Note: I am in no way trying to disrespect Doctors who work in family practice, I appreciate the work they do and believe there are good doctors.
I saw a naturopathic doctor for the first time a few days ago. I booked the appointment in hopes that she would be able to help me live a life with less anxiety, pain and exhaustion. I had no expectations though. My experience with doctors in general hasn’t been the most pleasant. Although my family doctor has good intentions, she rarely asks what I want in terms of treatment. She’s quick to prescribe and is incredibly busy. Appointments have never lasted more than 20 minutes (that’s if I’m really lucky).
But seeing the naturopathic doctor was as different from traditional medicine as can be. I approached the office (which is a hut outside in the middle of nowhere), and was greeted by a Doctor who genuinely seemed happy to see me. We spent 1.5 hours together. She asked me questions regarding my diet, lifestyle, mental health, sleep, relationships and everything in between. She really tried to get a full picture.
She also took the time to explain every single suggestion she made. She helped me come to realizations about my health and wellness and gave me tips and tricks to combat my concerns. She also reaffirmed my decision to work half time (and volunteer and pick up shifts) instead of working at a place that I didn’t feel fulfilled me.
She is 100% positive that my mental illness stems from both life experiences/trauma AND a hormone imbalance. She informed me that almost all of my cortisol (Primary Stress Hormone) is constantly being used to manage my anxiety Vs. manage my hormones. This would explain why in the most stressful years of my life I went months on end without a period. I have never had a doctor even consider the idea that a hormonal imbalance may be exacerbating my mental health issues.
After the appointment, she sent me her notes, and a list of recommended supplements as well as a full diet plan to help improve my mental health and energy levels. She also offered me the Nutraceuticals at her cost (she literally made no money off of it). She didn’t try to push anything on me, just informed me of the benefits of each recommendation.
Here’s the diet and lifestyle changes I am going to work on changing:
- More protein. Meat is very important in the treatment/management of depression & anxiety. She recommended I get at least 60g of protein per day (before seeing her I was getting maybe 30g).
- More root, energy and rainbow vegetables: She stressed the importance of having all 3 of these vegetables at lunch & dinner.
- Eat protein and fat with EVERY meal
- Drink 8 cups of water per day minimum
- Add flax seeds to 1 meal per day to help with hormone balance
She also prescribed these nutraceuticals:
- B6: helps with neurotransmitter synthesis
- Omega D3: helps with immune function, hormone production and mood balance
- Magnesium: helps with stress, anxiety, sleep, hormone production and ovarian function.
Luckily my insurance covers 80% of Naturopathic appointments. I would highly recommend, if it’s affordable, to visit a naturopath. I’m not going off my anti-depressants, I’m just taking her recommendations and pairing them with my anti-depressants in hopes that I may be able to eventually go on a lower dose.
I’m feeling hopeful. Have to stay brave and trust the process.