Our office is continually changing and adding information and tests as we learn about them. We hope the web site will allow you to be aware of all the areas we can assist you with.
CHRONIC PROBLEMS: Dr. Gail and N.P. Kathy find helping people with chronic problems very satisfying. This is an area traditional allopathic medicine does not treat well and patients are often very frustrated when they arrive at our office. We start with plenty of time for the patient to tell the story of their illness and then offer a list of suggestions for the person to begin making changes with and a list of tests that we would like to consider. Follow up is essential because getting to the bottom of a problem is like peeling layers from an onion.We establish a partnership in solving the problem and use the model of communicating with the body to see what the symptoms are telling us rather than covering them up with medication.
We require an annual exam to review the latest information available about your particular problems. This gives us a chance to practice preventive medicine and work on lifestyle changes. Dr. Gail and Nurse Practitioner Kathy can both prescribe medication for common problems like high blood pressure and diabetes and will encourage you to explore alternatives.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE: Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:
- Biochemical individuality describes the importance of individual variations in metabolic function that derive from genetic and environmental differences among individuals.
- Patient-centered medicine emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care,” following Sir William Osler’s admonition that “It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has.”
- Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
- Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – an abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without affect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurological syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
- Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span.
Functional medicine is anchored by an examination of the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Those imbalances arise as environmental inputs such as diet, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, and trauma are processed by one’s body, mind, and spirit through a unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs. This area of our practice has grown significantly in the last several years. We have always taken a nutritional history and made dietary recommendations. Our digestive system and the state of our nutrition is so central to our health that this has become an even more important focus. Finding even subtle nutritional deficiencies can have a major impact on our health depending on our individual genetics and stresses. Even our air and water contribute significant toxicity over the course of a lifetime depending on our other exposures. Functional medicine is concerned with the underlying biochemistry of our nutrients and hormones and making sure the body and brain have what they need to function properly. It is a growing specialty and Dr. Gail and N.P. Kathy are actively attending conferences in this area of information. We usually recommend the basic lab work of a chemistry panel, lipid profile, homocysteine, C reactive protein, thyroid hormone and vitamin D level as is age or symptom appropriate and are very excited to offer many more in depth tests for nutritional deficiency and toxicity. Please refer to the Tests section to see what is available.
FOOD ALLERGIES: Dr. Gail and N.P. Kathy have been testing and treating delayed hypersensitivity to food for many years and we continue to be amazed at how many problems are related to our digestive tract being inflamed and irritated. These sensitivities may be genetic problems but are more likely to be acquired sensitivities from repetitive exposure to the same foods, chronic stress and antibiotics. People are becoming much more aware of what is in processed foods and how often they might be ingesting powdered milk, high fructose corn syrup and wheat flour to name a few. We use the IgG and IgE blood test from Meridian Valley Lab. This test and the treatment of food ‘allergies’ and leaky gut with diet and appropriate supplements have totally eliminated many patient’s asthma, allergies, eczema, and digestive problems. It can also make it easier to treat other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
SCREENING TESTS: Dr. Gail and N.P. Kathy review the appropriate screening tests for your age and family history at the annual exam.
HORMONE BALANCE: Dr. Gail and N.P. Kathy have been prescribing bio-identical hormones for many years and have a special interest in menopause and women’s health. They advise women on prevention, and treatment of bone loss. Each woman’s preference regarding any hormone treatment is very important and many of our patients use no hormone therapy. We see menopause as an important change in a woman’s life – not as a disease or deficiency state. We are able to help men with hormone problems as well and do the appropriate labwork to check levels and metabolites if ongoing treatment is helpful.
ACUPUNCTURE: Dr. Gail obtained her initial acupuncture training through the UCLA Acupuncture for physicians program in 1996. She added training in Five Element Acupuncture beginning in 2003 with Dr. Charles Moss and Dr. Ron Puhky. She especially likes 5EA for treating complicated problems of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraine headache and finds it very useful for anxiety and depression. She continues to use other styles of acupuncture for a variety of pain and musculoskeletal problems. Acupuncture also involves counseling about lifestyle, dietary and emotional/spiritual issues which may be causing repetitive blockages of energy or “chi” leading to many symptoms.
HOSPITAL CARE: St. Lukes Pediatric hospitalists do in-hospital pediatrics for us and St. Lukes Internal Medicine group takes care of our adult inpatients at St. Lukes Hospital. The hospitalist physicians do the same at St. Alphonsus. We help you decide if you need to go to the hospital and coordinate with the hospital physicians while you are there. We do any follow up after the hospital and can order home health care when needed.