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Naturopathy/Choosing a naturopath


Hello Kristina,
I am interested seeing a naturopathic doctor for most of my health visits and screenings rather than an allopathic doctor, as I have been accustomed to seeing for most of my life. I feel naturopathic medicine is more in line with my concept of health and well-being than traditional medicine. That being said, what credentials should I look for in a great naturopathic doctor? I see you went to Bastyr and I live near there.

Just to be clear about what I'm looking for I'll describe the reasons I'm seeking care:
1. Ongoing issues with fatigue and lack of motivation, possibly caused by depression. I do not know to what extent naturopathic doctors are trained to deal with mental health issues. The naturopath I saw for this ordered lab work and then prescribed Vitamin D3, Iron, B12 and Folic Acid. I did not find this treatment effective and that is why I am exploring further.

I am interested in the idea of establishing an eating plan and full complement of herbs and supplements to cure myself. I have heard about people curing depression naturally and I want see whether that would work for me. So, I need to find a practitioner who can help me do this. Any suggestions? I realize I may need multiple health care providers and that's fine.

I have been vegan for 10 years and I am debating whether my health symptoms indicate a need for a radical diet change. I have big, positive dreams of things I want to do in our beautiful world and everytime I set my mind to go out and do them I end up sick and exhausted within 2 weeks because my body cannot handle it. And I am ready to change that.

2. Something is not right with my belly. People in my household complain about how often they hear me loudly pass gas. I have diarrhea almost everyday. My naturopath said it could be because I'm vegan and I eat more fiber. She didn't really have any other thoughts beside that. My allopathic doctor didn't seem to think much of it either. What might I change in my diet to avoid these problems? For example, if I wanted to start a food journal what info gather?

Thanks for reading!

Hello Bella,
It sounds like you might be looking for a ND who incorporates more mind-body medicine as well as diet changes and herbs. I'd search maybe looking for someone who has a strong emphasis on more traditional or classical naturopathic medicine, using more herbs, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, or mind-body medicine.  A ND who is dual credentialed in Chinese medicine would be a good fit as well, since many of the symptoms you mention are well addressed by Chinese medicine, but with a ND acupuncturist you would also get the primary care piece.  Or talk to your ND and let them know the supplements alone are not best for you--most are willing to listen and use other parts of their training but we all get stuck in using the same treatments sometimes, so it may just take some adjustment, and you can find a acupuncturist to complement the care you are already receiving as well.  
As far as diet, I'd suggest starting with tracking your diet in relation to the troubling symptoms.  That may give some insight.  Most NDs or Chinese med practitioners deal with diet, but again it may require finding someone who works with this alot.
Sorry to not be able to offer anything else, but as you are aware naturopathic medicine does deal so much with people individually, it's hard to suggest a single course of action.  But hopefully this might spark some ideas to get you started.  Good luck,
Dr Conner


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Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM


Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental/ Chinese medicine, Nutrition, Natural Family Medicine, Detoxification/ Cleansing, Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Acupuncture


Licensed Naturopathic Physician for 11 years Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member and Secretary

Bastyr University, doctor of naturopathic medicine University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, residency in family and integrated medicine National University of Health Sciences, master of science in Oriental medicine

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