Want alternatives to traditional drug therapy? We started a new Frequently Asked Questions category: FAQ: Natural Therapies & Holistic Treatment. Many A-Fib patients have questions about treatment alternatives such as naturopathic doctors and Holistic medicine as well as mind/body practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga and meditation. There are already 9 questions/answers for you to browse. For more, go to page.
5. “Have any A-Fib.com readers reported success working with a Naturopathic doctor? Anyone controlling their A-Fib with supplements?”
In May 2014, Kathy Reynolds from Hollister, Missouri, wrote us that with naturopathic assistance she had been A-Fib-free for over 10 months!
After being diagnosed with Lone A-Fib in October 2012, she was on metoprolol ER 50mg daily, and a short four week run of Coumadin, but she never reached a therapeutic level. Frustrated, she decided to discontinue the Coumadin and replaced it with natural supplements with anticoagulant properties like garlic and turmeric.
She continued to make fresh vegetable/fruit juices at home and eat a high nutrient, anti-inflammatory diet limiting most processed foods. Over the next eight months she had six more A-Fib attacks.
In addition she wrote:
“A naturopathic route was of great value to me. After consulting Dr. Laurell Matthews, ND, in July of 2013, I left her office with a renewed sense of hope. Dr. Matthews, a naturopathic physician (practicing now in Fayetteville, Arkansas) was new on staff at Harrison Optimal Health where I was a patient treated for thyroid and hormonal issues. She had successfully treated patients with A-Fib!
She added several supplements to my daily regimen which made a huge difference and I have been free of A-Fib attacks for over 10 months now!
I no longer live in fear of tomorrow, though I do realize that time will tell. With the guidance of Dr. Matthews, I found relief with supplementation. Potassium and magnesium are very important (though none of my hospital blood work showed any mineral deficiencies, and I attempt to eat a high mineral and nutrient diet) but I take no added calcium. (She also successfully reduced her metoprolol dose down to ½ dose every other day.)
What was added to my growing list of supplements? My daily regimen includes:
• CoQ10 100mg
• Taurine 1000mg twice/day
• Hawthorne Solid Extract 1/4 tsp twice/day
• Convallaria (Lily of the Valley) 8-10 drops in water twice/day
• Magnesium Citrate 200mg twice/day
• High-Omega 3 fish and flax oils, and coconut oil
Lesson Learned: Try Supplements Before Getting an Ablation
I discovered through a little research that other NDs may prescribe much higher doses of some of these supplements, and I would not advise anyone to self medicate.
Seek an understanding, competent MD or ND who keeps you informed so that ultimately you can be in charge of your own care. In my opinion, there may be some cases where it’s worth trying supplements before resorting to what could be an unnecessary procedure and expense.”
Read more of Kathy’s story (#73): A-Fib Success with Naturopathic Assistance—Over 10 Months A-Fib Free!
Do you have an A-Fib experience with a Naturopathic doctor to share? We would love to hear from you, just send an email!
Last updated: Sunday, August 16, 2015
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3. “A dietitian friend referred me to a Naturopathic doctor. What is naturopathic medicine? Are they ‘real’ physicians?”
Naturopathic medicine (or naturopathy) is based on the belief that the body can heal itself naturally. Naturopathic medicine attempts to improve health, prevent disease, and treat illness by promoting the use of organic foods and exercise; encouraging a healthy, balanced lifestyle; and applying concepts and treatments from other areas of complementary medicine (such as ayurveda, homeopathy, and herbal therapies).
Naturopathic medicine tries to find the cause of the condition rather than focusing solely on treating symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, the principles of naturopathy can be summarized as:
• “first, do no harm”
• act in cooperation with the healing power of nature
• seek, identify and treat the fundamental cause of the illness
• treat the whole person using individualized treatment
• teach the principles of healthy living and preventive health care
A properly trained naturopathic physician works with other health professionals, referring people to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
Is Naturopathy Safe?
If considering a Naturopathic practitioner, you’ll want someone willing to work together with your conventional health care providers. For your safety, it’s important for all of the professionals involved in your health to communicate and cooperate.
Two common concerns about naturopathic medicine are the use of dietary fasting and a bias against immunization (vaccinations).
How is a Naturopathic Doctor Trained? Are they Licensed?
Today, a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a 4-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and studies the same basic sciences as a medical doctor (MD). But the ND also studies alternative approaches to therapy, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, and bodywork.
Not all naturopathic educational programs are the same. In the United States, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit naturopathic programs and colleges. Licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state’s law. (List of US states requiring licensing.)
Naturopathy licensing is not universally mandated. In North America, for example, five Canadian provinces, seventeen U.S. states, and the District of Columbia require naturopaths to be licensed.
Selecting a Naturopathic
Selecting a naturopathic practitioner is like choosing any doctor or other health professional—look for someone you trust, who understands your personal care needs. The person you choose depends on the type of care you want to experience, and your comfort level with non-traditional care.
In the U.S., choose a naturopath who graduated from an accredited naturopathic program or college. And if it’s required by your state, is appropriately licensed.
Also see our FAQ answer to: “How do I find a doctor with a more “holistic” approach? I want nutritional counseling and a more integrated approach.”
Keep your GP and Cardiologist Informed
Always tell your doctors if you are thinking about combining a naturopathic therapy with your conventional medical treatment. Be cautious. Combining treatments, supplements or medications can have unexpected results.
Last updated: Friday, August 28, 2015
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