Finding a Practitioner Who Can Help You Address Memory Loss
We are often asked this question: what is the best way to find a practitioner who can help determine what is causing memory issues and treat them? How can I find a practitioner who understands the multi-therapeutic approach?
Most traditionally educated medical doctors (MD) and dentists (DDS and DMD) have not been trained in treating the causes of dementia identified so far. Medical and dental schools typically do not offer many hours on topics such as nutrition, heavy metals detoxification, hormone testing and treatment, stress management, gerontology (the study of the elderly), or infections and toxicities such as Lyme Disease, and mold.
For this reason, you may need to go outside traditional categories of healthcare to find alternative or integrative physicians such as functional medicine or naturopathic doctors. There are other practitioners as well. Many of these doctors partner with health coaches to help patients follow recommended changes to diet and lifestyle, which is useful for prevention as well. Keep in mind that each individual seeking treatment will have his or her own insurance and financial considerations.
Options for Finding a Practitioner
Seek a Recommendation for a Practitioner in Your Area
Depending on where you live, you may have access to one or more functional medicine or integrative practitioners. If you have friends who have been to integrative doctors, ask for a recommendation. Not all practitioners are aware of the causes of dementia, even though many of these practitioners are trained to treat them. As you go about your research, here are some helpful tips:
Thoroughly read each doctor’s website and any printed materials.
Call the office manager with questions about their services, policies, and practices, insurance, and costs. Some doctors take insurance, and many don’t. Depending on where you live and the type of practitioner you are seeking, you may have a wide choice or a very limited one.
To determine if you’ve found the right professional, schedule an initial consultation (in-person or video conference) to see if he or she is the right doctor for you or your loved one. You want to work with someone who will answer your questions, and who treats you with consideration and respect.
Search the Internet for an Integrative Medical or Dental Practitioner
In the absence of a trusted personal referral, the next best sources of information on integrative practitioners are websites of the associations to which they belong. Each website has an interactive database that lists member physicians and where they practice. Simply enter your zip code and the number of miles you are willing to travel from your home, and you will be given a list of their members who practice in the area.
We suggest you visit several association websites, as it is impossible just from a listing to tell whether a particular physician is going to be able to treat you. Then visit websites for the individual doctors to learn more about their qualifications and specialties. You may also want to search sites such as healthgrades.com and vitals.com for reviews.