‘Naturopath’ as a Job title is still largely vague and misunderstood by many. Some people don’t realise that as Naturopaths we are fully qualified Nutritionists but we also have the benefit of a qualification in Herbal Medicine.
The first two years of our training are focussed purely on Biomedical Science with classes in Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology. As a Naturopath we hold a science degree or diploma and because science and medicine are fields that are constantly changing, we invest a lot of time and money keeping up with the latest research well after our initial training.
This is the stuff I LOVE.
Biochemical pathways in the body really fascinate me and the language used I am familiar with. I genuinely enjoy explaining it all to my clients in simple terms that they can understand as I find when people really know what is happening inside of them they can assume greater responsibility.
Unfortunately with natural health there are a few issues that result in misguided information. One is the confusion around who is actually qualified in what and how do we know they have adequate training to know what they are talking about.
The second is the explosion of information available largely online but coming at us in every form regarding remedies for health conditions. Often this information is copied and re-shared without it being substantiated or having disclaimers attached that there is no ‘one size fits all’.
This is where I stand on a few popular ideas floating around at the moment;
- I don’t agree that everyone should be on a probiotic and so I don’t prescribe them unless they are needed. Even then I am very specific about the strain.
- I don’t agree that fermented foods are for everybody and you should immediately get some into your diet. I’ll only recommend certain fermented foods if they are indicated.
- I don’t agree bone broth is the holy grail. It is extremely beneficial for some people it is, so I let those people know.
- I don’t put fruit and vegetables in the same category and prescribe them in unlimited quantities. The fructose in fruit can be problematic for people with certain conditions.
- I don’t put everyone I see on Keto, Paleo, Vegan or Vegetarian diets. I don’t even put everyone on Gluten-free! I treat the individual.
As you can see, I prefer not to take guesses. I like to question everything and I rely on functional testing to give me the most accurate results before I create someone’s personalised treatment protocol.
Bioscreen Stool Testing
This is a form of testing via the stool that I have been doing with Professor Henry Butt from Bioscreen for about ten years. I love this test because it’s so thorough and tells me so much about an individual’s gut health. I can even tell largely what type of diet they’ve been eating via the results of this test and certainly how that is working or not working out for them. This is particularly helpful for the autoimmune clients I see whom often have very compromised gut microbiomes.
Along with other types of testing for nutrient levels and hormonal function I can ascertain a very accurate picture of exactly what’s going on for my client. This makes my job a lot easier in terms of prescribing things I know will be effective. It’s also beneficial for my clients who no longer have to waste money on products and supplements that may or may not help them.
I call myself a Biomedical Naturopath because my approach is scientific and analytical. I use high level functional testing to uncover the cause of someone’s symptoms then I prescribe in a very targeted manner, exactly what that individual needs to get better. This is how I work because I get amazing results and knowing I can help people by doing this work gets me up in the morning with a spring in my step.