After talking about it for what seems like years, I finally had my first visit to a naturopath this past Friday. I've always been interested in natural medicine but for some reason or another I hesitated when actually finding one in our area. I finally decided to go through with it though, after feeling unbalanced and out of wack over the past couple of months. Since having Henry my usually clear skin has been horrible- acne on my face, eczema on my forearms, and my scalp has been super dry. I actually went and visited my regular dermatologist when I stopped breastfeeding a couple of months ago and he prescribed me acne medication. I saw a small improvement, and when I went to my follow up appointment last week he said I needed to go on antibiotics. Now, I am not opposed to medicine whatsoever- I do believe in "regular" doctors, we choose to vaccinate Henry (on a slow schedule, but we still do it), and even though I try and avoid taking medicine whenever possible, if it is needed, I'll take it. But with that said, I prefer to go the natural route whenever possible. So when my dermatologist prescribed antibiotics I got a little uncomfortable. My skin has been so bad lately that I felt like taking anitbiotics wouldn't get at the real problem or fix it long term...only mask it. But I took the prescription home, and with my Mom and Hank's encouragement made my first appointment at the naturopath's.
On Friday afternoon I headed to my appointment feeling a little nervous. I had no idea what to expect, and although the doctor came highly recommended by quite a few friends, it was still a bit scary. When I got there they had me fill out the expected paperwork but unlike most doctor's offices I'd been to, this paperwork included lots of open ended questions and even a timeline to record significant events in my life. Very cool.
I waited for less than 5 minutes in the room, and once the doctor came in I immediately felt at ease. She was AWESOME. All caps awesome. We talked for an hour about everything- my history, my health, my issues, what I hoped to gain from the visit. She really, really listened. She asked questions and made me feel so comfortable. It was like talking to a friend, but a friend who knew everything about everything and wanted to help me feel better. It was truly the best experience I have ever had at a doctor's office.
She prescribed me a couple of things- sepia drops (10 drops under my tongue for 7 days), a homeopathic cream called pharMAX heal (it's actually a trans-dermal wound healing cream but it's already almost cleared up my rash in TWO days!) for the eczema, and most notably, a sugar-elimination diet. My Mom is extemely healthy and into naturopathy so thanks to her I knew there was a good chance the doctor would recommend this to me. My Mom had actually told me the same thing months earlier, but I chose to ignore it because it's quite hard to cut out all sugar and frankly, I didn't want to. It's no fun, and we're not just talking about cupcakes and candy- it means all sugars- fruits, carbs like bread and pasta, potatoes, processed foods, etc. Although I don't eat a lot of sweets, the real problem was all of the other kinds of sugar I was consuming without even realizing it. So much fruit, so many carbs that turned to sugar in my body, you name it. And it's not that fruit is bad- but my body has been having a hard time with any sugar, so cutting it out during these 6 weeks would be important.
Overall it's not terribly hard to follow this diet because it's actually pretty similar to how I normally eat, just with a few changes. The main thing I've noticed (and missed) is fruit, and all of the processed "healthy" treats I find myself eating daily- Larabars, mini Luna bars, little 100 calorie packs of cookies from Trader Joe's, dark chocolate...all of the good stuff. But the things I can eat are good too- lots of whole foods like produce, lean proteins, and nuts- and of course tons of water. I never, ever drink soda, but I'd imagine if someone was into soda this diet could be a little more difficult. But as far as what I've been eating, today I enjoyed lots of different types of food from an avocado to a sweet potato and broccoli, to Greek yogurt with almonds. And I know it's probably in my head but I already feel so much better.
I'm motivated to stick to it, and I'm curious to see how my skin clears up over the next few weeks. I have a feeling that the benefits will extend far beyond just my skin though, and I'm excited to just feel even healthier overall!
I encourage any of you who have been thinking of checking out a natural doctor to do so. I feel really empowered by taking my health into my own hands, and I am still glowing from my awesome experience. I'll keep you all posted on my progress, too! :)