124 Lomas Santa Fe Drive Suite 206, Solana Beach, CA 92075

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Spark Health's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions section. We’ve compiled answers to some of the common questions our new patients often ask us.

If you have additional questions, please contact our office at:

CALL: (858) 228-4188

EMAIL: Spark@MySparkHealth.com

Thank You,

The Spark Team

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession. It emphasizes prevention, treatment and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage an individual’s inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine uses both modern and traditional methods, as well as scientific and empirical.

The following principles are the foundation of Naturopathic Medical practice:

The Healing Power of Nature:

Naturopathic medicine recognizes the inherent healing process in people that is self-ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, facilitating and augmenting this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Causes:

The naturopathic physician seeks to remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

Doctor as Teacher:

Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They recognize and encourage the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person:

Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social factors. Since total health includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development as well.


Prevention:

Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease. This allows them to make the appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

NATUROPATHIC PRACTICE

Naturopathic practice includes the following diagnostic and therapeutic modalities: clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, naturopathic physical medicine (including naturopathic manipulative therapy), public health measures, hygiene, counseling, minor surgery, homeopathy, acupuncture, prescription medication, intravenous and injection therapy, and naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth).


What conditions can Naturopathic medicine treat?

There is a wide range of conditions that Naturopathic Doctors treat, either alone or in combination with other complementary medical treatments. These include:

  • Acute conditions such as headaches, sore throats, ear infections, intestinal upsets, colds and flu, etc.
  • Chronic illnesses such as migraines, musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal, gynecological, arthritis, heart disease, etc.
  • Inherent tendencies before they become a serious illness or degenerative disease.
  • Mental and emotional problems to reduce the effects of recent stresses and long-term patterns of anger, depression, or anxiety.
  • Physical injury and trauma, including possible referral to appropriate specialists.

When can I expect results?

Truly great results come from positive behavior changes and will require persistence to maintain these changes long enough for the body to respond.

The Naturopathic physician stimulates and support the patient’s own system to address the imbalances that are damaging their health. Often, long-term underlying disturbances such as nutritional deficiencies or excesses, rather than the presenting health problem, must be corrected to allow the body to reassert into its natural state of optimal health. Our elders called these “Impediments to Cure.”

What is the difference between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine?

Both Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine are systems of medicine that started in Europe about 200 years ago, and have spread world-wide as effective and gentle healing modalities treating almost every medical condition. The main difference between the two is the type of medicines used: Homeopathy (Homeopathic Medicine) uses solely homeopathic remedies, while naturopathy (Naturopathic Medicine) uses a variety of medicines, including homeopathy, but also botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling.

What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?

Naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine are both valuable systems excelling at different aspects of patient care. Conventional medicine (Medical Doctor) is crucial in most emergency situations. Naturopathic medicine (Naturopathic Doctor) is the best approach to prevention, as it involves a wellness-oriented diet, lifestyle changes and supplements that support the body. Naturopathic medicine is often the best first step in dealing with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis or eczema, because these conditions improve when diet, lifestyle and nutrient deficiencies are addressed. Additionally, naturopathic medicine is a great choice for non-emergency acute illnesses, such as colds and flus, because naturopathic medicine modalities effectively support the body’s immune system.

For most diseases, Medical Doctors (conventional medicine) treats symptoms alone, usually with drugs or surgery. While sometimes necessary, this can lead to long-term management with an improvement in symptoms at the cost of side effects, which often require more drugs. Naturopathic Doctors (Naturopathic medicine), on the other hand, attempt to treat the root cause of the health issue so that the body can ultimately heal itself. The results can be measured as a reduction or elimination of drugs, improved vitality and/or a complete reversal of disease.

Naturopathic medicine does not abandon the conventional medical model. Many aspects of the conventional approach to medicine are not only beneficial but essential for the practice of naturopathic medicine. For example, naturopathic doctors are trained in conventional medical sciences and routinely order conventional labs and scans alongside alternative medicine tests (like nutrient blood tests and food sensitivity panels) to help establish appropriate diagnosis of disease conditions and monitor treatment progress. Naturopathic doctors are also trained in pharmacology, and if necessary, can write a prescription for pharmaceutical medications. NDs also refer out to medical specialists for further work-up or when there is a need for acute care stabilization in a health crisis.

