A couple of things
If you know me personally, or if you are a regular follower, there are a couple of things that you may know about me:
First, almost exactly a year ago my daughter suddenly became very ill. Having a very sick child is horrible all on its own. Having a child sick with a condition that doctors can’t seem to be able to diagnose let alone treat is a parent’s worse nightmare. My daughter, who had just turned four, spent an entire week in the hospital. They ran test after test – including a CT scan and and MRI. After a week of tests and a team of doctors we left the hospital with a little girl that was still very sick and no clear diagnosis – just an offer of a prescription of a pretty serious medication for a child that young.
The second thing you may know about me is that I’m a firm believer in things like vaccinations (for those that do not have conditions preventing them). That although I don’t think you need a pill for every sniffle I am not afraid of medication. It, like vaccinations, saves lives. I’m not afraid of science or “big pharma” and spend considerable time reading, trying to stay informed on what’s going on in the scientific community, especially as it relates to health and wellness.
It’s all about balance
Things are seldom black and white. But there are a lot of people out there that think they are. The more I immerse myself in the online health and nutrition community the more I see it. And I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in one side or the other. The people that are passionate about their “side” make some pretty convincing arguments (not always true) about why they believe what they do. And the truth is there is so much information out there that sometimes it can be a real challenge to sift through what’s good information and what maybe isn’t so good.
In our house we do our best to approach everything with balance. We don’t have a list of forbidden foods. You don’t have to clean your plate to get dessert. We know that a small serving of fast food french fries here and there is not the end of the world. What’s important is the big picture. An overall healthy diet and lifestyle. I have a daughter that requests things like peppers and broccoli with her dinner and will always at least take a bite of something new that is offered to her. When she wants to sit on the couch and watch an episode of Scooby Doo (yes she’s into that!) I don’t feel bad because we’ve probably just returned from a bike ride or a fun session on the trampoline.
When we left the hospital with our very sick daughter and no real answers it was up to us to keep searching for those answers. By this time I actually had a pretty good idea what condition my daughter had. Now it was up to us to find a doctor that was knowledgeable about the condition and willing to help us. Through the online community I was able to locate one health care professional in the entire country that I knew was familiar with the condition we suspected our daughter had. She is a Naturopathic Doctor two provinces away. I am going to admit right here and now that in the beginning I was a little unsure if this was the right path to take. And the reason I say that is because from all of the research I had done it was clear that the first line of defense for the condition we suspected we were dealing with is a prescription medication. But I knew we needed help and so I made an appointment.
Reaching out to a Naturopathic Doctor was the best decision we ever made. Instead of getting another door slammed in our face we finally got some answers and some help. Under Dr. Wilson’s care the turn around in my daughter’s condition was remarkable. In fact within a week of treatment you would not have recognized her as the same sick little girl she was. In case you’re wondering, yes, my daughter was able to get the prescription she needed. Naturopathic Doctors in some provinces, like BC, are able to prescribe. So we began with the prescription and then added natural supplements that complimented that treatment. We love the wholistic approach that Dr. Wilson took. And the proof that this sort of approach works, that the combination of western medicine and natural supplements can go hand in hand is right in front of me.
After we had a diagnosis, began treatment and watched our daughter thrive I went back to the doctors that had misdiagnosed our daughter and told them our story. Some of them were pretty sheepish about the whole thing but a few were genuinely relieved that our daughter was doing so well and very interested in how we got her there. In fact, we now have a team of doctor’s, including the Naturopathic Doctor, working with us to keep Molly healthy.
Although this may be our most dramatic experience with the combination of prescriptions and natural “medicine” it is not our first. When Molly was 18 months old she was diagnosed with asthma. We immediately put her on an inhaler and gradually saw improvement. After doing some reading we also decided to add a couple of supplements and before long we were able to (with our doctor’s permission) cut the use of her preventative inhaler in half. She is doing so well that I am confident we will eventually be able to take her off the inhaler all together. Molly also struggled with pretty bad acid reflux as a baby and had to be put on medication for that. At that time our paediatrician also recommended probiotics as a compliment to that treatment.
When it comes to getting or staying healthy, more often than not it is not a one size fits all approach. And it’s very seldom black and white. Keeping an open mind and considering that as knowledgeable as one person (a doctor for example) may be they may not have knowledge or experience in every area of health care. An ENT may be an expert at taking out tonsils but probably wouldn’t be the one you go to with a compound fracture. In our experience, a healthcare team is often far more effective than relying on one profession – particularly if you are dealing with a complicated condition. One may catch what the other one misses or suggest something that the other may never have considered.
The more you know…
There are a couple of rather important points you need to always remember if you are using both western and natural products. First, is to make sure that any medications or supplements you are using are safe to use together. If you are taking prescriptions or other medications recommended by your doctor always check with him and/or your pharmacist before adding any supplements to be on the safe side. And the second important thing to consider when purchasing natural products is where you are getting them from. The natural market has become very big over the years and it’s not always easy to know which brand is supplying you with safe, high quality products. One of the brands I rely on, and feel good about taking and giving to my family, is Orange Naturals.
Why Orange Naturals? Well, first – Orange Naturals is Canadian. Not only do I like to support Canadian brands but there is just a level of confidence in buying from a home grown company that I don’t always have with buying elsewhere. The other thing that I feel really good about when it comes to using Orange Naturals is that Orange Naturals products are developed and designed by a scientific advisory board consisting of Naturopathic Doctors. This is pretty important. Naturopathic Doctors in Canada complete rigorous medical training at accredited educational institutions followed by professional licensing which holds them to national standards of practice. As you already know, I put my daughter’s life in the hands of a Canadian Naturopathic Doctor and to say the outcome was positive would be a massive understatement.
No matter what your health goals or concerns are, Orange Naturals has something to help you get there. Be sure to stop by the #onatural blog to get lots of great tips and advice for feeling your best and keeping your entire family healthy. You can also find Orange Naturals on Facebook for more information and fun!
Disclosure: I am part of the Orange Naturals Mom Ambassador Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own