Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor at Spark Health may not be your average doctor’s appointment. Naturopathic Doctors are trained similarly to Medical Doctors as they go through 4 years of medical school with similar coursework but the approach to patient care has a different perspective.
Naturopathic Medicine follows the following six principles in order to provide you with the best personalized medical care which include:
- The Healing Power of Nature. Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
- Identify and Treat the Causes. Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
- First Do No Harm. Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- Doctor as Teacher. Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
- Treat the Whole Person. View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
- Prevention. Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
When you book a new patient appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor at Spark Health is that you will be meeting with your doctor for about an hour long.
We want to be able to get to know you as a whole person so that we are treating you as a person and not just a symptom. Prior to our new patient appointments, we have our patients fill out a thorough new patient questionnaire.
This allows the doctor to get some background and get to know you before you walk through their door. When you arrive at Spark Health you will be checked in with our patient care coordinator, we check your vitals and then you get an entire hour to discuss your current health concerns and goals with your Naturopathic Doctor.
During the visit with the doctor, you will discuss your current symptoms, past medical history, family history, current diet, and lifestyle factors like how you are sleeping, stress management, and more. This is because all of these factors have a powerful influence on how you are feeling and your overall health.
Naturopathic medicine wants to identify and treat the cause rather than simply suppressing symptoms. During your initial appointment with the doctor is when you will decide the best ways to further gather information with lab testing. This may be with a blood draw, urine, saliva, breath, or stool collections. Many of the labs we use can be billed through your insurance but all of the office visits are cash price.
Your Naturopathic Doctor is able to create a superbill for you after your visit that may provide reimbursement from your insurance company, depending on the policy. At Spark, we perform all of our blood draws in office and also offer mobile phlebotomy services to accommodate you and your schedule.
Most other lab testing can be done in the comfort of your own home.
As Naturopathic Doctors, we are trained to look beyond the basics when it comes to lab testing. This allows us to provide the most personalized treatment plan that is right for you and your body at that time.
Depending on your current symptom picture and history, a Naturopathic Doctor will be able to guide you towards the proper lab testing. Too often we have patients that come in with a laundry list of supplements without knowing why or if they should be taking them.
We want you to supplement your body with what it needs which is why we like to tell our patients to test instead of guess. Something we see commonly is patients experiencing abdominal complaints and nearly everyone running to the store to get on a probiotic, but not all probiotics are created equal.
With a comprehensive stool analysis, we can get a better understand of your gut microbiome to see what is happening with the beneficial flora of your gut to see exactly which strain and dose of probiotic is best for your body.
Once all lab testing has been done your doctor will review all of your labs and go through everything discussed in that initial appointment to create your complete treatment plan.
Your Naturopathic Doctor will want to take everything into account while developing your plan. Your first lab review appointment will also be a bit different than visiting your conventional doctor.
We sit down for another hour long appointment to go through your lab results point by point so that you can understand what each value means. Your Naturopathic Doctor also will be looking at your labs through a different perspective.
Often times reference ranges for certain lab values are quite large and we want to look at them through a functional perspective. For example, vitamin D has a reference range typically around 30-100 but if a patient’s vitamin D level is only a 31 it may be in the normal range but not what is optimal for that patient.
Your treatment plan may include medications, supplements, dietary interventions, as well as lifestyle adjustment so that you can reach your health goals to feel your best. A common misconception is that Naturopathic Doctors are against using medication, which is not the case.
We will use medications and prescriptions when necessary but always aim to provide our patients with a treatment plan that is using interventions that are least invasive first.
At Spark, we want to educate our patients as much as possible because when you have the knowledge and understanding about your body your health with succeed even more.
For more information about naturopathic medicine or integrative medicine, please call Spark Health at (858) 228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com .
Spark Health is conveniently located so we can serve patients in San Diego, and all of North County such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals!
` The Spark Team