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Frequently Asked Questions

leaf Dr. Lauren Hacker Wellness First Clinic Naturopathic Doctor Denver

For Prospective Patients

A naturopathic doctor is focused on the patient. I want to hear your whole story because everything in your body is interrelated. Understanding your full health story, I can work with your body, not against it. My goal is to help you find real answers to the root cause of your health issues. I’m not about simply managing your symptoms; I believe in digging deep to find the source of your health concern and working from there.

A naturopathic doctor is your healthcare partner. I ensure you are equipped with the information you need – in plain English – to be proactive and take control of your health.

I want to be a partner in your health journey. The best way to do this is by guiding my patients to identify and resolve the root cause of their health concerns.

With every patient, I focus on three things:

  1. Helping them listen to their body – physical, mental and emotional aspects.
  2. Find the root cause of the issue.
  3. Restore the energy and vitality they need to live better lives.

My focus is on delivering clinical excellence and compassionate knowledge to every patient. I intentionally see fewer patients, so you get more time with me and I can get to truly know you and your body.

In my practice, I rely on 5 core pillars of care:

  1. Cultivation/Detox
    It is important to re-invigorate your liver and gut. You liver and your gut are like garden soil and everything that passes through will either be turned into building blocks or waste. We have to make sure that the liver and the gut are optimally processing nutrients for building and removing waste products through detoxification. A rich garden supports a thriving ecosystem (your body).

  2. Nourishment
    We work together to find a plan for fueling your body effectively, reducing inflammation, and also provide nourishment for the mind and soul through information, connection, and energy-work.

  3. Movement
    We craft a movement plan to actively and sustainably engage your body. Your body was not made to be sedentary. By moving our body, we receive a wealth of health benefits: better circulation, better detox, balanced hormones and balanced weight.

  4. Balance
    We assess and stabilize your body’s important messengers: your hormones. We help each organ system work together in a complimentary way.

  5. Activation
    Through my coaching and your commitment, we build your healing path. Coaching promotes accountability and encourages results. Your commitment involves being ready to engage and actively participate in your care. Together, we get you on the right track to heal!

With this multifaceted approach, I teach women to listen to their bodies and understand their own health.

I work with patients who are ready to break out of the broken healthcare system. I work with women who are ready to take charge of their health and invest in themselves.

I work with women on the following issues:

  • Hormonal imbalances like: PMS, heavy periods, endometriosis, PCOS, perimenopause, postmenopause, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and HPA axis dysregulation, hyperthyroidism, and Hashimoto’s.
  • Reproductive health and fertility (for women and men).
  • Digestive issues like: constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, SIBO, yeast, parasites, IBD, IBS, Celiac disease, and food sensitivities.
  • Mental health and stress management. Along with the care of a therapist, I work with patients experiencing mild anxiety and depression.
  • Autoimmune conditions.
  • Immune health during cold, flu, and allergy seasons.
  • On a limited, case-by-case basis, I will accept patients dealing with mold issues, lyme, diabetes type 1 and 2, and cardiovascular disease.

The patients who achieve the best results are ready to discover the true answer to their health challenges. They are prepared to do the work and don’t expect a quick fix. They don’t want to rely on pills for the rest of their lives. They are committed to the process and reclaiming their quality of life.

At this time, I am not seeing patients for:

  • Congestive heart failure, advanced stage diabetes, COPD or severe asthma.
  • Advanced mental health conditions such as severe depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder.
  • Oncology/cancer care.
  • Advanced neurological disorders.

Naturopathic medicine is about restoring the body to health. It’s what medicine was intended to be: doctors taking care of patients by teaching them how to heal their bodies and own their care – without all the red tape and regulations of insurance companies.

This practice of medicine puts the emphasis on education and prevention for optimal health. It’s a blend of art and science as well as modern and traditional medicine. We rely on diagnostic testing and therapeutic methods that encourage your body’s innate ability to heal itself.

What sets naturopathic medicine apart is our philosophy – the way we think about a whole person (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual), their health, and their body’s innate healing abilities. We believe that the body needs some help removing the obstacles to its own ability to heal, which often means using the least force and least invasive tactics. 

Functional medicine training is available to many types of practitioners, including non-medical practitioners, who don’t have extensive medical training. . This means that anyone can learn to use nutrition, counseling, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and supplements. As a result, many people are doing what is trendy without understanding the “why” or how to make sure a treatment plan balances the whole body. Even if you’ve tried functional medicine in the past, I invite you to schedule a discovery call so we can talk about how we might work together differently.

leaf Dr. Lauren Hacker Wellness First Clinic Naturopathic Doctor Denver

Visits

Your first visit is a 90-minute diagnostic session. Together, we review your medical history as well as your physical, mental, emotional and social health. If time permits, we’ll do a physical exam and review previous lab results from the past year. This visit may be different from other doctor or practitioner visits you’ve experienced, because we spend time getting a thorough picture so we are informed on what you’ve experienced on your health journey and where to go next. This comprehensive assessment also gives us an opportunity to ensure we’re a good fit, and we both feel confident we can achieve the desired outcome.