A Naturopathic Doctor is unique in certain respects:

The relationship between a naturopathic doctor and his or her patient is a partnership. This means that naturopathic doctors spend a significant amount of time with their patients. They listen closely to gain a full understanding of all aspects of a patient’s health problem. They then explain both the disease process and the treatment approach so the patient understands why each treatment recommendation is important, empowering them to be an active participant in incorporating the changes leading to improved health.
Naturopathic Doctors strive to find and treat the root cause of the disease by treating the whole person, and choosing treatments that are not harmful and engage the body’s own self-healing abilities.
Naturopathic Doctors work with a large toolkit of evidence-based, safe and effective natural therapies: herbs, vitamins and minerals, homeopathic remedies, bioidentical hormones, nutritional IVs and other natural therapies – to restore health.

Naturopathic doctors can serve as your primary care doctor, or in conjunction with your medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor. A naturopathic doctor can be of help and offer expertise, whether you are seeking insight about your general wellness or you are already chronically ill. Talk to a naturopathic doctor to find out how naturopathic medicine treatments can help you.

What is IV nutrient therapy?

IV Nutrient Therapy (IVNT) is the process of giving concentrated levels of vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, botanicals, and amino acids directly into the bloodstream through an IV.

Why do I need IV therapy?

To provide essential vitamins our body is deficient in. To also provide minerals, anti-oxidants, amino acids, and electrolytes directly into our bloodstream. All are needed for optimal body function and healing.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, and conductor of the immune system. It is produced naturally in the body, however poor diet, pollution, medications, toxins, stress, and aging can deplete your glutathione. Glutathione is your bodies most abundant antioxidant. All full size IVs at Spark Health receive a complimentary glutathione push.

Does it hurt?
Because of our nurses’ expertise and the technique we use at Spark Health, there is only a tiny pinprick sensation when receiving an IV. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no pain, our patients report that the discomfort level is a 2.

Where do I have my IV vitamin therapy?

Our IV lounge is relaxing and comfortable, complete with sound proof walls and glass to help our patients disconnect and relax. In addition to our reclining chairs our patients can also enjoy an iPad to listen to meditation music, watch TED Talks or catch up on reading.

How long does an IV nutrient therapy appointment take?

Spark Health’s full size IV bags can take approximately 45-60 minutes for your body to absorb the nutrients. Everyone patient absorption time is different.

For our patients that need a faster solution, we offer our Fast Bag® IVs which are a quick drip time of just 15-20 minutes.

How many treatments of IV vitamin therapy will I need?

Every patient is different. It all depends on your particular condition and your individual response to treatment. Our Naturopathic Doctors will help determine this for you. Our doctors use specialty lab tests to help determine what exactly your body is deficient in which also helps determine the frequency of the IVs and helps determine which IV will be the best fit for your body’s needs.

Why is it better to receive an injection vs. taking an oral supplement?

The stomach acids that aid in the natural digestion of food will break down the oral supplement in your stomach, and only allow the body to absorb a small amount of the actual vitamins. Vitamin injections (IMs) and IVs provide a direct method of supplying the body with nutrients. Vitamin injections also provide the patient with a 100% absorption of the nutrients which allow the patient’s body to utilize more of the desired nutrients and aid in the overall performance and function of their body.

How long does a vitamin injection last in the body?

Vitamin injections are eliminated through the urine, typically between 24 and 72 hours depending on how active a person is and the amount of fluids they take in. Due to the rapid rate with which the body processes vitamins, frequent supplementation is needed to address deficiencies and gain maximum benefits. We recommend an injection once per week to prevent illness or fatigue, but it can be done daily if needed.

How often can I get a vitamin shot?

Most patients typically get a vitamin shot once per week. If you are feeling tired or ill you will benefit from getting more than one injection per week.

Does it hurt?

Vitamin shots are relatively painless. Some feel a little pinch, and most do not feel the needle at all. Because of our nurses’ expertise and the technique, we use at Spark Health, our patients report that they didn’t feel anything and that it was virtually painless.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects are generally non-existent or very mild. This could include slight discomfort, bruising, redness, or inflammation at the injection site. Allergic reaction is extremely rare. However, if you experience swelling to the throat, low blood pressure, a body rash, or symptoms associated with anaphylaxis visit your nearest urgent care facility.

