Frequently asked questions
How does a naturopathic doctor (ND) differ from a medical doctor (MD)?
Naturopathic doctors receive similar training to medical doctors in the biomedical and clinical sciences. Additionally, they train in evidence-based natural therapies, such as clinical nutrition, herbs, supplements, and alternative diagnostic tools. In general, NDs spend more time with their patients, allowing them to conduct a deeper investigation into the underlying cause of their illness. In treatment, the goal of NDs is to use the least invasive therapies possible, with an emphasis on prevention of disease, restoration of health, and reversal of chronic illness. Most Naturopathic doctors spend most of their clinical hours in outpatient clinics and generally do not do hospital rounds.
Dr. Suhaila has addition training and completed a residency in Integrative Oncology. She worked on the medical staff of a cancer treatment hospital in both an inpatient and outpatient setting; Going on hospital rounds and sitting on tumor boards alongside conventional oncologists.
We practice using the tenants of Naturopathic Medicine
First, Do No Harm
The Healing Power of Nature
Identify and Treat the Causes
Doctor as Teacher
Treat the Whole Person
What is a Naturopathic Oncologist (FABNO), and what differentiates you from other Naturopathic Physicians?
A naturopathic oncologist is a naturopathic physician that has undergone specialty training, exams, and certification.
To qualify to become a board-certified Naturopathic Oncologist requires completing a 2-year naturopathic oncology residency and having 2400 clinical hours with oncology patients, case study reviews, and a board certification exam.
Dr. Suhaila completed a residency and was later a part of the medical staff of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a cancer treatment hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Her responsibilities included supporting patients with natural medicine during chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and beyond. She participated in tumor boards and hospital rounds and worked side-by-side with conventional medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists to support patients' best interests.
Dr. Suhaila is a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO), which denotes expertise in natural medicine and a specialization in naturopathic oncology.
She continues her post-graduate education with the Institute of Functional Medicine and by participating in Dr. Nasha Winters' Metabolic Approach Mastermind and through consulting with other lead experts and mentors in the integrative oncology field.
What cancer-related side effects can you help with?
Reduction in Side Effects from Chemo, Radiation, or Surgery, such as:
Numbness and Tingling (Neuropathy)
Weight loss, weight maintenance
Liver Enzyme Changes
Caring for the Caregiver
Will your recommendations interfere with the treatment my oncologist has recommended?
Naturopathic oncologists have the education and the experience needed to understand and integrate supportive treatments for people with cancer, which may help maximize their response to conventional therapy. Dr. Suhailaexcels at understanding what to recommend to a patient seeking naturopathic options and what not torecommend. The recommendations that we make will not interfere with the efficacy or pharmacokinetics of your conventional medical treatment.
This knowledge has proven highly beneficial for both the individuals we serve and the other medical providers we co-manage patients.
Will you consult with my conventional oncologist?
Yes, we receive referrals from conventional oncologists, who understand and appreciate the benefit of an integrative approach. We believe in building bridges and doing what is in your best interest in co-managing your support. We encourage you to share your treatment plan with your conventional oncologist, and If your conventional oncologist wants to connect, we would be more than happy to.
How can I prepare for my first visit?
Your provider reviews your intake form from our patient portal before your visit. We request all questionaries and medical information (any labs, pathology reports, imaging reports, and relevant medical history notes) be uploaded to our system 48 business hours before your appointment.
The initial office visit is a comprehensive one-on-one consultation. Dr. Suhaila will obtain a complete picture of you or your child's present condition and history to understand what led to the present situation. She will review your medical history, past and current health concerns, nutrition, and lifestyle. The initial office visit takes about one hour.
The first follow-up visit is generally scheduled for 1-2 weeks after the initial visit. At this visit, you will receive and review your comprehensive treatment plan and requests for any additional testing, which may be done through a conventional lab or a lab specializing in functional medicine testing. Your provider will determine subsequent follow-ups.
What type of support do you offer?