By the end of your first visit, you’ll know what the next steps are, such as additional lab work. In order to compile a comprehensive plan, usually no recommendations for care are provided in the first visit. This allows us time to think about your case and come up with the best next steps.
We’ll schedule your next visit, usually 1-2 weeks after the initial consultation and during that appointment, we’ll review remaining labs and I’ll outline the best plan for you moving forward and begin treatment.

Both!

I am registered and practicing part-time in Colorado as an ND. In Colorado, I work with patients through my private practice: Lauren Hacker ND, LLC.

I am licensed and practice part-time in Arizona as an NMD. In Arizona, I work with patients at Desert Rain Naturopathic Clinic.

I also work with clients in other states as a non-medical health consultant.

For more information on visit types, see below.

To schedule a consultation or ask more questions, complete the form at the bottom of this page.

I offer both virtual and in-person appointments for your convenience.

Virtual appointments are available any time during regular business hours for all patients in Colorado and Arizona, as well as for clients in other states.

If you establish virtual care, then I ask that you come in one to two times per year for an in-person visit in your corresponding state. Even with all the benefits of virtual visits, there’s still information I can better gather when we meet in person.

As in-person visits are popular, we tend to be more booked out, so we recommend that you coordinate with our office to get regularly scheduled in either location, if this is your preference!

After the initial diagnostic session, we generally start with a 1 hour lab review appointment/report of findings and then create your individualized naturopathic plan. Your individual plan will include the 5 pillars I have found to be important for healing:
  1. Cultivation/Detox
  2. Nourishment
  3. Movement
  4. Balance
  5. Activation
With those 5 pillars in mind, we’ll take steps to balance your blood sugar, identify any food sensitivities, heal your digestion, address stress, balance your hormones and decrease inflammation – all with the goal of healing the root cause of your health concerns. Once we have a solid plan in place, for the first three months to one year, we’ll check in every two to four weeks for either 30-60 minutes, depending on your case and time needed. Initially, we need to check in this often because your body is giving us feedback so we can tweak and adjust your plan. We’ll move toward spacing your visits out until you’ve reached your goals or you’re in a maintenance phase. Each patient is different so the duration of our work together could range from 3 months to a year. Remember, you’re never alone in this process. I’m here to guide you through your entire healing journey with easy-to-follow instructions.
The first office visit is $450 for 90 minutes.
 
Then, visit time and fee range depend on the complexity of the case and individual need.
 
Follow up visits are typically 30-60 minutes in length range from $125-250.
Generally, after the first office visit, there is a 60 minute lab review or treatment plan visit.
 
15 minute visits are used for questions or coaching calls.
 
30 minutes are used to check in on patient progress and adjust the current plan as needed, based on the body’s feedback and patient needs.
 
Any lab review or treatment plan change visit is generally 1 hour.
 
All visits are billed by time.
 
Phone calls, emails, and patient portal messages follow-ups for 0-15 minutes range from $40-65.
 
Physical medicine appointments range from $65-188 depending on the modality.
 
 

Please Note:
We try to accommodate questions regarding treatment clarification at no charge.
Simply put, if you have a quick yes or no question about a supplement or diagnostic test we recommended or a therapy reaction.

However, if the response to a question you submit requires doctor review and reply and/or conduct research and/or evolves into multiple messages, you will be billed for the time involved at the doctor’s hourly rate, as outlined in the clinic’s consent forms.

This includes but is not limited to the following message platforms: phone calls, texts, patient portal messages, and emails, will be billed at the same hourly rate, with a minimum charge of $35 response time given.

Starting in 2022, we will be offering new membership options. These special plans used to be exclusively reserved for patients who completed a program, but because they’ve been successful, we are opening up the opportunity to all interested patients.

By working together more consistently, creating continuity, and spreading out care costs, membership plans allow us to achieve more health goals in a year.

Membership plans are available in two tiers, regular or premium, and are paid in monthly or annual installments.

For more information, please contact us using the question form below.

