Dr. Samantha Zahavi, ND, Naturopathic Medicine
Total years in practice: 5
became a Naturopathic Doctor because I am passionate about promoting wellness, preventing illness and treating the root cause of disease. As a functional medicine practitioner, I aim to work closely with patients’ other healthcare practitioners to provide comprehensive and integrative medical care. I believe that patients deserve adequate time to be heard and understood in order to uncover the underlying causes of health concerns. I use a whole body approach with emphasis on the mind-body connection. I believe in the power of small changes and have witnessed it first hand with my own health. Most importantly, I am passionate about helping people and I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.
EDUCATION. I want you to understand your own health on a cellular level. I want you to understand your illness explain the mechanism of action for treatments I recommend so you understand how they function in your body.
PARTNERSHIP. Lifestyle changes can be hard and take time. My intentions are to provide you with the tools and support you need to succeed throughout your entire health journey. My goal is to make you feel safe, heard, supported and inspired. We are a team.
COMPREHENSIVE CARE. Through discussion, comprehensive testing and working closely with your health team, I hope to uncover the root cause of your health concerns. I intend to provide individualized treatment plans that are researched based yet natural and gentle on your body.
Samantha received her Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) from The University of Western Ontario where she pursued a double major in Physiology and Psychology to better understand the mind-body connection. She then completed a four year doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).
At CCNM, Samantha was involved in a research study dedicated to understanding the symptoms and response to natural therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. During her clinical study, she practiced at Brampton Civic Hospital, Sherbourne Health Centre and Queen West Health Centre providing naturopathic medical care to those in need. She also travelled to Nicaragua, living with and treating local conditions. She found this to be one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences to date.
As a proud member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), Samantha participates in continuing education courses as she enjoys learning and is interested in constantly staying up-to-date with the most recent medical research and natural therapies.
From a young age I knew I wanted to be a Doctor - and educationally, I was always on that path. I had grown up with eczema, asthma and allergies which was managed with conventional medicine. In high school I always just felt okay, never good. I experienced sleep dysfunction, chronic rhinitis and constant fatigue or restlessness. In University, I started experiencing abdominal pain, worsening bowel habits, transient low grade fevers and more. Looking back now as a Naturopathic Doctor, there are so many things I could’ve done to improve my health and prevent future disease development.
Doctors didn’t suspect anything was wrong at the time, but my loving and brilliant Mother took me to see a Naturopath. I changed my diet, took a few supplements and within 6 weeks I noticed a significant improvement. I had energy, my mood felt more balanced and my gastrointestinal symptoms improved drastically. I was able to sleep better and felt more rested in the mornings. Until that summer…when I decided to stop my regimen. Within 2 months, all of my symptoms returned, but worse. I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune gastrointestinal disease that causes GI symptoms and many other systemic symptoms as well.
Throughout those years, Naturopathic Medicine was the only avenue that helped manage my symptoms, even when a diagnosis did not yet exist. I learned how food and nutrients nourished my cells and prevented inflammation and damage to my intestines. I learned that food is medicine. I learned how intimately tied the gut and brain are. I learned that Naturopathic Medicine could and should complement conventional medical treatments.
When being treated with Remicade for Crohn’s Disease, my diet and lifestyle were still essential for managing symptoms. I eventually developed Drug-Induced Lupus (SLE) from Remicade and had to come off biologics. Today, I am currently maintaining remission from Crohn’s, drug-free, relying on the treatments I’ve developed and all I’ve learned along the way to keep me healthy and prevent relapse. This might not be the case forever and might not work to this degree for others with severe disease but I’m truly grateful for the tools I have in my box as an ND and hope to share them with you.
I’ve been very fortunate to have had two healthy, happy, beautiful kids along the way! Pregnancy, women and children’s health have become an area of focus for me. I’m passionate about helping families conceive, following them through pregnancy, birth and post-partum. DoctormomND is a way for me to provide tips and tricks related to these topics and to provide the information I wish I had throughout my pregnancy and post-partum journey.