Cancer is a process. Five percent of cancer is genetic, and the other 95% is environmental and metabolic. Illness is a process that develops and unfolds within us within the context of our lives. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to change the environment that the cancer grew in. We empower you by showing you a roadmap that helps to create a healthier version of you! Working with a naturopathic oncologist, you begin a journey from illness to wellness.
We do not treat the tumor; we treat you.
We offer support for individuals who want an out-of-the-box approach and are searching for more options. We utilize a metabolic approach to cancer treatment and work to support the health and well-being of your body.
Additionally, we help with:
Preparation pre and post-biopsy and surgery
Support during Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, and Radiation that will protect your body and reduce side effects, and decrease any breaks in the treatment schedule
We offer evidence-based recommendations that may make cancer more susceptible to conventional treatments
Support of your immune system whenever possible
Support post-conventional cancer treatment to help restore health
Prevention of reduced recurrence of disease
Some naturopathic therapies can have harmful interactions with some conventional treatments or medications. That's why it is essential to understand when not to use specific naturopathic medicines or when to adjust them to have the intended effect. Dr. Suhaila understands the mechanisms of action of conventional treatments and is skilled at integrating naturopathic treatments into a more extensive integrative protocol.
What type of therapies do you utilize?
Therapeutic diets, including Ketogenic
Metabolic and immune therapies, including mistletoe
As our practice is telemedicine-based, we refer out to colleagues for any IV therapies. We will recommend the most appropriate treatment for your needs and convey this to the physician administering the IV. We continue to monitor your treatment throughout.
Do you use nutritional supplementation? Where can I purchase recommended supplements?
Based on a thorough history of your health concerns, physical examination, and appropriate laboratory testing, your provider will determine a customized therapeutic plan for you, which may include nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, therapeutic diets, lifestyle modification, and prescription medication when appropriate. Nutritional supplements are often an essential part of your treatment plan and customized to each patient's individual needs.
For your convenience, use FullScript and Wellevate -online pharmacies that carry high-quality, vetted supplements.
Are all of your visits virtual?
Yes. Dr. Suhaila was a very early adopter of virtual visits. Back in 2013, when Dr. Suhaila left her position at the cancer treatment hospital and started her private practice, she was the only physician board certified in Naturopathic Oncology in California. Her practice quickly grew with people coming from all over the state. She observed that the best type of care for someone going through cancer treatment was having easy access to appointments and care without spending hours in traffic or waiting in a doctor's office. It is better to spend this time improving the quality of your life! Our practice has continued to grow, and we consult with people throughout the United States and worldwide. We will continue to utilize the telemedicine model and have no plans to return to in-person office visits.
Do you take insurance?
We are considered 'out-of-network providers, meaning that you would pay for your visit at the time of service, but we will give you a superbill you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Will insurance cover my visits?
Depending on your policy, insurance may cover office visits with us as out-of-network providers. We recommend calling your insurance company and asking if office visits with a naturopathic doctor are covered. Our experience is that most PPO plans reimburse very well.
Does insurance cover lab testing?
Blood tests will usually be covered if you have a PPO plan. For other plans, such as HMOs, you may have to go through your primary care. Other lab tests, including saliva, stool, and urine, may also be reimbursed, but please check in advance. If you have a high deductible health plan, we can use a discount lab provider to run blood tests at a fraction of the retail price.
Does insurance cover supplements?
Most insurance plans don't cover the cost of supplements directly, but they can be paid for by a flexible spending or health savings account. We are happy to provide you with a letter of medical necessity or prescription for your supplements if required by your insurance company.
What is your cancellation policy?
To ensure that we have room in our schedule for all of our patients, we have a 48-hour cancellation policy. You will be asked for your credit card when you schedule your appointment to hold your spot. You will not be charged unless you do not show up for your appointment and have not canceled within the cancellation period. Of course, exceptions can be made for unique circumstances. The fee for missed appointments is the cost of the visit.