When to Work with a Doctor on Choosing a Supplement

A person reading the information on a supplement bottle

Are you interested in trying supplements but want to know more about taking them safely and when to consult a naturopathic doctor? Here is the information you need to know.

What are Supplements?

Dietary supplements, commonly referred to as simply “supplements,” are products made for the purpose of adding particular nutrients or compounds to the body to increase wellness. They may contain vitamins, botanical extracts, antioxidants, probiotics, and other nutrients. 1 They come in a number of forms, including capsules, tinctures, teas, gummies, and powders.

When to Consult a Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic doctors receive hundreds of hours in academic training on the biochemical application of therapeutic nutritional and evidence informed botanical medicine, and can help you determine a safe and beneficial regimen tailored to you. Always consult a naturopathic doctor in any of the following situations, or if you have any concerns.

When You are not Sure Which Supplements to Try

If you are interested in trying supplements, or have a particular health condition that you think supplements might be beneficial for, but do not know which ones to choose, speak to a naturopathic doctor. Keep in mind that not all supplements are made the same, so it is important to understand potency and standardization of quality before you choose your supplemental plan. A naturopathic doctor can recommend the right products for you based on your diet, lifestyle, health, desired outcomes, and risk factors.

When You Take Medication

Many people assume that since supplements are natural, they are safe to take no matter what. However, natural substances such as herbs and botanicals can still interact with medications and may change the way they work or make them less effective. 2 Because of this, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional about taking any supplements, and especially if you are taking prescription medication. This ensures that you do not accidentally start taking a supplement that negatively interacts with your medication. Supplements can also have side effects and cause undesired symptoms as well.

When You Want Help Choosing High-Quality Supplements

When you are new to dietary supplements, it can be difficult to know how to choose a quality, trustworthy product. Because FDA regulations on supplements are very limited, there are many products out there that may not be what they claim to be. 3 It is important to search out products that are high quality and reputable. Look for brands that conduct third-party testing. If you are unsure of which brand to choose, speak to a naturopathic doctor. They can guide you toward products that are trusted and have been adequately tested.

When You are Unsure of the Appropriate Dosage

While the right dosage of a particular supplement may be beneficial to health, too high of a dosage can cause adverse health effects and too low a dose may not yield the intended goals. 4 If you are unsure of the right dosage for you, always consult a healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, because the recommended safe dosage will differ based on these factors. 5


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