Join us for the Autoimmune Community Summit, October 21 & 22. It’s designed for patients, care partners, and advocates — it’s FREE and virtual!

Search Autoimmune Association
Share this article
Am Finding The Right Doctor Naturopath

Finding the Right Doctor: Naturopath

What are the benefits of seeing a naturopath instead of an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of  Osteopathic Medicine)?

Naturopathic practitioners are leaders in prevention. That may be of great help in preventing further complications and side effects that result from your autoimmune condition or in assisting you in finding a healthy way to live with your condition with less drug therapy and less exacerbations.

The philosophy of naturopathic physicians is represented by 6 key points:

  • Do no harm
  • Restore the healing power of nature
  • Identify and treat the cause
  • Treat the whole person
  • Doctor as a teacher to educate the patient about health
  • Disease prevention and health promotion

Guided by these key points, you will have more insight into the benefits of seeing a naturopathic physician.  Those looking for a more natural treatment option to their autoimmune symptoms and those looking to prevent more complications may benefit from the expertise of a naturopath.  Treatment is geared to the whole person including mind, body, and spirit.

What are some considerations for finding the best naturopathic doctor for me?

It is important when considering a naturopathic doctor that you research the background and education of the naturopath.  How many years of experience does the practitioner have in this area?  Seek the same information that you would when choosing an MD or DO: where did they receive their education, what certifications or licenses do they hold, and are there patient reviews that you can have access?

Ask about whether your state allows the naturopath to become board certified as a family practice or other specialty, and what qualifies this physician to claim this title?  You should expect to be treated by an experienced and qualified physician who practices an expertise in natural therapies.

How could I best coordinate care between an MD and a naturopath if I wanted to see both?

The ideal solution if you want both eastern and western medicine practices is to research and locate an MD or DO who practices naturopathic medicine along with traditional western medicine.  That is not always possible.  Begin by having an open conversation about natural therapies with your MD or DO. Ask for recommendations for a naturopath that they could recommend that might offer adjunct therapies to compliment what your MD has prescribed.  If your naturopath is not a licensed MD or DO, it can be imperative to keep seeing a medically trained provider along with the naturopath you choose who may not be licensed.

Questions to ask a doctor at the first visit:

  • What qualifies you to be a naturopath?
  • Are you licensed or board certified as a medical practitioner?
  • Who will prescribe my medications that may be a necessary part of the treatment for my autoimmune condition?
  • What naturopathic treatments are available for my specific autoimmune condition and will address my pain?

About the Author
Terri Forehand is a critical care nurse and freelance writer. She is the author The Cancer Prayer Book and a soon to be released picture book titled The ABC’s of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane. She writes from her home where she lives with her husband and an array of rescue dogs nestled in the hills of Brown County, Indiana.


This blog post was originally published by, written by Terri Forehand, and first published on Jun 29, 2012.

This post contains the opinions of the author. Autoimmune Association is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances. Autoimmune Association does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website. Your use of the website is subject to our Privacy Policy.

Share this article

Join our email list

Receive the latest blog articles, news, and more right to your inbox!

Related articles you might be interested in

Am Addisons Disease Celiac Mom Story

Addison’s Disease & Celiac Mom Story: “The Autoimmune Snowball”

I was 32 years old.  I had just survived a miserable pregnancy and rough delivery, but instead of gaining my strength back and...
Am Addisons Disease

Addison’s Disease: Overview of Antibodies & Genetic Links

Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is an endocrine condition involving destruction of parts of the adrenal gland (which sits atop...
Am Addisons Disease And Pregnancy

Addison’s Disease and Pregnancy

What are some implications for pregnancy with Addison’s disease? Among the many autoimmune diseases, Addison’s stands out as one with an often delayed...

Find more resources on autoimmunity

Learn more about autoimmunity, diagnosis tips, how to find a physician, and more.