Primary and Preventive Care with a Naturopathic Physician
As naturopathic physicians, we provide primary care to children and adults of all ages. We do all of the standard screenings, exams, and laboratory tests performed by any physician, as well as in-depth dietary, lifestyle, and nutritional assessments not done by other physicians. Our goal is not just to prevent disease such as cancer and heart disease, but to promote optimal health as you age. For more information, see our “10 Steps to Optimal Health.”
Many serious health problems don’t have symptoms, which is why an annual preventive exam, also called a checkup, is so important. High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, for example, are major risk factors for the number one cause of death in the United States—cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attack and stroke).
These conditions are silent, meaning that they generally don’t produce any symptoms until the disease is advanced. Screening for these and other conditions, however, are quick and easy at a preventive visit. Detecting these conditions early allows for effective treatment before advanced disease can develop.
As a result of federal health care reform, an annual preventive exam (including all of the services listed below, when appropriate) is now covered for everyone without any copay or deductible, so it won’t cost you a dime, even if you have a high deductible health plan.
In addition to a physical exam, here are some of the most common things done during a preventive exam:
- Blood sugar screening
- Diabetes screening (via instant, in-office testing)
- Cholesterol screening (via instant, in-office testing)
- Osteoporosis screening
- Cervical cancer screening: PAP test and pelvic exam
- Breast cancer screening: clinical breast exam and mammogram
- Prostate cancer screening
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Testicular cancer screening
- Skin and other cancer screening
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening
- Routine depression screening
- Assessment of weight, diet, exercise, vision, and hearing
- Immunization history review and catch-up administration
- Counseling on tobacco cessation, alcohol/drug use, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, diet, and exercise
- Review of health history
In addition to screening for the actual presence of disease, a variety of online risk calculators are now available to determine your current and future risk of getting diseases, including heart attack, diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. While they don’t tell you whether or not you have the disease, knowing your risk can help you to determine how important it is to make dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Your risk results can also help identify the importance of further testing to determine whether you actually have the disease. Click here to see the risk calculators.
Naturopathic doctors are physician experts in treating the underlying cause of disease and using natural medicines to help people get and stay well. To see a naturopathic doctor for primary care or assistance with specific health concerns, please make a selection below.