Why I Recommend Supplements in Practice
There are natural health practitioners out there who in my opinion, recommend way too many supplements.
For myself however, I always try my best with every single patient to minimize things and keep them at a place that YOU’RE able to manage.
Sometimes it’s hard because you might come in with iron deficiency, low B12 levels, digestive upset and hormonal issues (or more!), and unfortunately there aren’t always supplements that have the wide ranging combinations that mean we’re able to treat everything in one daily dose.
What we can do if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your supplements, is work on things in terms of priority. We might start out with boosting your energy levels and optimizing sleep, and leave sorting out your PMS for another visit.
We have a ton of options, and I’m always happy to meet you wherever you’re at.
Band-aids are Helpful Band-aids…
A quick fix is always nice, however as a Naturopathic Doctor, I always want to make sure we’re treating the root cause of your health concern and NOT just treating symptoms and masking the real underlying issue.
This unfortunately means that full resolution may be a little ways away, but there are often things we can do in the mean time to help symptomatically so you aren’t suffering while we’re working on the root cause.
Giving us More Options
There aren’t always great medications available for each condition and sometimes your medical doctor or specialist may struggle to find something that works really well for you. As a Naturopathic Doctor, we have access to so many different modalities and supplements…everything from vitamins and minerals, to botanical medicines and acupuncture (with many more not listed!). This means that we’re really able to tailor treatment and hopefully find an option that will work really well for you (including options that don’t require swallowing pills for some!).
Getting you Better, Faster
There are absolutely some conditions that we can treat with dietary and lifestyles changes alone, but sometimes we require additional help to really get you feeling better. Supplements can also help things get better, faster whereas relying solely on lifestyle interventions can sometimes take a whole lot longer. I want you feeling back to your normal self as quick as we can manage!
Hard to Manage with Lifestyle Alone
There are some conditions that are absolutely challenging to manage with just using diet and lifestyle. If you come in with really low iron levels from x, y or z, eating spinach, steak and high iron foods all day is likely not going to cut it and will take forever. It’s the same as above, we want you feeling great as quick as we can and supplements can provide that support.
The Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal with you is to get you feeling better, treat the root cause of the issue, and wean you off of those daily supplements we may have started. There are often few reasons why we may need to keep you on a supplement long term, and my goal is never to have you on something for the rest of your life if we can manage it.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are a few exceptions to this rule.
- Chronic Medical Conditions: If you have a chronic medical condition that needs continuous support, we may be on supplements long term and might not have an option to do a quick burst and support your body, then have diet and lifestyle take over.
- Vitamin D and fish oil: are two supplements that I believe most patients can be on long term. Most of us aren’t getting enough sunlight even during the summer because we’re indoors so much, and obviously the wintertime is a struggle. Fish oil is good for memory, mood, skin, digestion, inflammation, etc and it can be a challenge to get enough fish in your weekly diet without overdoing it on pollutants in the fish itself.
- Non-optimal Lifestyle: I have some patients (maybe you included!) who aren’t able (or aren’t ready) to change what’s going on in their life to get things moving in the right direction. This may be working in a super stressful and overwhelming job, or feeling like you’re not in a place where you can avoid your food sensitivities yet. We may need to provide more band-aid support while we’re helping to support you so that we can actually deal with the larger issues…and this is okay, we just have to be fully aware of what’s going on!
Like any tool, when used properly, supplements can provide us great options to get you feeling back to your best self as quick as we can.