One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “how can I find a natural endocrinologist?” Some people who ask this question are actually trying to find out how to find a natural healthcare professional who focuses on endocrine conditions. However, others are hopeful that they can find an endocrinologist who will treat their patients naturally.
The truth is that it is rare to find an actual endocrinologist who focuses on natural treatment methods. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but I wouldn’t count on finding a local endocrinologist who has a great deal of knowledge about eating well, nutritional supplements and herbs, eliminating toxins, etc. Unless if you get lucky and happen to have a natural-minded endocrinologist in your area, usually the best case scenario is finding an endocrinologist who is open to you working with a DIFFERENT healthcare professional who focuses on endocrine conditions.
I’ve consulted with numerous patients whose endocrinologist wasn’t supportive of natural treatment methods. I’ve even had a few patients who told me their endocrinologist threatened to dismiss them from care if they continued to follow a natural treatment protocol. So while it is rare to find an endocrinologist who recommends natural treatment methods, it also is a challenge to find such a doctor who is even open to the idea of one of their patients trying to get to the root cause of the condition. Of course this comes down to their training in medical school, as they don’t receive any training with regards to nutrition, supplements and herbs, detoxification, etc.
Here’s An Alternative Option To Consider
Although you’re unlikely to find a local endocrinologist who recommends natural treatment methods to their patients, if you prefer to work with a medical doctor then you might be able to find a holistic medical doctor who has a good amount of experience dealing with endocrine conditions. Most holistic medical doctors work with different types of conditions, but many see a good amount of people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions. An example of this is Dr. David Brownstein. I’ve mentioned him numerous times on my website, and actually interviewed him in the past in a blog post entitled ” An Interview With Dr. David Brownstein On Iodine and Thyroid Health“.
To my knowledge Dr. Brownstein doesn’t exclusively work with endocrine conditions. But he sees a good amount of people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions, and has even written a book on the topic. I’m not suggesting that you consult with Dr. Brownstein, although if you live in Michigan then perhaps this is an option. There of course are other medical doctors in practice who take a more natural approach with their patients, and perhaps even one practices nearby where you live or work.
Holistic Medical Doctor vs. Other Types of Natural HealthCare Professionals
The main advantage of seeing a holistic medical doctor is their ability to prescribe medication. So for the person who has hyperthyroidism and needs to take antithyroid medication, then the holistic medical doctor will be able to write a prescription for this. Similarly, someone with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis who needs to take thyroid hormone can also receive a prescription if working with a holistic medical doctor. While just about all endocrinologists will recommend synthetic thyroid hormone (i.e. levothyroxine) to their patients with hypothyroid conditions, many holistic medical doctors are open to writing a prescription for natural thyroid hormone (i.e. Armour or Nature-Throid).
Other than the ability to write prescriptions there really isn’t any advantage of seeing a holistic medical doctor when compared to a different type of natural healthcare professional (keep in mind that in some states naturopathic doctors can write prescriptions for certain medications as well). I’m sure many people feel more comfortable seeing a medical doctor due to their extensive training. Just remember that this extensive training doesn’t involve anything that has to do with actually healing the body. And most holistic medical doctors will admit to this, as they have received their training outside of medical school. I commend those medical doctors who have taken the initiative to do more than just manage the symptoms of their patients.
If you do decide to see a holistic medical doctor, just make sure you look at his or her credentials AFTER they graduated from medical school. In other words, what additional training did they receive once they became a medical doctor? Did they just attend a couple of nutritional seminars, or did they dedicate hundreds of hours to better improve their knowledge? Perhaps they have some additional credentials to prove this. For example, the Institute of Functional Medicine has a certification program that many medical doctors have gone through. I’m not sure if I would choose a medical doctor based on them having this certification alone, but if they have achieved this certification and in addition to this they have gone through additional training, then perhaps this is someone to consider working with.
In the future I plan on writing another post where I will discuss the different types of natural healthcare professionals. This will include naturopaths, chiropractors, holistic medical doctors, acupuncturists, and other natural-oriented professionals. The truth is that many of these natural healthcare professionals can help people with endocrine conditions.
In summary, while it is possible to find an endocrinologist who focuses on natural treatment methods, in most cases it will be very difficult to find one in your area. But if you have your mind set on working with a medical doctor then you might have success finding a holistic medical doctor who isn’t an endocrinologist, yet has experience dealing with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions. If you’re looking to choose a medical doctor mainly because they can prescribe medication (i.e. synthetic or natural thyroid hormone), remember that some states allow naturopathic doctors to prescribe medication as well. While there are some excellent holistic medical doctors out there, just keep in mind that many other natural healthcare professionals have a good amount of experience with endocrine conditions.