Updated: May 28
So you finally decided to take the plunge and go see a naturopathic doctor.
Excited and a bit anxious, you pick up the phone to make an appointment. The voice on the other end is kind, cheerful even.
You tell her that you are interested in scheduling an appointment and she tells you what to expect.
After explaining the process of a naturopathic visit, she asks if you have any questions. Of course you do.
The number one question on your mind is: How much will this cost?
After hearing the whopping "initial consult fee" which can range anywhere from 200$ to 600$+, you hang up the phone and decide that you just can't afford naturopathic medicine (no matter how much you want it).
This is a common feeling among people who have to pay out-of-pocket for naturopathic medicine. In states where naturopathic medicine is licensed, often there is insurance coverage. In states where naturopathic medicine is yet to be licensed, there usually isn't.
Is naturopathic medicine worth the initial out-of-pocket investment? Is it better to stick with conventional treatments that may not cure but keep you functioning?
If you've been considering seeing a naturopathic doctor but are intimidated by the cost, then read on for 4 surprising ways naturopathic medicine is cheaper than conventional medicine.
1. Naturopathic medicine is cheaper because of less need for medications
A reduced need for pharmaceutical medicine translates into big savings.
You've been through the routine of going to the doctor, getting your prescription, going to the pharmacy and getting it filled.
As you work with your ND to implement a healthier lifestyle, the need for increased doses of your medication can decrease. In some instances, medications can be eliminated completely (always speak to your primary care provider before stopping any prescribed medication).
The less medication you need, the less you buy. The less you buy, the more you save.
In fact, with all the money you save, you can even start buying organic groceries (just kidding! We all know organic is expensive, but well worth it! I digress...)
Working with your ND will definitely make you healthier, and even if you do have to continue with your prescribed medications, you'll see savings elsewhere.
Which brings me to point number 2.
2. As you get healthier your insurance premiums will get lower
It pays to be healthy... in more ways than one! When you work with your naturopathic doctor to cure illness instead of maintain it, you'll get healthier quicker. Your new found health is not only reflected in how good you look and feel.
It shows up as lowered cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c readings from your annual lab work. It shows up as a lowered blood pressure and lighter weight on the scale.
These numbers can mean big savings for you!
Many health insurance companies, offer lower premiums for healthier policy holders. It makes perfect sense because the healthier you are the less chance the insurance company has to pay out for your medical bills.
It saves both you and the insurance company money, when you are healthy so it's a win-win situation!
Getting healthier should be the goal of both you and your naturopathic doctor.
Which brings me to point number 3.
3. There is no ongoing requirement of management of symptoms with an ND.
Now don't get me wrong. You're probably not going to have one visit with an ND and suddenly be cured of every ailment you've ever had since you were 10 but you also won't be seeing your ND every month for the rest of your life either.
The goal of the naturopathic doctor is to remove whatever obstacles you're facing so that the body can heal itself.
This means that you work on whatever issues you're facing by learning new ways of diet and lifestyle, with supplementation often recommended (but only when needed). Other modalities can include physical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and botanical medicines.
After your issue gets resolved (or you feel it's manageable to your liking), you only see your ND when you want or need to. There will be no need to continue seeing your ND for management of your condition because either you will learn to manage with the techniques taught to you by your ND or you will no longer have it!
While you may not have to see your ND regularly, you still may have to order supplements.
This brings me to point number 4.
4. Supplements are usually cheaper than pharmaceuticals
I know that I can hear you internally groan and roll your eyes as you read this statement. Just hear me out, ok?
On the surface, some pharmaceuticals do seem to be fairly cheap compared to supplements. I mean it's a lot cheaper to pay 9.70$ for a 90 day supply of a cholesterol lowering medication than to pay 40$ for a 90 day supply of niacin... over the short haul.
For the majority of people, supplements aren't meant to be taken permanently (with the exception of a good quality multi-vitamin, which I encourage everyone to take).
A six month supply of high quality niacin might cost 80$ but with changes to lifestyle and diet, you're more likely not to need to continue taking the niacin for your cholesterol.
The same can't be said for the cholesterol medication.
In fact, if you were diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of 40 and have an average life expectancy of 79 years, you will end up paying 1,513.12$ over the course of the next 39 years for your cholesterol medication!
That's assuming that your dose doesn't change and that pharmaceutical companies don't raise the price, which is something they have been known to do (anyone remember the epi pen debacle?)
There's also another issue to take into consideration. Most people aren't taking just one pharmaceutical. Poylpharmacy, the simultaneous use of multiple drugs in one patient, is a very real and disturbing problem in conventional medicine.
So your high blood pressure needs one medication, your high blood sugar another, maybe two. Don't forget your high cholesterol medication and the medication you'll need to take for the side effects of statin medications, namely muscle pain and liver damage.
The list goes on and on.
It may be me but somehow supplements just don't seem so expensive anymore. Plus there's the added benefit of actually feeling better instead of controlling symptoms and making sure numbers are "in range".
So there's 4 surprising way that naturopathic medicine turns out to be cheaper than conventional medicine.
If you've been on the fence about naturopathic medicine because of cost, I hope I've given you some reasons to re-evaluate it.
Naturopathic medicine can be life altering and nothing should stop you from getting healthy.
Your turn! What are your biggest reasons for not trying naturopathic medicine? Is it cost? Maybe it's a lack of providers near you? Or maybe you don't belief that naturopathic medicine works?
Let me know in the comments!