I went to visit a good friend of Dr. Josh Alvarado’s this week, Dr. Rhodo Nguyen, a naturopathic medicine doctor at Aloe Wellness in Washington DC. Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has the ability to heal itself through less harmful remedies. Naturopath’s are able to utilize prescription drugs, however the goal is to heal holistically through nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, stress management, herbs, and supplements. The body is viewed as complex and whole, much like the view of chiropractic care.
To give a background on myself and why I went to see Dr. Nguyen, I have been in and out of competitive sports for over ten years, which (I believe) resulted in the misuse of my body mentally and physically. The combination of stress, diet, and overexercise prompted in digestive distress that I’ve struggled with for YEARS, anxiety development recently, poor sleep habits, and a fuzzy long term memory. My expectations for the appointment with Dr. Nguyen were to determine the cause of symptoms, rather than put a band-aid over them. I talked with Dr. Nguyen for an hour and a half, and she made me feel at ease. She is a great listener and highly intuitive.
Dr. Nguyen gave suggestions, prescribed supplements, and asked me to come back to get a full panel of blood work on hormones and food sensitivity testing. Her first recommendation was to take a break in the day to sit down and eat. I am super guilty of eating at my desk, or cramming down something in between work at our office. She explained that because I’m doing this, I am not allowing my body to rest and digest. I did listen to her advice for the past week, and I have noticed a change in my mood and overall energy throughout the day. It’s important to be able to “turn off”, even if it’s only for a short while.
The second big factor that we altered right away was the amount of water I drink. I carry around a 24oz Yeti everyday that I fill up religiously, anyone who knows me knows this. In the “fitness” world, drinking AT LEAST a gallon of water per day is the norm. Dr. Nguyen suggested I cut my water down to half of what I was currently drinking to see how I feel. SURPRISE! I feel much better and I was able to sleep through the night! She said I could actually be drinking too much water per day, which would explain why I was waking up several times per night. Although it is healthy to drink water because our bodies need it, it’s possible to overdo it. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood.
Dr. Nguyen prescribed electrolytes to mix into my water in the morning, bitter tonic to take as a tincture ten minutes before I eat, and a pro biotic to take everyday. I have adhered to the instructions thus far, and I feel better. I anticipate that I will be able to get to the root of my health after having the bloodwork done, which will happen tomorrow morning. It will take about two weeks to get the results back, but I do plan on giving regular updates on my progress. The goal is to feel good all of the time and put an end to living with questions regarding my health.