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Chronic Illness

Chronic Disease Care

There are increasing numbers of Canadians living with chronic illness; according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 3 out of 5 Canadians older than 20 have a chronic disease and 4 out of 5 are at risk.   Interestingly (but also disturbingly), chronic disease rates are increasing faster among Canadians aged 35-64 years than Canadians aged 65 years and over; chronic illnesses are also appearing in children earlier than in past generations.  Not only that, people are also experiencing more than one illness – a study published in 2015 by the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention found that 13% of Canadian adults reported having two or more chronic illnesses and 4% reported three or more.  In childhood, there are increasing numbers of children with complex care needs.  Naturopathic health care serves as a comprehensive approach to possibly prevent and manage such common ailments.

The challenge of treating chronic illness

The problem with treating chronic illness is that so much of the health system is based on a fast-fix method to control symptoms with limited adjunctive and supportive care provision.  However, chronic illness typically is something that develops over years and the medication approach has some positive but limited long-term benefits with the risk of undesirable/unknown side effects.  Several factors may be involved in the development and maintenance of such illnesses (see well and less known factors below) and Canadians need more effective adjuncts and options to develop a more holistic approach.  As the 2015 study above itself concludes, we need more integrated and holistic care.

Common illnesses among Canadian adults and children:

Well-accepted factors associated with chronic illness:

  • High stress
  • Social deprivation
  • Obesity
  • Low income
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking status
  • Aboriginal status
  • Quality of diet
  • Dysfunctional behaviours/coping strategies
  • Overall unhealthy habits

Less-known factors associated with chronic illness:

Naturopathic approach to treating people with chronic illness

Our naturopathic approach starts with comprehensive assessment.  This will involve in-depth consultation to understand the unique factors associated with your particular situation.  Assessment also includes examination as well as broad-based testing, to uncover factors contributing to illness.  Self-awareness and education are important steps in promoting a wellness-based approach to care of the patient.  Comprehensive naturopathic treatment can include a wide range of therapies.  For example, a treatment plan may include dietary change, exercise prescription, herbal or homeopathic medicines or acupuncture, reframing of the self-concept and learning other strategies that may help including mind-body medicine.

To learn more, click on the links above for each condition or contact us to arrange your naturopathic assessment and treatment – 905-597-7201.

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