Q-and-A with Dr. Chrysanthi Kazantzis, a Naturopathic Physician
The combination of nature and modern science produces the practice of Naturopathy, in which self healing and natural methods are used for patients to make decisions that are healthier for their well being.
The combination of nature and modern science produces the practice of Naturopathy, in which self healing and natural methods are used for patients to make decisions that are healthier for their well being. Not only are the physical effects being treated for the body, the mind and spirit are treated and nourished as well.
President of the Rhode Island Naturopathic Physician Association, Dr. Chrysanthi Kazantzis (or Dr. Kaz, as patients call her), is a licensed naturopathic physician, as well as a Reiki Master and a clinical nutritionist. This is her fifth year of practice, as well as her second year working with the Providence Wholistic Healthcare team. She aims to guide those in need, with the right elements and counseling to combat the symptoms of several different health conditions, illnesses and/or diseases.
What exactly is a naturopathic doctor and what do they do?
A naturopathic doctor is an expert in natural medicine and a ND is a licensed doctor who has four years of postgraduate training at a naturopathic medical school. We are trained in using nutrients, vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrition, lifestyle changes, homeopathy and hydrotherapy to achieve optimal health in the body. We are also trained in pharmaceuticals and how they can interact with herbs and supplements. We are trained to diagnose conditions, perform physical exams and lab work and treat health conditions using natural modalities.
Besides wanting to help people, is there anything else that inspired you to turn to naturopathic medicine?
My own health journey inspired me. In college, I indulged in unhealthy eating and lifestyle practices which led to various health conditions. I studied nutrition in college and I realized that food is medicine. Once I started changing my diet to more nutritious foods, many of my health conditions improved. My heritage also influenced me as I am Greek and Persian, so I grew up with my grandmothers giving me various herbs and teas to help with health problems.
Have there been people who doubt or deny the abilities of naturopathic medicine?
There are always going to be people who don’t support you. Naturopathic medicine is an ancient type of medicine that has been used for thousands of years in ancient China, India and Greece. Now we are using that traditional medicine with modern day research and science. There is sound research on the use of supplements, vitamins, minerals and specific nutrients in foods and how they help achieve optimal health.
Are there any illnesses or disorders that have been difficult to treat with naturopathic medicine?
There are no difficult disorders or illnesses to treat, but there are difficult cases. Naturopathic medicine is a lifestyle medicine that you have to be committed to making lifestyle changes including changes in your diet, changes in exercise and sleep habits as well as taking supplements. The more compliant you are with your treatment plan the more successful the outcome will be.
Describe what a typical visit looks like.
A typical first patient visit is one hour and fifteen minutes long, where we discuss health concerns, health history, diet, exercise, sleep, stress, energy, etc. A physical exam is conducted including a nutritional physical exam. We then discuss a treatment plan with all natural therapies including dietary changes, supplements, herbs and homeopathy. Also functional lab tests are usually recommended which includes vitamin and mineral testing to rule out deficiencies, food sensitivity testing, stool testing, in depth cholesterol and thyroid panels and hormone tests.
What are a couple things you would recommend for people to stay safe during COVID?
In addition to washing your hands and wearing a mask, I think it is very important to support the immune system, not only for COVID, but for the flu or any other viruses that may come up in the winter. It is important to eat foods high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients that support immune function such as brightly colored vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy fats, fermented foods with healthy bacteria and limiting or avoiding sugar and processed foods. Hydration is very important and the goal is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. In terms of supplements some important immune supporting supplements are Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and probiotics. You should always check with your doctor before starting any new supplements and for guidance on the correct dose.