Is it safe during pregnancy?

Please consult with your physician before getting a B12 shot or any other vitamin injection.

Where is the shot administered?

The most common locations are administered in your buttock / glute muscle.


FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING / FOOD ALLERGY TESTING

What is a food allergy?

Food allergies and food sensitivities are abnormal responses to a food component triggered by the immune system in the form of immunoglobulins (IgE, IgG, IgA, IgM), representing either an immediate or delayed reaction.

How do I know if I need a food allergy test?

We recommend that people do this test to gain greater awareness and insight as to what effects their body and health. Often people are allergic to things that they had no idea they were allergic to. Just because you don’t have strong physical symptoms does not mean your body is not producing some type of inflammation due to a slight or moderate allergy. Most of Spark Health’s patients say this is one of the most insightful and eye-opening test they have ever done.

How is the food sensitivity testing done?

We perform a complete IgG blood test then send it to the lab. From there we are able to check if you are allergic to 93 different foods.

What do the results show?

Test results show what foods not to eat together and each level of reactivity from slight, moderate and severe.

How long do the results take?

Receiving the test results back from the lab my vary, but often it can take about 3 weeks to get the full results back.

What treatment can you receive for food allergies?

Based on your symptoms and test results, our team of Spark doctor will create a personalized health plan that may include a customized dietary, supplements, and IV nutrient therapy.

How do you know if you need an allergy test?

Ultimately the best way is to talk it over with one of our doctors so they can help you determine if this is what’s best for you. Often our patients report that they were experiencing a wide array of symptoms such as brain fog, feeling sluggish, lack of energy, bloating, inflammation, sinus congestion, itchy skin, or headache.

HORMONE TESTING


What causes hormones to be off?

Hormone levels can be altered by disruptions in our sleep and wake cycles, stress hormones, dietary and nutritional deficiencies, environmental factors along with several other factors. The Spark doctors will help get to the route of this with you.

How can a hormone test help you?

It canidentify specific hormone imbalances before symptoms or disease appear, thereby promoting preventive health practices.
It canidentify specific hormone imbalances associated with symptoms, allowing the patient to understand why she or he is experiencing those symptoms, and establish a proper treatment protocol.
A hormone test can monitor hormone levelswhile the patient is receiving treatment, allowing for individualized hormone dosing for ideal results.

What is insulin resistance and how do you test for it?

Insulin resistance is a condition that occurs when the insulin receptor becomes resistant to its hormone insulin. In order for hormones to work properly, there must first be an adequate amount of the hormone and then, the receptor must also function properly. Insulin resistance is a pre-diabetic condition and a general laboratory workup should include a fasting glucose, fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Additional testing may include a glucose and/or insulin tolerance test.

What treatment can you receive for hormone imbalances?

We offer personalized treatment plans including nutrition, supplements, botanical medicine, multi-nutrient IV therapy, and natural bioidentical hormones.

What is adrenal dysfunction and how is it treated?

Adrenal dysfunction is a condition where the adrenal glands lose their ability to respond to stress and is usually caused by an accumulation of chronic stress over time. The best way to assess adrenal function and evaluate adrenal fatigue is to look at cortisol levels. Not only does saliva’s ease of collection facilitate this, but the cortisol levels present in saliva are only the bioavailable fraction of the hormone. These two factors make salivary cortisol the gold standard for assessing adrenal function and diagnosing adrenal dysfunction.

How can we assist you in nutrition?

Our doctors will evaluate your biochemistry, genetics, blood type, possible food allergy testing and other variables before creating a personalized nutritional plan for you.

Will you get nutrition and recipe support?

Yes, our doctors will provide counseling based on your health history, lab tests, and what foods to include or avoid. Spark Health will provide recipes and meal ideas in your personalized health plan.

How can Spark Health assist you in weight loss?

Our doctors will evaluate your overall health. This can include hormone imbalances, digestive problems, food intolerances, and emotional factors. Our doctors will work with your to create a customized program that will support you get getting healthy.


What treatments help you with weight loss?

In addition to our personalized health plans that we create for our patients Spark Health offers several other treatments that support weight loss, such as our Body Sculpt and Detox vitamin injections, and our Body Sculpt Plus and Cellular Detox IV therapy.

What support will you receive?

