Frequently Asked Questions
- Are you tired of going to the doctor and being offered only a prescription drug?
Prescription drugs most often address the symptom, but not the originating cause of illness. If you are having a symptom, it is a sign that something is wrong with your body. The general stance of a naturopathic physician is that there is an answer to most health complaints through natural means.
In many cases, even when prescription medications claim to address the originating cause, the aberrant physiological process is not reversed rendering the cure ineffective or incomplete. Naturopathic medicine restores lost physiology and is thus the method for restoring wellness. It does this through multiple options, including but not limited to: diet, lifestyle, nutrition, botanical (or herbal medicine), homeopathy and hydrotherapy. All of these complementary and alternative treatment methods aim to correct the true causes of illness. If you are ready for more choices when it comes to your health, then natural remedies are right for you.
- Do you have side effects?
Individuals taking prescription medications often seek alternatives or natural home remedies because they experience intolerable side effects. Dr. Erin’s perspective on side effects is that they are, in general, a signal of a disruption in some normal bodily process caused by the medication.
Since naturopathic medicines seek to restore normal function, side effects are extremely uncommon. Since botanical medicines (herbs or phytotherapy) do hold the possibility for a pharmacological effect in the body, side effects are possible, but are much less common than with drug therapy. One of Dr. Erin’s favorite terms is actually “side benefits”, since she finds that most people who seek her comprehensive care find that many other symptoms (aside from their chief problem) actually improve.
- Have you been given multiple prescriptions, with even some medicine’s side effects leading to a new drug to manage those side effects?
Side effects are typically an expression of how the drug in use disrupts the normal physiological function of the body. To resolve a side effect with an additional drug is a surefire way to disrupt the physiology even further, making a true remission, or complete cure, even less likely. When we stop to think about it, does it make much sense to treat a drug’s effects with another drug?
- Why should I “believe” in supplements?
I always want to laugh when patients or acquaintances ask me if I believe in supplements, as if it is a religion. Watching your body change to a healthier state is not something that can be based on conjecture; one sees the changes happen when they use good quality products-and the right products. My old friend and Cleveland artist Brian Jones put it perfectly when he said, “Belief is required when there is no proof for something; faith, on the other hand, is based on one’s experience”.
I have the experience of the effect of natural supplements, hence I know their positive effects. I think patients develop faith in what they see working.
- How do I know it’s working?
In most cases, daily functions (such as energy, sleep, mood and digestive function) tend to begin to normalize as the body becomes regulated. Improvements in these areas should be expected, but may not necessarily happen simultaneously.
In general, we follow the principles of healing outlined by several great thinkers in homeopathy. This is an important section to read and understand when you choose to work with Options Naturopathic Clinic
It is also important to remember that sometimes problems do not normalize because a patient has been taking prescription drugs for so long, or has been sick for so long, that the fundamental dysfunction that is creating the illness has become quite severe. These types of situations will take longer to normalize and Dr. Erin can help a patient understand when they might expect this.
- How can your products/system help me if we haven't met?
In some cases, if you’ve not received assistance in your quest to use natural medicine, you may be on the wrong track--approaching the wrong basic problem. As explained in the Is this for me? section, trying an approach for your simple or more chronic problem can often be helped with our useful guides. If you have not been helped or if you have a more complicated health problem, we suggest having a personal phone or SkypeTM consultation with Dr. Erin or another of our naturopathic physicians on staff. As always, an in-person appointment would be ideal.
- Can I take Antibiotics at the same time as my acute homeopathic regimen?
While you can take antibiotics alongside acute homeopathics for infection, it is not ideal nor is it typically necessary. Depending on the skill and experience of your homeopathic practitioner, nearly every infection can be successfully resolved with homeopathic treatment. In some cases, where antibiotics fail, it is complex and pluralist homeopathy that pulls the patient through to a complete recovery. It is not ideal to use both antibiotics and homeopathics simultaneously because antibiotics reduce one’s natural immunity given its specific purpose of killing organisms: antibiotics wipe out all beneficial gut flora which serve as a critical piece of our natural or innate immune function. Furthermore, antibiotics congest the liver and kidneys, which are critical organs for detoxifying the body henceforth blocking the elimination attempting to take place at the level of the affected mucosal tissue (tonsils or respiratory tract, for example). With chronic use, antibiotics can end up drawing things out over months or years (i.e. turning the problem chronic), instead of just having one, quick, perhaps inflamed, elimination at the local tissue (i.e. keeping it acute). Suppression of acute diseases equals chronic disease. Since antibiotics have a strong tendency towards suppression, they are best avoided and reserved for rare and special circumstances.
- When is it a good idea to use antibiotics?
There are very few clinical circumstances where antibiotics are truly required. Most infections could be treated successfully, despite the severity of infection, with homeopathics, probiotics and herbs. While this statement may seem extreme, the reality is that if put to the test, the concept of addressing the terrain almost always works. It works because the terrain is truly the base cause for illness, not the presumed infectious agent. Addressing toxicity, elimination and immunity successfully reduces the severity and repetitious nature of chronic infections. Diet, of course, is key. Most importantly, a sick patient must have access to a knowledgeable practitioner and the modalities (remedies, herbs, etc.) to be treated successfully.
- Is this risky, especially for chronic or potentially fatal disease?
We are not suggesting anyone forego routine medical care; it is important to follow through with current care for any chronic illness. What Options Naturopathic Clinic offers is a supportive, complementary and alternative approach to some of the most commonly used therapies in conventional medicine.
In those instances where a patient has been sent home to die and is being offered no further classical medical care (aside from hospice), homeopathy and other natural medical approaches are often sought by family members to aid in a last hope for recovery. While we are always saddened that it is only in these final moments that one may turn to natural medicine, we never give up hope for a living individual. We make no guarantees, but do encourage those who are open and able to put forth a “fight”. In any event, fears and anxieties that may arise as one approaches his or her transition to the after life can often be allayed with the assistance of homeopathy.