I turn 40 in 359 days (but who’s counting), and I’m planning to spend the year leading up to the “big day” revamping pretty much, well, my entire life. I’ll let you in on the full details soon, but the general plan is to try all sorts of things that I’m dreading (i.e. exercising, meditating, cutting sugar) in hopes of becoming healthier/stronger/more balanced/smarter/more energetic before I officially hit, ahem, mid-life (it hurt a little to write that, I’m not gonna lie).
This week’s column by D Moms Daily wellness expert Dr. Kate Naumes, ND provides a pretty compelling argument for embracing this kind of health reboot through naturopathic care. I’ll let her deep dive on the hard facts…Here goes.
Increasing levels of chronic disease including: diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, cancer, and obesity, have created a multi-trillion dollar financial burden on the medical system. Naturopathic medicine (referring to NDs from accredited medical schools) may reduce the need for expensive conventional care by promoting health and decreasing the need for medical interventions over the long term. Naturopathic doctors are primary care providers that treat acute and chronic conditions as well as address health promotion and disease prevention.
Today I’m going to breakdown three major benefits of Naturopathic care.
Naturopathic medicine costs less than conventional care.
- A 2006 University of Washington study found that in Washington state, naturopathic care cost insurers $9.00 per enrollee vs. $686.00 for conventional care. (2)
- One year of a lifestyle intervention program (similar to that recommended by naturopathic physicians) for patients with coronary artery disease not only improved all health outcomes and reduced the need for surgery but also cost significantly less then conventional treatment ($7,000 vs $31,000 –$46,000). (4)
- Naturopathic care, when used for reduction of cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure and cholesterol, for example) improved health and increased job productivity and was determined to actually be a cost-saver for an employer. (5)
- Naturopathic care used for chronic low back pain not only cost less than a standard physical therapy regimen but also decreased absenteeism by up to 7 days in a worker’s year. (6)
Naturopathic medicine decreases the need for medical interventions by improving patient well-being, preventing disease, and treating disease by improving health.
- The naturopathic emphasis on prevention and health promotion saves lives and dollars. Lifestyle modification counseling prevented more cases of diabetes than drug treatment. (7)
- Although the initial cost of prevention and treatment using natural medicine is sometimes similar to conventional care the benefits gained by avoiding disease and their associated costs are invaluable and much preferred by patients. (9)
- Patients who received intensive lifestyle modification and naturopathic therapy for type II diabetes improved all health scores (lipid levels, body fat percentage, etc.) and decreased medication requirements compared to those on standard therapy, in just one year. (10)
The use of naturopathic medicine decreases total medical expenditure.
- Naturopathic doctors are the bridge between alternative and conventional care and model true integrative care. Patients who receive care from an integrative primary care physician have reduced medical costs and need of medical intervention when compared to those receiving conventional primary care. (11)
- Naturopathic care in Canada reduces the use of prescription medications by 53%. (13)
(Excerpted from and originally released by The Scientific Affairs Committee of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians . References available upon request.)
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. She provides pre-conception and infertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness education, as well as ongoing well-woman and menopause support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.
Disclaimer: Dr. Kate Naumes, ND holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Certificate in Midwifery from Bastyr University. The state of Texas does not license Naturopathic Doctors. As such, she holds her license in California and acts in Texas as a wellness consultant, not as a physician.