The Difference Between Treating Versus Curing a Disease
Recently, while on my way to the office, I had a very interesting conversation with an UBER driver. He wanted to know what I felt was the main difference between prescribing drugs to treat disease and the use of naturopathic medicine. And I found myself in an interesting conversation that involved clarifying the difference between truly being cured ,verses simply being palliated. To palliate denotes a state whereby your disease symptoms may be temporarily abated due to medical intervention. But, once the treatment wears off, the disease returns.
As a naturopathic doctor I am interested in finding out how an illness came about in the first place. I want to know what caused the disease. I also understand that, for the most part, the disease process rarely happens over-night. But instead, usually occurs over a course of several years. An example would be the recent conversation I had with a young woman who wanted to be treated for obesity. But claimed that, other than being over-weight, she was perfectly healthy. I explained to her that if she was over-weight than she was already entering a state of disease. And that, if not dealt with, her weight issues would lead to further medical challenges later on like, diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome just to name a few.
Sometimes The Treatment is Worse Than the Disease it Treats
While a doctor may prescribe a drug for hypertension, depression or any other chronic health condition, these medications rarely cure the patient. Rather, they simply mask the symptoms of the disease without addressing what lead to the illness in the first place. The individual remains ill, but has no symptoms, or minimal symptom,s of the underlining disease. Furthermore, many of these medications come with side-effects, which can bring about a whole host of other medical challenges.
Because I am interested in finding the causes of disease in my patients, I am also interested in encouraging them to adopt lifestyle choices that can improve health.
Often, the suggestions that I make only require minimal adjustments to an individuals current lifestyle choices. However, sometimes, if an individual has a more complicated health challenge, they may have to change many habits that they have grown accustomed to. But, sadly, lead to many of the health challenges they currently face
Naturopathic medicine is founded on the fundamental idea that once the underlining causes of disease are known, the disease can be treated, and real cure is possible. The naturopathic practitioner is dedicated to aiding the individual in restoring and promoting optimal health, and not just simply removeing the symptoms of disease.