Similar to a typical Medical Doctor, Naturopathic Physicians are trained to perform physical exams covering a variety of symptoms and tests. However, physical exams performed by naturopaths also include a special series of tests intended to spot nutritional deficiencies, based on a few common physical indicators.
For example, Beau’s lines are white lines on the fingernails that may indicate a zinc deficiency. Looking at the hardness of the nails may indicate how well calcium is being absorbed, and the presence of `ridges may indicate an iron deficiency. Some signs of the nails may indicate a toxic metal exposure.
Another common step in a naturopathic physical exam is to examine the tongue for signs of B vitamin deficiencies, as well as the mucous membranes for dehydration. Checking the achilles reflex for a delayed response will suggest your thyroid will be low that can be confirmed by blood testing. These are just a few of the items we look at.