Our Naturopathic doctors will empower you to lose weight in a healthy and safe way. From diets, exercise, lifestyle counseling, supplements, and vitamin injections, Spark Health has you covered in all areas. Our doctors are committed to sticking with you through the whole process and providing support during the journey.

Why do you need to do a detox or cleanse?

Our bodies accumulate many toxins from food, chemicals, air, and other environmental factors. It is important to remove these toxin, and improve how our organs detoxification and elimination function.

What results will you see?

People can receive results like increased energy, healthy immune function, clearer skin, improved digestion, weight loss, and reduced stress. The Spark Personalized Detox helps support your body in detoxing and cleansing toxins in a natural healthy way.


What is the length of a detox?

There are any different lengths of detox’s and cleanse’ s depending on what your doctor recommends for your body. Spark Health offers 7,14, or 21 day detox cleanses.

At Spark Health we also have a more advanced tier of dietary programs for patients who have Sibo and Candida.

Expected outcomes of your treatment?

  • Decrease or elimination of pain
  • Decrease or eliminate stiffness in joints
  • Improves ability to function in your activities of daily living
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Increase in joint stability
  • Regenerate damaged, lax, torn ligaments and tendons.

Treatment Timeline?

Treatments are individualized to the patient, depending on the extent of injury/pain, athletic status and overall health. Typically 4-6 treatments are required with prolotherapy for optimal pain resolution and return to normal function. Visits are usually spaced between 1-3 weeks apart for Dextrose Prolotherapy, and 4-6 weeks apart for PRP Prolotherapy.


Is the pain relief permanent?

Many people, some of whom have been in pain for over 20+ years have obtained relief from Prolotherapy.

I have been in pain for years; can this treatment work for me?

Many people, some of whom have been in pain for over 20+ years have obtained relief from Prolotherapy.

Experiencing pain? Do you have an injury that just won’t fully heal? Tired of taking pain medications that only treats the symptoms?

It may be because your ligaments and tendons surrounding your joints are weak, damaged, or over-stretched (lax) contributing to a whole host of problems like osteoarthritis, muscle spasms, weakness, reduced range of motion and pain to name a few.

Our experienced Spark doctors can answer all your questions about Prolotherapy and see if this treatment is right for you.

DEXTROSE PROLOTHERAPY

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a cutting edge regenerative injection treatment used to repair injured ligaments, tendons and joints for people suffering from pain, joint instability and osteoarthritis. Ligaments and tendons generally have a poor blood supply; consequently, incomplete healing is common after an injury. Coupled with frequent use of NSAIDs, ice, and cortisone, it is easy to see why chronic pain is so common. Prolotherapy is considered a powerful alternative to surgery, and is a healthier option to pain medications and anti-inflammatory injections such as cortisone and other steroidal injections. This revolutionary treatment is a minimally invasive and affordable option that allows you to return to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.

How does the process work?

Dextrose Prolotherapy involves injecting dextrose with an anesthetic into a damaged area; usually a ligament, tendon, or joint. This solution causes a local, mild irritation that initiates an inflammatory response and “turns on” the body’s powerful healing process. This procedure stimulates the growth of new ligament, tendon, and cartilage in the damaged area. The ligaments and tendons produced after prolotherapy appear much the same as normal tissues, except that they are thicker and stronger, due to the new and ongoing creation of tissue. This new stronger healthier tissue provides you a more stable joint and a correction from past pain and discomfort.

PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP)

What is Platelet Rich Plasma / PRP?

A recent addition to regenerative injection therapy is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which has gained in popularity due to its successful use with professional athletes. PRP involves the injection of your blood’s platelets into the damaged area.

How do your platelets aid in healing?

Platelets play a central role in blood clotting and wound healing. Tissue repair begins with clot formation and platelet degranulation, which releases the growth factors necessary for wound repair. Platelet-derived growth factors are biologically active substances that enhance tissue repair mechanisms. After platelets are activated at a wound site, proteins are released that directly and indirectly influence virtually all aspects of the wound healing process. Platelet concentration is directly involved in the healing of injuries.


What does Platelet Rich Plasma do?

PRP involves the application of concentrated platelets, which release a maximum quantity of growth factors to stimulate recovery in non-healing injuries. PRP causes a mass influx of growth factors, and these powerful growth factors naturally accelerate the regeneration of injured tissues. PRP enhances tissue healing and supports the remodeling of tissues, creating a stronger, healthier area.

