Friday, May 8, 2009

Annual check ups

It is a really good idea to see your PCP doc at least once a year. In addition to establishing the individual baselines as far as labs go and doing the basic preventative screening, it puts you in front of your doctor who sees probably thousands of patients a year and helps build that point of contact for you individually. It is a really good thing to have if anything ever comes up that truly needs emergency medical attention. Even though the conventional crew doesn't necessarily have the same ideals as we might regarding our own health and a more holistic approach to dis-ease prevention, they are still a very valuable part of our health care system. And to truly be proactive for our own health, we need to have a solid relationship with those people we may need to depend on outside of ourselves.

If you haven't had your annual PCP visit this year, please call and make an appointment ASAP.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thank you Dr. Allen Walker

I would like to thank Dr. F. Allen Walker ( and his patients for allowing me to sit in with them yesterday during their regular follow ups. Dr. Walker is a board certified psychiatrist in Louisville, Kentucky that specializes in working with patients that struggle with ADHD.

I feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Walker and to have him as a resource for myself and my patients here in Louisville that struggle with behavior, concentration, and focus disorders. It was obvious to me after watching him with his first patient yesterday that he is meticulous and compassionate when it comes to "diagnosing" his patients; and that he is also not a practitioner that simply throws out a prescription for a drug to bandaid a complex set of symptoms. Dr. Walker knows that the lifestyle components for patients are a crucial piece of the puzzle for a truly holistic and lasting improvement in the overall quality of life.

Here is what Dr. Allen Walker wrote about his treatment philosophy on his website:

What is clear is that stimulant ADHD medications can be helpful, at least in the short term . While the ADHD medications can allow changes to take place, the effect wears off when the ADHD medication wears off. The ADHD medications do not improve academic skills or increase knowledge, however ADHD medications can help people pay better attention and see their work to completion. The ADHD medications only control the symptoms however they do not address the root cause of Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms and quite honestly scientists do not know precisely how the medications work . ADHD medications are like glasses or allergy medications. The ADHD medications don’t cure the disorder they only temporarily control the symptoms.
I specialize in the treatment of ADHD and combine the use of medications along with identification and modification of underlying issues associated with ADHD. I deal with these issues first or simultaneously before rushing into a course of ADHD medications. For lasting improvements, I recommend and utilize consistent behavioral and organizational therapy along with medications. The use of emotional counseling, practical support, healthy diet, daily exercise and good sleep hygiene further assist to diminish the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. As in most psychiatric diagnoses there is no magic bullet and typically long-lasting change involves consistent investment into practicing lifestyle and behavioral changes.

It is refreshing for me to know Dr. Walker is here in Louisville. There are conventionally trained medical doctors in Kentucky that are open and embracing a more holistic approach to health and wellness. Bit by bit, we are on the right track.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Healthy Optimism

I read on Monday that President Obama has "allocated 155 million to 126 community health centers" as part of the economic stimulus package.

This is a meager percentage of the nearly 800 billion dollars that the President is promoting overall. So I am not sure if my concern is warranted. My fear is that these new health centers will simply offer more of the same regarding primary health care and dis-ease prevention.

The new centers are planned to provide services to those most in need, those individuals with low incomes and little to no health insurance. These services will include state-of-the-art testing - laboratory and diagnostic imaging. The treatments will allow access to prescription medicines that these patients typically would not be able to afford. Is this a good thing?

I am not fully sure. I want to be optimistic about our economy and the overall health or pursuit of health of the American citizens. But I am afraid that the state-of-the-art testing and high cost prescriptions will be vastly missing the target on what is really going on with these individuals that are most in need.

In our Western society, the diseases of the poor are typically lifestyle ailments: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. My experience and medical training has demonstrated over and over again that these conditions are most effectively (both for overall improvement of health and for cost/expense ratio) treated by lifestyle interventions. It is about education, providing the tools needed to empower the individual to be responsible for their own health goals. I am worried that the labs and testing won't reach the same diagnosis; and that the treatments that would have the greatest overall benefit won't fit in a little pill.

Friday, February 13, 2009

why we need education, education...

Our pursuit of health is our own and we need to be educated and walk in a manner that is safe and comfortable for ourselves. But it never ceases to amaze me how the conventional paradigm has brain washed the masses into a quiet obedience to whatever is suggested. Take this quote for example.

"And there's nothing wrong with meds, they're just as natural as anything else in the world, especially all this "probiotic" stuff." by John

Now I would never assert there is anything wrong with meds or ever even make such a statement. Being a licensed and board certified primary care physician with full prescriptive privileges I recognize their importance and place in health care when needed. I also wouldn't say that the "natural" stuff is always better. There is a time and place for everything.

I certainly wouldn't say that the pharm meds are as natural as the probiotics or herbal meds that I might recommend. I also would not claim that a synthetic dye is as natural as a sepia dye made from squid ink. It would only be foolishness or simple arrogance that would allow someone to make such a absurd comparison.

I have said this over and over again. It doesn't matter what we give or what we take in our pursuit of health... it only matters why we take it. It is the philosophy of healing that is at the heart of pure medicine. It is the patients and the physician's job to find their individual balance in that relationship. Good luck finding yours.