Naturopathic treatments, holistic practitioners, skin health coach, integrative practitioners are all the buzz words being used today when looking for alternative treatments.
Anyone dealing with a chronic condition is tired of constantly taking medications for basically the rest of their lives.
There are also side effects which I experienced myself.
Having eczema as a kid, I was constantly applying steroid creams to keep my eczema under control.
No Doctor looked further to find out the root cause.
As I got older, it never seemed to get better and when I decided to stop using the creams, I went through Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW).
I needed to find another way to help myself and my skin.
That’s when I started researching about Naturopathic medicine.
What is Naturopathic medicine?
“Naturopathy—also called naturopathic medicine—is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century,” states the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
According to the NCCIH, Naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches. Examples include:
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction
- Herbs and other dietary supplements
- Manipulative therapies
- Exercise therapy
- Practitioner-guided detoxification
- Psychotherapy and counseling
So, how is Naturopathic medicine different?
It’s different in the way they approach the condition and in how they provide treatment to their patients. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) treat patients by addressing their physical, environmental, emotional and lifestyle factors.
By doing this, they are looking for a root causing as to why the health issue is occurring in the first place.
Conventional medicine primarily looks at the symptoms and tries to suppress it.
Naturopathic medicine is looking to see if your diet is causing your health problems, emotional stressors, your current lifestyle or even a combination of them.
It aims to treat a wide range of health issues for all ages from acute to chronic conditions. They also have treatments for physical and psychological health conditions as well.
You may be wondering how they are able to treat so many conditions right?
Rather than treating the condition itself, they look at the bigger picture to see if addressing one or more problematic areas can resolve your health problems.
Well, you’ll find that NDs will start to specialize in certain conditions but still will be able to help out with other health issues.
During my Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) period, I tried Homeopathy and Ayurveda treatments to see if it would be able to help me recover faster. However, I personally didn’t see any improvements after trying Homeopathy for 5 months and Ayurveda for 2 months.
It’s possible that I didn’t give it enough time and I know for a fact my diet wasn’t right at the time either.
I’d recommend giving it a try and not to write it off completely because of this article or other people’s opinions.
Everyone’s body is different and you may find success.
I started researching again for alternatives treatments and came across Naturopathy. I finally narrowed down on the Naturopathic doctor I wanted to see after reading reviews.
Naturopathic Treatment Plan
The first appointment was an hour and a half consultation. The Doctor used this time to learn about my medical history, the treatments I’ve tried before and to explain to me the course of action I would be on.
Essentially, my treatment plan is to incorporate specific vitamins and supplements into my diet to help with eczema as well as cut out certain food groups.
I also took an allergy sensitivity test to find out what foods were causing internal inflammation. These reactions don’t show on the skin right away but only to appear on the skin few days later.
This makes it difficult to know which foods are triggering your eczema due to the delayed response.
Below is the treatment plan I was put on, and still follow for the most part today.
- Eliminate all dairy products
- Eliminate all gluten products
- Eliminate products you already know that causes reactions (For me: all nuts, kiwi, pineapple and shrimp)
- Vitamin C supplement, 1000mg per day (try to make sure this a natural form of vitamin C, I found that the ascorbic acid one didn’t work quite as well)
- Vitamin D3 (liquid form), 1-2 drops
- Liquid Omega3, high EPA, 1 tsp
- Probiotics, twice daily
- L-Glutamine (For the average person, 5mg is recommended amount. I personally take about 10mg-15mg)
Change your perspective
At first, this may feel overwhelming. It was for me for the first couple of months. Going dairy free was not too hard for me, but cutting out gluten was a struggle. On top of that, taking all these supplements morning and night seemed daunting.
To make matters worse, with this treatment plan, improvements are not going to be seen over night.
The focus of this treatment plan was to heal me from the inside out, decrease inflammation, provide my body the nutrients it needs to heal my skin.
How did I stick with this treatment plan that had no immediate and visible effects?
I look at the food I eat on a daily basis, the supplements and vitamins I take, the diet restriction as…my medicine.
Why does medication have to be considered something that a doctor has to prescribe or something picked up at the pharmacy? Anything that helps my body heal itself, I now look as medicine now.
Food for thought
So, will visiting a ND help me on my eczema and/or TSW journey?
100%! Especially if you are new to trying alternative medicine, it can be really helpful to work with a professional.
However, if you employee benefits plan doesn’t cover the cost of the visits, it can be expensive. But think of it as an investment in yourself.
Think about the all the time, pain and money you already spend today on maintaining your health.
But is there something I can do in today?
The first place you need to address is in your nutrition. What does your current food intake look like?
Does your diet consist of primarily processed and packaged foods? If so, that is a huge problem you need to address.
All processed and packaged foods contain extra additives and chemicals to make it taste a certain way and to extend its shelf life.
Your body then has to process it. As you continue down this road and your body is unable to properly filter and process it, it then starts showing up on your skin.
You then end up applying 100 different creams and pop allergy tablets left and right (this was me!).
If I were you, I would first look at your current diet. Is it healthy enough to provide you the nutrients to heal? Because if not, no matter what cream or medications you take, your eczema will come back sooner or later because of what you eat.
You also need to be a detective and determine what foods are triggering your eczema. The most common allergens are sugar, dairy and gluten.
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