A blood-type diet is one treatment used.
There are some who may confuse a naturopathic physician with a homeopathic physician, but Ted Suzelis, N.D., explains that homeopathics are only one area in a broad range of studies required to earn this degree.
"A naturopathic specializes in natural medicine," says Dr. Suzelis, who practices in Canfield and Newton Falls, and earned his degree at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Ariz. "It is a four-year program, which consists of general basic medical training, similar to an M.D., but the emphasis is on natural medicine, and a holistic approach to wellness and disease prevention. This also includes training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, herbal and Chinese medicine, physical medicine, such as spinal manipulation and massage, along with psychology and counseling."
Dr. Suzelis works in conjunction with clients' primary physician to help heal the whole person and identify underlying health issues, such as diet. He is certified as a blood-type practitioner by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, and guiding clients to the most beneficial foods to suit their blood type is an important aspect of his practice.
For their first visit, clients will see Dr. Suzelis in a two-hour session for a full health history and evaluation. During this period, he will make suggestions for diet and nutrition.
The blood-type diet is based on the theory of food sensitivities. The digestive tract is where a significant number of blood-type markers (like proteins) are found. Foods also contain markers called lectins.
Certain blood types may be sensitive to certain foods, such as Type B and tomatoes. The body can react to tomatoes in a way similar to allergies, or as if an incompatible blood transfusion had been made. However it is a delayed sensitivity and the body can react for days. If that particular food is eaten on a regular basis, the body is always in a state of reacting.
While each case is considered individually, some possible symptoms of a blood-type dietary problem could be migraine headaches, fatigue or sinus problems. Each blood type has certain foods that will be beneficial, foods to avoid and neutral foods.
For instance, someone who is Type A might want to avoid most dairy products, but could find soy, cheese and milk beneficial and yogurt neutral. A Type B person, however, would find most dairy products beneficial or neutral, but should avoid soy products. Dr. Suzelis stresses that it usually takes three to four weeks to see significant improvement after beginning the blood-type diet.
Camie Easton of Rome suffered from severe migraine headaches for years. She was on prescription medication for a while, but then suffered "horrible side effects."
"During the first visit to Dr. Suzelis, he tested my organs and recommended supplements that would best assist my individual needs and bring my body back into balance," Easton said. "He also put me on a blood-type diet. I am happy and proud to say I am now headache-free," she added.
Dr. Suzelis also often recommends herbal remedies, which are very individualized. In conjunction with traditional medication, herbal remedies may be used to help boost the immune system and energy, and, in the case of cancer patients, to help improve the effects of chemotherapy and reduce its side effects.
The doctor also looks at possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies in his clients. "Eating too much sugar can deplete the body of chromium," he said. "This can then cause metabolism problems, and the person will crave more sugar." Dr. Suzelis would then offer suggestions to dietary changes and recommend a chromium supplement. He also might recommend a good multivitamin. If someone needs to boost immunity to colds and flu, they may be lacking in anti-oxidant vitamins such as A, C and E.