Treatment of excess weight and obesity is now widely recognized as a highly complex process, requiring careful management of lifestyle issues like nutrition, regular exercise and, in many cases unwitting addiction to fattening carbohydrates.
Another major treatment factor involves linked disorders like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which can result in female infertility, and other unhealthy conditions.
Also closely linked to excess weight are pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (syndrome x). If neglected, pre-diabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, which can require daily injections of insulin. Metabolic syndrome can increase the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
Would standards for excess weight and obesity care be improved if there were "one-stop" management tools for this condition? In other words, could a licensed medical professional skilled in diagnosis, medication, nutrition and lifestyle management, as well as patient education, and with adequate time to spend with a patient make the difference?
Some would say just such an "all-purpose" medical professional already exists, the naturopathic doctor, or ND.
Many argue that naturopathic doctors are a much-needed resource because they're an excellent match for the wide-ranging demands of weight management, which can make all the difference to the health of someone suffering from excess weight and obesity.
Trained in four-year accredited postgraduate medical programs and certified under national medical board examinations, NDs spend the clinical years of their training in outpatient settings rather than in hospitals, focusing on primary care medicine and conditions such as excess weight and obesity.
Their approach to medicine has a deep grounding in a set of philosophical tenets - primarily a profound trust in the body's ability to heal itself.
Symptoms are viewed as signals that various stressors are overwhelming the body's innate self-healing design. So naturopathic treatment is oriented towards removing or better managing the factors underlying imbalance to restore the body's self-healing mechanisms.
Along the way, NDs aim to treat each patient as an individual and to educate people who have weight issues about a lifestyle approach which promotes his or her optimal health. The aim is to empower men and women and help them maintain a high level of overall wellness.
To effectively and safely apply such a wide range of therapies, naturopathic doctors are well-trained in potential interactions between medications, and nutraceuticals (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and botanicals).
The great advantage of access to such a diverse collection of weight therapies is the ability of NDs to tailor treatment to each individual patient. This feature of naturopathic care is often the key to successful outcomes for overweight people who have experienced the failure of responding to conventional medical treatment.
Read Excess Weight and Obesity - A Growing Epidemic