All appointments should be cancelled or rescheduled no less than 48 hours prior. Your appointment time is reserved specifically for you. A late cancellation leaves a gap in the schedule that could have been filled by a patient in need. Please support our community and practice by planning ahead. If you change your appointment with less than 48 hours notice or you miss your appointment entirely, you may be charged a cancellation fee up to the full cost of the appointment.
One of the key differentiators of naturopathic medicine is the direct, personal relationship you have with your doctor. As such, I don’t want insurance dictating your treatment. I do not accept insurance so I can save you from the rising medical costs and rules that inevitably come along with third-party payers. By not accepting insurance, it removes red tape and bureaucracy. We can have longer visits to assess your health, provide appropriate treatment and adjust your plan – all with the goal of getting to the root cause of your health issue and helping you heal. Plus, I can keep my costs lower because I don’t have to hire a team to process insurance billing.
Yes, you can use your HSA/FSA (Health Savings Account) to pay for care.

I am excited to be accepting patients in both Colorado and Arizona for naturopathic medicine.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to reach more patients and guide them towards health success through my private practice throughout the state of Colorado virtually, and locally in Denver, Colorado.

I am also available throughout the state of Arizona, or locally at Desert Rain Naturopathic Clinic in Prescott Valley, Arizona.  

I am also excited to work with clients in other states as a health consultant on a limited basis.

For more information on visit types, see below.

To schedule a consultation or ask questions, complete the form at the bottom of this page.

leaf Dr. Lauren Hacker Wellness First Clinic Naturopathic Doctor Denver

Treatment and Labs

I prefer to test, not guess. So, often my initial treatment plans include labs and imaging. Treatment plans are comprehensive and targeted to your body and overall health goals. I may recommend supplements, herbs, nutritional counseling, lifestyle modifications, homeopathy, or other remedies depending on your individual needs.

For example, if you’re suffering from fatigue, I’ll ask about your caffeine intake and how late in the day you exercise. And, I’ll look at your hormones, digestion, mood, neurotransmitter levels, food sensitivities, stress, diet and your toxin exposure. Why all those extra details? Because those seemingly unrelated factors can contribute to your fatigue and tell us where we need to go to get your energy back.

I want to empower you to get to a place where you can maintain your health changes with mostly lifestyle modifications and a few supplements.

Absolutely! I believe in helping you create the best care team possible. I work with primary care physicians, medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, functional medicine practitioners, body workers, energy healers, acupuncturists, ayurvedic practitioners, curandero/as, physical therapists, nurses, biofeedback practitioners, etc.

Sometimes, I will ask my patients to limit the number of “cooks in the kitchen” if we aren’t getting the results we are expecting.

There is a time and place for everything, and I feel it is most important to meet patients where they are and with the level of care they need. Naturopathic doctors are trained in pharmacology, so I certainly understand when they are clinically necessary.

I ultimately believe in first prescribing treatments that do the least harm – while still effective.

I use supplements to achieve results faster or in places where we need extra support in addition to food and health basics (sleep, stress management, clean water, air/breathwork, and regular exercise). When I do recommend supplements, I use online supplement provider Fullscript to ship professional-grade supplements to patients. Fullscript ensures proper quality, storage, and shipment to maintain the integrity of the products and their platform makes it easy for patients to order refills as needed. The FDA does not closely monitor and regulate supplements, which means many of them often have more fillers and less than a therapeutic dose of what you need. In order to encourage patients to order supplements from quality sources, I offer a 10% discount for orders placed through Fullscript.

I will order both comprehensive labs and specialty labs.

Comprehensive labs are usually a lot like your annual physical labs, but might include additional pieces. These labs look at your immune system and oxygen/nutrient delivery (CBC), labs that look at your electrolytes, blood sugar, kidney and liver function, a complete lipid/cholesterol panel, a complete thyroid panel.

I may additionally want to look at autoimmune or digestive health markers, hormones and fertility markers.

Specialty labs include: comprehensive digestive health testing, SIBO testing, comprehensive hormone testing, comprehensive fertility testing, food sensitivity testing, neurotransmitter and mental health testing, chronic disease testing, lyme testing, mold testing, heavy metal testing, parasite testing, and more.

I recommend getting standard labs done every year. Specialty labs can be repeated as needed, depending on the patient and course of care.
If you have labs from other care providers within the last year, then I encourage you to bring them in to your appointment. I look at labs based on functional lab ranges, so I may have a different point of view on your labs.

Have you been told that your labs look normal even though you feel terrible? Did you know that standard lab ranges are set up so that 90% of people fall within the normal range? 

If you’re reading this question, you likely know that 90% of the people around you don’t feel well or optimal these days, in spite of being told that their labs look normal. 

Additionally, 60% of people suffer from at least one chronic disease. 

So, standard ranges don’t work when you are feeling terrible, but your labs look normal.

Functional lab ranges are much more narrow and specific to the problem. They allow me to identify patterns and begin to find the root cause for why you feel something is “off.”

I do not draw blood, but I do work with patients to locate a lab where they can have blood drawn. Draw sites occasionally have draw fees of approximately $10 to $40.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please complete the form below. I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

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Asking Questions is the First Step Towards Owning Your Care