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Factors That Influence Health and Disease

The naturopathic assessment of health and disease includes an extensive look at the factors that influence health and disease, which is an expanded look at the determinants of health.  From a naturopathic perspective, health is a complex, integrated process. Too often it is explained by narrow criteria and hence, the ability to achieve health has eluded many or is not sustainable.

Naturopathic practice recognizes that health and disease are logical, complex and multi-factorial. Recognizing the causal link between the determinants of health and the state of health self-responsibility and self-awareness.  Identifying the factors contributing to symptoms and diseases is an essential aspect of the naturopathic assessment process.


The factors that influence health and disease relate to:

  • Personal essence permeates all aspects of a person.  It relates to one’s sense of purpose, spirituality and their connection with others. It provides a person with a sense of belonging to something that is greater than the self. The personal essence acts as a guide and a filter on a person's life. It holds a person's deep core beliefs and their values. It is their blueprint.   The personal essence is influenced throughout a person's life based on the stages of life and the events that a person has encountered

  • Genetics and gestational factors  play a role in health and disease, especially on infants and children up to the age of eight. After that lifestyle, learned behaviour and other factors tend to have the greatest influence. Gestational factors that need to be considered include: family genetics, prenatal exposure, intrauterine influences and birth trauma

  • Lifestyle factors such as water, nutrition, hygiene, posture, rest, sleep, movement, expression of emotions and outlook on life.

  • ​Social factors include family and work dynamics, social support systems, community and the health of your relationships with others.

  • Environmental factors include your exposure to environmental toxins (heavy metals, environmental chemicals, EMF radiation), the health of the environment (air, water and soil quality, pollution, geopathic stress), exposure to pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic) as well as the time that you spend outside in nature.

  • External factors relate to smoking, recreational drugs, accidents and injuries, chemical exposure (personal care products, household, gardening, hobby and manufacturing chemicals), and other external factors such as ergonomics and flying.


  • Medical interventions, procedures and prescriptions include the history of medical treatments, past surgeries, history of antibiotic use, history and current medications, adverse effects of medications, suppression of symptoms, dental work & procedures, cosmetic treatments, supplements, herbs and other natural health products and fillers and additives in medications and supplements.


  • Physiological Processes that are both essential and can be considered causal factors of disease when not functioning optimally include breathing, suppression of bodily urges, the ability of the body to eliminate toxins, a healthy and balanced microbiome and the progression of disease and / or aging itself.

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