Your Questions Answered by a Naturopathic Doctor:
As a Healthy Living Coach, I am often asked about how a person can get to the root of their problem through food and lifestyles changes. Many people feel as if they have hit a dead end or they have no idea where to start. Well…one of the great things about our community here in the Kansas City is that we have several options for a natural approach to wellness and one of them happens to be a part of Shawnee Mission Health, a partner with Cosentino’s Market.
I recently had a chance to ask Dr. Megan Schilck, a Naturopathic Doctor who leads Shawnee Mission Holistic Care, questions many customers have been asking.
Q. What exactly is a naturopathic doctor and how do you approach a patient’s health?
A. A naturopathic doctor helps patients to find the root cause of their ailment and uses safe and effective treatments to address the root cause.
Q. How might your approach be different than the care I have received in the past?
A. Typically every patient I see will be asked about sleep stress levels, diet and lifestyle habits, no matter what they are coming to me for. So lots of information gathering, in order to figure out the best treatments path all these things are very important to know.
Q. Can you give me an example of an area where you see a lot of success getting to the root cause versus managing the symptoms?
A. Digestive Concerns! So many medications are prescribed to help treat symptoms of the digestive tract. By figuring out the best diet, which I find food intolerance testing beneficial, and considering all the foundations of a healthful digestive tract (digestive enzymes, low-stress healthy microbiome/bacterial balance), patients can find long-term relief outside of medication.
Q. Is there blood work you recommend for all of your patients or a type that is very common?
A. Yes, bloodwork can be common in my practice. I see patients with low energy sleep troubles, hormonal imbalance, trouble losing weight and digestive dysfunction. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to recommend a nutrient screen or a targeted hormone test.
Q.Holistic Care is a hot topic right now. Is there a current trend you love or maybe should go away?
A. Hmm, many trends! Which one do I pick?! Using essential oils is pretty trendy now. I commonly am asked my opinion on them, and my opinion is mostly positive. Essential oils can be powerful in the right situation, but also essential oils are one I’m careful with, as they can be powerful in the wrong way, especially with ingestion as the oils can be irritating to the liver.
With cold and flu season being so terrible this year, elderberry concentrate has risen in trendiness….which I LOVE. Elderberry is a powerful but safe herb and is a great addition to your cold and flu season regimen. Research proves it can cut down on the severity and duration of a cold or influenza virus, with a very safe track record.
And diet wise, paleo and keto are going to be ongoing trends, in my opinion. Good or bad? It really depends on the person and health concerns.
Q. Do you believe that supplementation is important in a healthy lifestyle?
A. Depends. Sometimes short-term supplementation in the form of a dietary or herbal supplement is needed to get things jumpstarted. But my goal is to limit long-term use of supplements. The goal being -what can we tweak in the diet or lifestyle to cut down on the need for a supplement or medication?
Q. What is a simple change we can all make today to improve our health?
A. My favorite recommendation is to start with awareness of your diet and lifestyle habits. I like my patients to track diet and lifestyle habits on a 1-page handout. I commonly like to review it, but most importantly, it’s great for the patient to review.
Q. If I have never visited a naturopathic doctor, how do I start the process and what should I be prepared for?
A. As basic as this sounds, the intake paperwork for most naturopathic doctors is very important for the first visit. It’s lengthy and is used to review all aspects of health, so spend the time ahead of the appointment filling out all of the questions. I like patients to bring in past lab work, and if they are taking any supplements, I want them to bring all of them in a bag for the visit. Some extra prep work ahead of your visit really helps make that appointment as productive as possible.
If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Megan Schlick, you can set up an appointment with her office at 913-632-9860.
Dr. Schlick has also shared with us her 7-day diet and lifestyle journal so you can get a jump start on understanding your habits.Download your copy here.
And don’t miss the Shawnee Mission Smart Selection hang tags highlighting recommended products throughout the Cosentino’s Market Blue Valley Location.
I hope these answers give you a little more clarity on holistic health care and a great option available to us in the Kansas City area.
Remember it is never too late to take control of your health & wellness.