Diet & Lifestyle Modification
Naturopathic doctors will take great interest in their patients’ diet and lifestyle, because these choices have the greatest impact on health.
“Lifestyle” includes everything you do that may impact your health, either positively or negatively. A naturopathic doctor will ask about things like exercising, smoking, and how much water, coffee, soda and alcohol you drink. An ND will make recommendations to discourage habits that can negatively influence your health and will encourage you to enact positive changes in your life, such as finding ways to reduce or better handle stress and ensure adequate nutrition.
Your food choices are critically important to your overall health. There is no one perfect diet for every body type and health condition, so a naturopathic doctor will tailor the optimal diet for you. He or she may recommend a largely vegetarian diet, a high protein diet, or even periodic fasting, based on your specific needs. In all cases, eating more whole, organic foods and less processed food is an important first step toward better health.
Testing for food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances may be recommended, as these kinds of reactions can have a significant impact on your health. Identifying and avoiding certain foods is sometimes all it takes to completely resolve serious health problems, such as allergies, arthritis and eczema.
Changing one’s diet or habits can be the most difficult part of the treatment plan; however, it is often the most important. Risk factors for most serious conditions — heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer and many more — have a dietary or lifestyle component. Learning new strategies for eating, living, and managing stress can be tremendously beneficial to your health and well-being.