3.29.2013

Our Visit to the Naturopath

Today my wife and I visited a naturopath for the first time. It was an awesome experience that I wanted to share because I learned a bunch of great stuff. We found out about this particular naturopath (Dr. Timothy Hyatt) through the Bulletproof Executive list of doctors who follow similar principles, and we knew that it would be great to connect with him. He was the only one on the list in Oregon, so I did some research, read his site and we decided to set up a time to meet with him. There were a bunch of things we had questions about and I felt like, with all the new things we've been learning, that it would be beneficial to talk to someone with a deep level of knowledge to help us gauge which things we should be focusing on. Some really important insights came out of it:

1. Iodine


The importance of iodine in our diets for its role in thyroid function. I found out from Dr. Hyatt that the Japanese eat an average of 13mg of iodine naturally from kelp and fish every day, whereas Americans get 500mcg. Many people in the US are deficient in it, and if you are (or have any thyroid problems), it's easy and cheap to get it as a supplement. Two bottles of Lugol's Iodine will last you about a year.

2. Thyroid 


Thyroid function is a huge factor, especially for women, and it's really important to get it checked if it seems like there are any related issues, such as strange fatigue, weight gain or any of the other reasons listed in this article: Top 10 Signs That You May Have a Thyroid Problem. The problem is, regular doctors don't test for all the specific hormones that could potentially be markers of your thyroid health. They don't usually do a test for either T4 or T3 which, if they aren't functioning properly, can be the cause of your thyroid issues. So if you get a generic thyroid test and it comes back normal, it could still be a problem with a specific part of your thyroid's function. This can be a problem for a lot of people so check out this episode of the Fat Burning Man Podcast where Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl talks about her thyroid troubles, among other things, and gives a specific breakdown of the tests that might be helpful.

3. Don't worry about cholesterol.


I loved Dr Hyatt's attitude on this. He basically said that unless you have a known familial disposition towards issues with cholesterol, or are eating a crappy diet, there's no reason to even test for it! The production of cholesterol in the body is the end of a long chain of hormonal processes that ends up with the body being told to produce more fat and cholesterol, and so is not a direct result of eating things with fat and cholesterol in them--it's a result of a hormone issue. The two bodily processes are completely separate. In other words, digesting cholesterol is very different from manufacturing it in the body, and it's the second one that you need to be aware of. The different tests and numbers, and recommendations about what is good or bad with cholesterol can get very complicated, so it was amazing to have a qualified professional say that if you aren't eating grains, processed foods or sugars, there's no reason to worry about it.

(On this note: Seriously you guys, Why We Get Fat is THE nutrition book that everyone needs to read.)


So, that's what I learned! It was really great to sit down with someone whose job it is to know all of this stuff. I'm still such a beginner in this and it's been a process of constant progression to get the knowledge I DO have. We all are just trying to figure out what's best, and what will make us happiest, and we have to take that journey ourselves, but it can be really satisfying to have someone with a lot more knowledge than you confirm some of the ideas you have, and point you in new directions.

(He sent us off with some blood tests to get, and we got those done this week and should have the results back soon. At our follow-up visits, we'll get to talk about what the tests mean and if there's anything extra going on. Will be nice to know more about our personal blood tests and function!)

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like a great appointment. I've been to seminars given by naturopaths, but have never seen one as a patient. Maybe I should look into it.

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  2. Thanks for helping me find a new naturopath;) I've been pushing it off since our move--I miss my naturopath in Chicago something fierce! Let me know if you have any suggestions for dentists lol sounds silly but I worry that will be almost as hard to find (dentist that doesn't do amalgam fillings).

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  3. Yeah, finding new doctors and getting in to see them as a brand new patient can be a challenge. So many places aren't taking new patients! I'm glad I could give a good recommendation!

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  4. It's great to be able to have a personalized discussion with someone so knowledgeable! I found it hugely valuable

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