to diet & lifestyle issues.  These include heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some cancers and diabetes.  Drugs do not treat chronic disease.  Diet & lifestyle changes get to the cause of the problem.
Each patient is treated individually because not all diseases are treated the same. You can see one doctor for allergies, gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, depression, menopause, infertility, skin issues, PCOS, pain etc.  Because it’s all related and there may be only one cause.  Instead of seeing many different specialists.  This saves time and money for the patients.
Drugs used to treat many of these diseases have become the 4th leading cause of death.  Once you’re on a drug your usually are on it for a life time.
Unnecessary tests are not ordered.  One third to one half of all lab test ordered are unnecessary almost doubling our health care costs.  
By getting to the cause of your health care problem you can eliminate drugs and prevent many of the top leading health care issues and live a longer life.  

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” Hippocrates. Proper nutrition is the foundation of a naturopathic practice, and food is utilized for both health promotion and disease prevention. NDs recommend diets individualized to each patient, though typically this means a balanced whole-foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, wild-caught fish and lean protein products. In order to maximize nutritional value and minimize environmental impact, foods are considered best in their natural state, obtained locally, and eaten seasonally. NDs recognize how difficult and complex dietary changes may be, and assist patients through these changes by providing very specific individualized recommendations, as well as educational materials and resources.
There is overwhelming evidence that unhealthy eating habits significantly increase the risks for morbidity and mortality. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that poor diet and physical inactivity caused 15.2% of all deaths in the U.S. in the year 2000, and may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death.  It has been estimated that better nutrition could reduce the costs of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by an estimated $71 billion each year. Obesity is also at an unprecedented high in the U.S. In 2009, the CDC reported that 66% of American adults, 17% of children ages 12-19, and 19% of children ages 6-11 years are overweight or obese.  The general dietary recommendations and follow-up strategies that NDs utilize with their patients could have a significant impact on both chronic disease and obesity. It has been well-established that diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with decreased risk for chronic disease. In addition, fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories thereby supporting healthy weight management. NDs may also prescribe special diets such as the elimination diet, anti-inflammatory diet, and hypoallergenic diet. These diets have a long history of traditional use in naturopathic practice.  In one such study, the elimination diet was found to ameliorate clinical signs of inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and augment the beneficial effect of fish oil supplementation.
According to a study by NIH patients are increasingly seeking out NDs for many reasons, including wanting a holistic approach that addresses the root of the problem, wanting more time and attention, having not been helped by conventional care, and having had a previous positive experience with an ND. The conditions patients see licensed NDs for are many of the same conditions that they see conventional physicians for NDs are trained in potential drug/herb interactions and can provide educational support to patients and physicians. Naturopathic care may also reduce the need for some prescriptive drugs, and collaboration between the prescribing physician and the ND will be critical in determining medication dosing. NDs can also offer nutritional support around surgery and other procedures in order to reduce recovery time and potential complications. (Prim Care. 2010 Mar; 37(1): 119–136.


Learn more about Naturopathic medicine at Dr. Wiancek’s web site at www.healthref.com. Dr. Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has a family practice at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Pharmacy for 18 years.  Dr. Deborah A. Wiancek is a graduate of Bastyr University, School of Naturopathic Medicine. She specializes in working with allergies, dermatology, gynecology, gastrointestinal, and pediatric health care. Dr. Wiancek is featured in the Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies and author of The Natural Healing Companion and created one of the first CD-ROMs in natural medicine called The Complete Natural Medicine Reference. She has been broadcasted by over 2,000 radio stations on various health topics. Dr. Wiancek has done various seminars including The Latest Research in Breast Cancer Prevention for the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Association. She has been featured in Women’s World, Ski Magazine, Energy Times, Prevention Magazine, Natural Health, United Hemispheres, and Cleansing Magazine. Website www.healthref,com , riverwalknaturalhealth.blogspot.com, twitter.com/riverwalkhealth.

She can be reached at 970-926-7606 or visit riverwalknaturalhealth.blogspot.com or follow twitter.com/Riverwalk.