Sunday 30 November 2014

Blood Tests and the Naturopathic Approach

In the conventional medicine paradigm laboratory test values are evaluated for abnormalities that are far out of the normal range. Most of the time, this is when disease has set in. This causes a reactive approach and you are prescribed medications with a number of undesirable side effects.

The naturopathic medicine paradigm, on the other hand, takes a different approach. While considering pathology, values that are considered “normal” but on the high or low end of normal are looked at. This information guides treatment protocols aimed at disease prevention. Lab tests also offer a baseline by which treatment outcome is measured 6 or 12 months later.

Consider serum Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 tests.

Interestingly, most of the population is moderately deficient in either or both. Even deficiencies considered within normal range are treated using the naturopathic framework of prevention. Lack of sunlight and vegetarian diets are some causal factors although we now know that the use of certain medications deplete us of essential vitamins. A vitamin D deficiency can have a negative impact on the immune system and bone health. A lack of adequate vitamin B12 can cause neurological symptoms and severe depression. Treating these deficiencies and even preventing their deficiency with simple blood work can be a step towards being healthier.

Know your values. 

What you have to gain (knowledge and preventive health plan) far outweighs the risks (time for a blood draw and cost).

About the author

Dr Jilla Kahrobaei, Naturopathic Doctor, is passionate about her work. She focuses on stress, fatigue, digestive issues and hormone health, and believes that one of the most important roles of a naturopath is to identify and resolve issues before they create health problems.

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