It occurred to me recently that we have, in theory, learned many “medical languages” in the past 1.5 years. The best way to explain the multilingual skills of an ND is to give an example:
What causes chronic constipation & how would you treat it?
- Conventional Medicine – Constipation is caused by biochemical, endocrine, neurological, lifestyle or anatomical imbalances
- Treat using medications such as lactulose, linaclotide, lubiprostone…
- Chinese Medicine – Constipation is caused by SP Qi deficiency, LV stagnation, or KD essence deficiency
- Treat by raising SP Qi and moving blood using acupuncture points such as ST25, ST36, SP3, SP4, ST37…
- Nutrition – Older patients or pregnant women are likely constipated due to “lazy bowels” which presents with infrequent satisfying bowel movements vs. young adults that are normally constipated due to stress which presents as toned, hard, dry stool
- Treat: Lazy bowels are best treated with insoluble fibers and general movement throughout the day. Stressed young adults are best treated with soluble fiber and decreasing stress throughout the day.
- Botanical Medicine – Constipation is due to decreased peristalsis, insufficient stomach acid secretion, and/or enzyme secretions
- Treat using anthroquinone-rich herbs such as Rumex crispus or Rhamnus purshiana to promote peristalsis or bitters such as Achillea millefolium or Artemesia absinthium to increase stomach acid and enzyme secretions.
- Microbiology – Constipation due to altered gut flora
- Treat: Balance gut flora with probiotics. If candida is present to to back up, antibiotics may be considered.
- Hydropathy – Constipation due to lack of appropriate blood flow and therefore failure of eliminatory organs
- Treat using a cold compress to shunt congested blood away via vasoconstriction then allow body to heat cold compress, causing reflexive vasodilation of blood vessels & relaxation of tissues. Apply alternating hot/cold compresses to tonify intestines.
- Homeopathy – Constipation is caused by lack of vital force or vital force imbalance
- Treat using the correct remedy (there are thousands) found in the synthesis and materia medica after a 2-hour long patient intake where every possible question relating (and not relating) your constipation is covered.
***This list is simply a small example of the tools NDs have available to them. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, please see your local ND for proper dosages and treatment.