Your First Visit to a Naturopathic Doctor

What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Naturopathic Doctor

Alena Maxwell
By Alena Maxwell
contributor

February 16, 2022


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  • Your first visit to a Naturopath Collingwood sets the essential patient-doctor foundation needed to improve your health and wellness. This first visit is as important to you as it is to your doctor. From your perspective, the first visit gives you a feel of what the naturopathic doctor offers, how they respond to questions, and how they may be able to help. From the doctor’s perspective, they’re trying to learn as much as possible about your condition and how they can help you to achieve the desired goals. As you prepare for an initial consultation meeting with your naturopathic doctor, below are some of the things to expect.

    Length of Appointment 

    Your first visit to your naturopathic doctor is unlike other visits. Your doctor will want to learn as much as possible about you, your symptoms and medical condition, medical history, and all other information that can shape the type of treatment offered to you. Surely, you will also have a couple of questions about treatment and treatment modalities, approaches to patient care, and more. All of these can easily take up time, thus extending your initial visit to between 60 and 90 minutes. The more your naturopathic doctor knows about you and your health during this visit, the better. With in-depth knowledge about your health and preferences, they can design a holistic treatment plan to address your health concerns.

    Discussion of Desired Outcomes 

    During your first visit, you’ll have a chance to discuss your health goals and desired treatment outcomes with your doctor. Whether your goal is to be able to better manage a condition or cure it completely, your doctor will discuss the possibilities and how those goals can be achieved. Properly communicating your health goals will also help in setting both short and long-term treatment plans.

    Discussion of Health History 

    Your health history is an important part of your treatment. Doctors understand the relationship between past and future treatments to prevent health complications and promote wellness. Your Naturopathic doctor may ask questions about past medical procedures, symptoms, and treatments. They will also ask about your current health state, food and lifestyle choices, and any habits that may affect specific treatments. You will also be required to disclose specific medications you’re taking. The information gathered about your health history will help your Naturopathic doctor shape the treatment recommendations they offer. For example, a patient with a history of allergic reaction to certain ingredients will be prescribed alternatives to safeguard their health and prevent allergy triggers.

    Also Read: Pediatrician or Doctor: Who is Right for Your Child?

    Question about Nutrition and Diet 

    Naturopathic doctors believe you are what you eat, so an inquiry into your food and diet is important. Your doctor will ask as many questions as possible about the type of food you eat, your lifestyle and diet preferences, supplements, and how certain food makes you feel. The knowledge of how you react to certain food items can give your Naturopathic doctor an idea of how your Gastrointestinal tracts respond to those food items or ingredients. They can also use the information to develop a better meal plan that improves your overall health and wellness while reducing complications arising from certain ingredients.

    Physical Examination and Tests

    Your first visit to your naturopathic doctor is incomplete without a comprehensive physical assessment. Your naturopathic doctor will want to record all of the vital information about your health state at the time of the initial consultation. The information forms a part of your health records and can be used as a benchmark to measure the success of treatments offered. You may also be required to submit to relevant tests for diagnostic and health record purposes. You can expect the conventional diagnostic approach and principles involving blood work and laboratory tests during assessments and tests. Some of the areas examined include the eyes, abdomen, blood pressure, reflexes, and more.

    Recommendations and Treatment Plan 

    The end goal of your visit to a naturopathic doctor is to get help with whatever conditions you have presented. While some situations may require you to set another appointment for your doctor to carefully review your test results, many other appointments proceed to treatment recommendations. Your naturopathic doctor, at the end of the day, may offer recommendations in the following areas;

    • Food type and diet
    • Lifestyle changes or improvements
    • Supplement recommendation
    • Medication prescription 
    • Exercise recommendations
    • Stress management plan 

    Conclusion

    Your first visit to a naturopathic doctor will set the standard for subsequent visits. It is recommended that you book an appointment as fast as possible to improve your overall health and wellness.

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