BHH Blog

How do Naturopaths diagnose?

There is a very simple answer to this question - we don’t! 

Naturopaths are not trained to diagnose medical conditions; this is reserved for western medicine practitioners such as your GP or specialist. They have an abundance of diagnostic testing at their fingertips and are masters at helping you to find a diagnosis. They will be able to rule out more sinister causes of illness, which is where working collaboratively with GP’s comes in particularly useful. 

You may be thinking, hang on a minute, what’s the point of seeing a Naturopath if they can’t diagnose my condition? Whilst Naturopaths don’t necessarily diagnose, they seek to connect the dots, looking at your case in a holistic manner. 

Naturopaths use signs and symptoms, and the case history to get an idea of what's going on with your health: we are able to refer you for functional testing or can liaise with GPs and specialists. We are able to interpret pathology test results and advise you on natural ways to correct imbalances rather than relying on pharmaceuticals

Naturopaths are always looking at finding the route cause of illness/imbalance. For example, you may have been given a diagnosis of Graves Disease; what we want to try and understand is how you got to this point, and how this disease is manifesting for you so that we can help you manage it. 

In instances of undiagnosed conditions we may refer to a GP to rule out sinister causes of illness and then perform our own testing to help uncover areas of imbalance. For instance, if a patient comes in with bloating and they have had a range of medical testing to rule out any sinister causes, the naturopath will take their time to uncover the patients history in order to determine where the bloating has come from. This is often the case in a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), given by a GP, which is defined as a group of symptoms that occur together. In determining where the bloating is coming from the Naturopath may order some functional testing, not necessarily to diagnose, but in order to uncover what might be happening on a physiological level. For example, a functional stool test may reveal an imbalance within the gut microbiome, what we refer to as dysbiosis. So your Naturopath may tell you that you have intestinal dysbiosis. This of course may seem like a diagnosis, however dysbiosis is not a condition to be diagnosed, it is simply the state that the microbiome is in. 

If you have been sick for a long time, it can be really frustrating feeling like you need a diagnosis to be able to continue on with your journey to better health. And then sometimes you may get a diagnosis and then not know where to go from there. This is where Naturopaths shine! When we are able to connect the dots for our patients and offer an explanation as to why they may be experiencing certain symptoms as part of their diagnosed or undiagnosed state, we can see a huge weight lifted off their shoulders. Knowing and understanding what is going on in our bodies is so empowering and as Naturopaths we aim to understand what this means for you and then give you this information in a way that helps you to understand your body.

Searching for answers to your health concerns? Book in with one of our Naturopaths to help uncover what’s really going on for you. 

Find us

03 9388 2422

Hardwick Building
22 Tripovich St
(Cnr Ballarat St)
Brunswick VIC 3056

* Parking is best found on Ballarat St or the carpark on Victoria St near Sydney Rd.

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