It’s very simple, identify and treat the underlying cause of the symptom, rather than just the symptom itself. “Treat the cause, not the symptom” is the basis for his approach for all his patients. He focuses on nutritional and environmental interventions with his patients. Nutritional supplements and herbal medicines are focused on repairing and restoring normal function, after the cause of the dysfunction has been addressed.
For chronic health conditions, conventional medicine often focuses on symptomatic management for conditions. Pain killers for headaches, sleeping pills for insomnia, antidepressants for depression, antacids for reflux, etc. If these medications work, what happens if we stop taking them? The symptoms return, because we didn’t identify and treat what was causing the symptom in the first place.
Many people think Naturopathic Medicine is about taking “natural medicines” instead of conventional ones. For example, taking St. John’s Wart for depression rather than an antidepressant. Or taking an anti-inflammatory herbal medicine for muscle or joint pain instead of an anti-inflammatory medication. Unfortunately, many natural health professionals believe this to be the case as well.
If we treat a symptom with a natural product rather than with a synthetic one, we are still just focusing on treating the symptom and not the CAUSE of the symptom. We can use these products as symptomatic aids during your treatment, but emphasis MUST be on identifying the cause of the symptom and addressing that.
For inflammatory disorders, WHAT is the trigger for the inflammation?
For depression, anxiety and insomnia; WHAT is the biochemical imbalance causing the mental symptoms and WHAT is causing the imbalance?
For digestive issues, WHAT is triggering the digestive dysfunction?
Instead of asking “WHAT can I take for this symptom…”
We need to ask “WHAT is causing this symptom…”
The overall approach to any health condition is always the same.
1. Identify the Cause of the condition or symptom(s)
2. Remove it.
3. Repair the damage and restore balance and function.
The emphasis of natural “treatments” such as nutraceuticals, botanical medicines, homeopathic, vitamins and minerals should be on repairing and restoring normal function, not management of symptoms. If we try and repair and restore normal function, while the cause of the dysfunction is still occurring, you will have limited results or success with these treatments. It is like trying to fill up an empty bucket, with a big hole in the bottom of the bucket. Repair the hole first, and you will be able to fill up the bucket.