What happens during a treatment?

The preparation for a PRP treatment involves collecting your own blood through a simple blood draw that is done during your visit. Next, we use a centrifuge to spin down your blood to separate out the platelet rich plasma (PRP). Then, we harvest the PRP and deliver precise injections of it into the injured areas. In other words, a PRP treatment is done just like any other prolotherapy treatment, except the solution used for injection is plasma enriched with growth factors from your own blood. PRP is typically used when the injury is more severe, or there is osteoarthritis present inside the joint.

PRP FACIAL

What is a PRP Micro Needling Facial™?

A leading-edge, age management facial using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and an automated micro-needling pen, the Eclipse MicroPen™

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma is blood plasma enriched with platelets. PRP triggers the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in healthier and younger looking refreshed skin.


What is Skin Micro-Needling?

Skin Micro-Needling is a leading edge procedure in medicine for treating the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, dark spots, and improvements of the skin’s overall appearance. This procedure consists of tiny needles being used in order to produce your own natural collagen and elastin to grow and regenerate tissue.

What are the benefits?

Enhances collagen production and new tissue growth. A reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in younger-looking skin with fewer signs of aging. The Eclipse MicroPen™ also has effective results on hyper-pigmentation, hypo-pigmentation, acne scars, traumatic scars, dark spots, stretch marks and creates a healthier appearance and glow to the skin.

How is the procedure done?

Our Spark Health doctors will draw an amount of blood from your arm and place this in the centrifuge to isolate the PRP. After numbing gel is applied to the treatment area, your Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) will then be applied topically. A sterile tip containing 12 tiny micro-needles is attached to the Eclipse MicroPen™. In a single motion, the pen will be gently pressed against the skin while simultaneously gliding in one direction until the entire treatment area has been covered.


What does it feel like?

The feeling is very similar to light sandpaper being moved across the skin.

What is the recovery time?

Immediately after the treatment you will notice a slight redness to the skin, similar to a mild sunburn. The total healing time depends on the patience and the condition of the skin. On average, patients are slightly red up to 2 to 4 days. Some patients can heal in as little as 24 hours.

When will I see results?

Patients notice an immediate “glow” to their skin. Visible changes to the skin develop over the course of several days and weeks. Results continue to improve over months as collagen production continues.

How many treatments will I need?

Most patients will need 1-3 treatments spaced 6-8 weeks apart. For extensive or advanced signs of aging, 6-8 sessions may be needed, spaced a month apart.

Tune up PRP Micro Needling Facials™ are recommended 1 time a year.

What is Naturopathic Oncology?

Naturopathic doctors (ND) support patients with cancer to use natural therapies safely and seek to maximally support overall health, fight disease processes, and prevent or reduce side effects of standard cancer treatment regimens for patients who utilize them. NDs may recommend specific supplements or nutritional programs in an individualized treatment approach.

Naturopathic doctors who specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments employed by medical, radiation and surgical oncologists and how best to work in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment. They often help patients maintain their oncology treatment regimens and provide vital support for reducing side effects of those treatments. Naturopathic doctors are well aware of the multitude of ‘alternative therapies’ promoted to cure cancer and work to educate patients on evidence based treatment modalities.

What is FABNO?

The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians initiated a credentialing process for naturopathic doctors in 2006. A separate and independent board, the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO) was established to oversee the process and work with the Board of Medical Examiners to develop standards for credentialing, including training requirements, application process and board certification exams.

How can Naturopathic Oncology benefit patients?

  1. Prevent and minimize the risk of side effects from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Some common side effects addressed during treatment are hot flashes, insomnia, taste changes, mouth sores, fatigue, diarrhea and constipation, nausea, anxiety and depression, and neuropathy.
  2. Screen for any potential interactions between conventional cancer therapies and natural products that may affect the efficacy of treatment.
  3. Resolve lingering side effects from conventional treatment such as neuropathy, hot flashes, cardiovascular and bone health, and sexual dysfunction.
  4. Support the natural cancer-fighting ability of the immune system to help prevent recurrences and/or other types of cancer.
Functional Lab Testing

Advanced Naturopathic Medicine Inc. DBA Spark Health Naturopathic Medicine.