Advice: Explore health care provider options

Are you comorbid? Do you have more than one condition that affects your health?

You’re not alone.

The percent of Americans that are morbidly obese is 43 percent. These people are guaranteed to have a second condition, creating a state of comorbidity.

If you are on medication for two conditions, you’re comorbid.

This may not seem like a bad place to be, but you are heading towards a worse place. If you’re okay with it, keep on doing what you’re doing. We are all faced with the 100 percent rule. We are all going to die sooner or later. Comorbidity will play a big part of what you will die of, but it is your decision.

However, if you want to extend the time you have, get rid of your comorbidity. Even if you have just one symptom, it is a red flag to be addressed before it leads to comorbidity. Your naturopathic physician can help you with that.

The difference between what naturopathic doctors and medical doctors do to extend your life is significant. If you have high cholesterol your medical doctor will prescribe a statin, with the main goal of lowering your risk of a heart attack.

The naturopathic doctor will ask “why not just lower your cholesterol and therefore the risk of a heart attack yourself?” To change your body’s tendency to have high cholesterol, change your diet, get some exercise, sleep eight hours, etc.

You’ll be given a supplement – no side effects – to help lower your cholesterol if it is extraordinarily high.

As you’re cholesterol comes down, you stop taking the supplement and continue with your healthy lifestyle changes. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you know what the alternative is. Your MD told you when prescribing the statin.

When you have one condition you can address it immediately and avoid the additional problems that come with it, thus avoiding comorbidity. For example, if you take the statin, you’re sure to have high blood sugar to go with it. Some say one leads to the other. Others say you were headed that way because you didn’t change your lifestyle when prescribed the statin. Either way, you’re now comorbid. Your medical doctor will prescribe metformin to regulate the amount of sugar entering the cells.

Why not just regulate the sugar yourself?

Americans are addicted to sugar. It’s in everything. You rarely pick up a product in a box or bottle and not find sugar on the label. It may not say it, but it’s there. It may be in several different forms so it doesn’t have to be listed as the number one ingredient, but it’s there.

If it isn’t, it has been replaced by a sugar-free alternative. Don’t let it fool you. No one ever lost weight drinking suga-free soda. They instead took in a number of toxic ingredients.

A naturopathic doctor can help you correct an addiction. It’s what they specialize in. Prevention is the best medicine.

Your medical doctor doesn’t practice prevention. They are trained in putting out “fires,” of which there are plenty. They may do the testing and find an issue you’re not aware of. At that point your MD will prescribe a medicine to prevent it from going any further. Their job isn’t to tell you to prevent further degradation by changing your diet. Their job is to identify what’s wrong and prescribe something to fix it. When you return with something else that is not normal they will address it the same way. You are now comorbid.

Many people don’t even go to their doctor until they have a reason to, like after suffering a heart attack. This is one way to end up on several drugs all at once.

There is no reason to avoid doctors. If you don’t like what one says, go to another. Naturopathic doctors included.

If you don’t like the MD that prescribes a drug, go to a naturopathic doctor. If you don’t want to make the lifestyle changes the naturopathic doctor prescribes, go to your MD. Both visits are covered by insurance.

Many of the things you go to medical doctors for, naturopaths can tend to, including digestive issues, skin issues, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and other issues. If a naturopathic doctor doesn’t have the answer, they will send you to someone who may. For instance, chronic pain can be addressed by physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractors, etc.

The naturopathic doctor will want you to address all your issues in order to be relieved of your comorbidity There are many options to address health issues. “Doctor” in Latin means teacher. Choose your teacher wisely.

Dr. Ann Aresco is the founder of ProNatural Physicians Group, located at 120 Webster Square Road in Berlin. Find the practice online at



More From This Section