9 Reasons Why Naturopathic Medicine Saves you Money

Yes, it's true! Naturopathic medicine saves people money. Although it may be a small investment in your health in the beginning, the benefits far out-way the down sides. Dr. Justin Gallant, ND has written a very helpful overview of 9 reasons why seeing a naturopathic doctor helps you to keep more of that hard earned cash. Dr. Gallant is a graduate from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and is currently practicing in Hamilton, Ontario. Check out this great read and hopefully think twice the next time you are considering going to see a naturopathic doctor.

1. Streamlining and optimizing dietary, supplement, and vitamin intake

  • People spend a lot of money on unnecessary foods, vitamins, supplements and herbs, especially since the “Dr. Oz effect” has taken place. 
  • Each patient’s requirements differ on an individual and situational basis. I can help tailor a health regime that’s right for you.
  • There are many factors that influence absorption of nutrients from food, vitamins and supplements. Did you know taking vitamin C with iron will increase absorption, while drinking coffee or tea will decrease its absorption?
  • Naturopathic Doctors are highly-trained and more importantly have clinical experience in Clinical Nutrition and Herbal Medicine; we know the correct dosages required for optimal health, what supplements actually work and which foods contain the nutrients that you need.
  • One of my favourite things to do is to go through the supplements my patients bring in to teach them about what they are taking and figuring out what they need or don’t need to take. 
  • Clinical pearl: I had an elderly patient who came in with high blood pressure and had been taking the amino acid Lysine to prevent cold sores for 30+ years. Lysine constricts the blood vessels which increases blood pressure. I got her to wean off of it and her blood pressure returned to a healthy status after a few weeks, we managed cold sores with diet and a topical ointment.
2. Faster and proper diagnosis
  • It’s very common for patients to come see me who have been struggling to find a proper diagnosis.
  • Due to the length and detail my visits consist of it usually only takes me about 1-2 visits before coming to the correct diagnosis (sometimes I know what’s going on within the first 10 minutes!) 
  • This means less time off of work, for specialist appointments, pain killers and comfort food ;)
  • Specialists are important to the healthcare system and sometimes after a thorough intake I will be able to direct my patient’s Family Doctor to choose a more appropriate specialist based on the totality of my patient’s symptoms. 
3. Stress relief
  • Stress can exacerbate any condition and sometimes debilitate someone from work. 
  • This tends to force people to stay home from work and can put a big damper on their lives. 
4. Improving sleep
  • Poor sleep can cost you a wealth of money. It can lead to less productivity, car/work accidents, poor decision-making, increased alcohol intake, use of sleep aids and increased caffeine intake. 
5. Less sick days
  • For some people it can be difficult to keep a job if they have a chronic condition, the proper diagnosis and treatment could take this element of unpredictability and job instability out of your life. 
  • We also treat children, less sick days for your child = less days you have to miss from work
6. Improving ability to work
  • Getting the proper diagnosis and treatment could mean getting off of sick leave or disability sooner.
7. In the long run we will save you and the health system money
  • A recent article in Reuter’s claimed that preventative medicine doesn’t save money but stated if 90% of America used preventative medicine 0.2% of $2.7 Trillion would be saved. $5.4 Billion each year is a decent saving in my opinion. 
  • Another good example would be patients who are on medications for heartburn. There are several different causes for heartburn and it’s generally easily treated. Figuring out the cause of your heartburn and treating it will save the Government’s money because they won’t have to dish out monthly prescriptions of acid blockers. It will also save you money so you don’t have to buy Tums or Maalox on a constant basis. Taking anti-acid meds isn't fixing the problem, you need that acid to break down your food. A similar story goes for headaches, digestive issues, skin disorders and many other conditions. 
8. Prevention!
  • We can identify what could go wrong in the future based on clinical experience and patterns in your health. An example of this would be living through an extremely stressful event. Most of my patients with an autoimmune condition endured something significantly stressful within a year or two of developing their condition. There are many different therapeutic approaches to help avoid this from happening and potentially prevent you from having to be living in pain and on steroids for the rest of your life. 
  • There are many conditions and preventable factors that can lead to infertility. If we identify and start working on those things now it may be possible to avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization when you do decide to have children.  
9. Availability
  • I am available during non-work hours and weekends if necessary so you don’t have to take time off of work to come see me.
10. Scenario (Hypothyroidism)

A 40 year old female comes in with a bag of supplements: lotion for dry skin, fiber  and laxative supplements for constipation, a supplement for gas, pain killers for headaches, green coffee beans for fatigue and weight gain (because Dr. Oz said so). She’s also on a whole slew of other supplements for general health; Fish oil, women’s multi, B-complex, resveratrol, calcium, vitamin D, you name it. Since she’s coming down with a cold she also just purchased a cold supplement. She’s been on these supplements for the last 5-10 years, spending well over $200/month ($2400/year)!

Little did she know, all of these symptoms correlate with hypothyroidism. Dry skin, cracked heels, constipation, digestive issues, gas and bloating, headaches, weakened immune system, fatigue as well as weight gain. She has been treating her symptoms but her body has been trying to tell her something. In order to treat hypothyroidism, a Medical Doctor can prescribe a pill that will make all of these symptoms go away. This might not be a cure per se but it is a good crutch until we can figure out what’s causing hypothyroidism as there are several different causes and possible cures. This eliminates about half of the products she came in with. If an MD is one who will only acknowledge one symptom at a time it would be easy to miss this condition. Some people also feel like if they have been living with something for a long time that it's "normal" so they don't think about getting it treated.

The fish oil is a good thought but since she is taking a generic brand she has to take 10-20 caps per day in order to reach the therapeutic dose, which in the end would be cheaper to buy a professional brand and take 1-2 per day. The multivitamin she is on has negligible doses, her diet is giving her plenty more nutrients than this multivitamin. The rest of her generic supplements also have insignificant doses that don’t align with the research behind them. She means well but isn’t gaining any benefit from it.

Naturopathic Medicine is an investment. Check out my other blog, "Why should I pay for Naturopathic Medicine". Most people are covered under their benefits. After the first or second visit we should have a good idea of where to take things and what supplements you should and should not be on. 

Dr. Justin Gallant, ND

For more from Dr. Gallant visit his website at www.DrJustinGallantND.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter!



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