Naturopathic Doctors are the original functional medicine practitioners.
In fact, NDs are considered the nation's leading experts in preventive medicine and natural health care.
As people have demanded more holistic, patient-centered care, this has forced many conventional doctors (MDs) to expand upon their basic medical education to incorporate natural therapies, nutrition and functional testing to meet this demand.
All of these approaches are part of the standard naturopathic medical education that Drs. Barker and Markham were trained in. Other practitioners have to seek this additional medical education after graduation in order to gain an understanding of a more natural approach to medicine; Naturopathic doctors are 'bred' with this approach throughout their medical training.
The functional approach, similar to naturopathic medicine, is an integrative, science-based approach to health and healing that focuses on treating the underlying cause of dis-ease. Our education teaches us that each individual is biochemically unique and therefore each patient's care is individually tailored to restore their structural, physiological and psychological balance.
We spend at least an hour with all new patients gathering as much information as we can, not only about the main issue that brings you in, but also about your diet, lifestyle and other conditions that may seem like they aren't related to your health, but may very well play a contributory role to the main health issue(s) you're concerned about.
This is the future of medicine - our doctors spend time with you, listen, identify and address the root cause of illness. Sometimes this is straightforward while other times it may be very complex. Regardless, we'll explain to you exactly what's going on and what you can expect. You aren't made up of separate, independent organs organized by medical subspecialties! Your body is one integrated whole and should be treated that way in order to achieve true health.
You can learn more about the naturopathic/functional medicine approach here.
So, that's a lot of words! Basically what it comes down to is that naturopathic doctors have a deeper philosophical training in functional medicine, and use this to address the cause of illness and help improve your health, naturally!
If you're interested in having a doctor that truly listens to you, and works to find out the cause of your health issues, rather than prescribing drugs that mask symptoms, come and see one of our functional naturopathic doctors at our Fort Collins clinic.