Why refer to an ND?
1. Your patients will benefit
The clinical approach used by NDs is effective in promoting self-efficacy and improving clinical outcomes
Source: Oberg et al (2012) Patient-Reported Experiences with First-Time Naturopathic Care for Type 2 Diabetes. PLos One 7(11). Seely et al (2013). Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized clinical trial. CMAJ 185(9):E409-16
2. NDs refer patients
Naturopathic doctors are trained to refer to physicians, specialists and emergency care as appropriate. NDs recognize limitations to their care and believe in a patient-centric model of healthcare that is integrative and collaborative.
3. Patients are utilizing natural medicines
ND's are highly trained heath care providers with expertise in natural medicines. The National Institute of Health (NIH) published a nationwide government survey (2008) showing that approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over and approximately 12 percent of children use some form of complementary or alternative form of medicine. CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.
Integrative medicine combines conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness.
Many physicians are electing to refer their patients to a licensed naturopathic doctor for safe and effective guidance.
Source: Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin R. CDC National Health Statistics Report #12. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. December 10, 2008.
4. Drug-Herb-Neutraceutical Interactions
The liver, kidneys, intestines and lungs are the sites of drug metabolism and pharmakokinetic interactions. Avoiding potential or negative interactions between concomitant use of medications, botanical medicines (herbs), vitamins, minerals and other neutraceuticals is essential to patient safety. Naturopathic doctors take into account the form, dosing, bioavilability and metabolism of natural medicines. They also make recommendations taking into account a patient's current medications and medical history in order to maximize safety and avoid negative interactions.
For more information see Herb-Drug Interactions: What Clinicians Need to Know.
The OKANP is an affiliate of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians