Frequently Asked Questions for Naturopathic Practitioners
Ottawa West

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Ottawa East

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Questions for Naturopathic Doctors
  • What is a naturopathic doctor?

    Naturopathic doctors (NDs) offer comprehensive assessments and treatments that address the bio-chemical, physical, environmental, lifestyle and emotional aspects of health. Using a functional medicine approach, NDs address the root cause of imbalances by integrating natural therapies to support the body.

  • What does a naturopathic doctor do?

    Prior to enrolling at an accredited naturopathic institution, all prospective students must complete a 3- or 4-year Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university. Once accepted into a Naturopathic College, student complete a rigorous 4-year program that includes biomedical sciences (similar to an MD), as well as training in traditional medicines. Upon completion of their degree, NDs must successfully complete board certification and jurisdictional exams.

  • How does one become a naturopathic doctor?

    Prior to enrolling at an accredited naturopathic institution, all prospective students must complete a 3- or 4-year Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university. Once accepted into a Naturopathic College, student complete a rigorous 4-year program that includes biomedical sciences (similar to an MD), as well as training in traditional medicines. Upon completion of their degree, NDs must successfully complete board certification and jurisdictional exams.

  • What is naturopathic medicine?

    Naturopathic medicine is a primary health system that integrates modern scientific research with traditional and natural medicine. At NutriChem, our naturopathic doctors believe that supporting the natural processes in the body allow for healing. The art and science of naturopathic medicine includes disease diagnoses, treatment, and prevention using natural therapies. These can include botanical medicine, orthomolecular medicine (high doses of vitamins), traditional Chinese medicine, lifestyle counselling, health promotion, and the prevention of disease onset.

  • Can a naturopath write prescriptions?

    Yes. On July 1, 2015, Ontario enacted the Naturopathy Act, 2007 which falls under the Regulated Health Profession Act, 1991. This change gave naturopaths in Ontario the ability to prescribe, dispense, and compound certain drugs that are regulated under this act.

    Naturopaths who have met the standards of practice are able to prescribe Bio-Identical Hormones and Desiccated Thyroids, along with high doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and botanicals.

Questions for Nutritionists
  • Why is nutrition so important?

    Holistic nutrition is a unique combination of modern science and time-tested wisdom based on the philosophy that each person has individual nutrition requirements. Holistic nutrition includes the interrelationship of mind, body and spirit; and the importance of addressing these interactive factors which are unique to each individual. Holistic nutrition can be used as a tool to support optimal health and develop healthy habits to live life to the fullest.

  • What is a nutritional assessment?

    A nutritional assessment is an intake of information to provide insight and background for nutritionists to use to formulate personalized protocols for patients. A nutrition intake will assess current eating habits, dietary restrictions, allergies and sensitivities, digestive complaints, lifestyle, physical activity, and more.

  • How does a nutritionist build a nutrition plan?

    A nutrition plan should be simple and easy to follow. It should address the patient’s main health goals, while taking into account any food preferences, dietary restrictions, caloric requirements, and lifestyle compatibility. Working with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to develop a personalized plan provides many benefits including education, experience, resources, and support.

  • How has our understanding of nutrition changed over the last 50 years?

    Our understanding of nutrition has changed drastically over the past 50 years. We now know there is direct relationship between nutrition and wellbeing. Advances in science and technology have made information and education on nutrition more widely available, but it has also allowed a multitude of unhealthy non-foods to be commonplace in most diets today. Diet trends, fast food, and food marketing have been around for more than 50 years. Thanks to the internet, information (and sadly misinformation) is widely available, allowing people to learn more about nutrition and how it relates to them. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist can help navigate the information available and provide scientific-based recommendations on today’s nutrition.

  • How does nutrition affect pregnancy?

    An unhealthy diet during pregnancy may have long-term effects on a child’s health and developmental stages. A child’s well-being mostly depends on the way the mother nourishes her body during pregnancy. As the body’s nutritional requirements for micronutrients and macronutrients increase during this time, it is important to consume nutrient-dense balanced diet. A healthful diet ensures proper nutrition to help promote the child’s growth and development and to improve the mother’s health, energy, mood and overall well-being. In addition to a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins are also important to meet the mother and child’s daily nutritional requirements.

  • Is there a relationship between poor nutrition and disease?

    Yes. Diets that are low in nutrients and high in refined and processed foods, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium have been shown to be linked to chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and anemia to name a few. A balanced diet that emphasizes whole, nutrient dense foods can decrease the risk of developing these diseases.

  • How does nutrition affect mental health?

    Diet and nutritional deficiencies can cause or aggravate psychological problems associated with mental health. Identifying and dealing with food allergies and correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be very helpful in supporting mental health.

  • How do genetics affect nutrition?

    We are unique and different due to our genetic variabilities; no two individuals have the same genetic make-up. Genetic variations may be accountable for differences among individuals in their nutritional processes such as absorption, metabolism, receptor action and excretion. The derivation of certain nutrients could be affected by genetics as genes respond differently to nutrients. The ability to absorb vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron and folate for example can be linked to a specific gene that is associated with the bioavailability, absorption and metabolism of these certain nutrients.

  • What is the relationship between nutrition and exercise?

    Just like gas in a car, food is fuel. Nutrition provides calories and macronutrients to support exercise and physical activity. A balanced diet of whole foods provides carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to support exercise. Carbohydrates provide fuel, protein builds muscle, and healthy fats regulate hormones. Proper nutrition supports endurance, strength, and flexibility.

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