Integrative Medical Doctor We are an integrative medical practice. That means that we use more than just conventional western medicine to heal people and try and get people off of prescription medicines by getting to the root cause of illness. We incorporate a variety of modalities to get people well with a strong emphasis on diet and lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, aggressively managing hormones, using functional medicine principles, and innovative allergy treatments. Functional Medicine Functional medicine uses a patient-centered approach and addresses the underlying causes of disease which is dysfunction in various organ systems. It is a systems-oriented approach and brings both patient and practitioner into a therapeutic partnership. It is an actual evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. For more info check out: What is Functional Medicine Lifestyle Medicine Lifestyle medicine seeks to promote healing in patients by taking a good hard look at your lifestyle and how that is affecting your health. And then we seek to come alongside of you and help you make the changes you need to make to allow your body to heal itself. Preventive Medicine Preventive medicine in its best form will actually help you to PREVENT disease and disability by heading it off at the pass. It’s much more than vaccinating people or colon cancer screening. It’s identifying all the factors present that increase your risk of getting sick or developing a chronic illness such as heart disease or cancer. It’s about staying well and living as long as you can with an outstanding quality of life. Nutritional Medicine The old joke is that you get about an hour of training in nutrition in medical school. And that was not far off from the truth. There was very little teaching in the power and influence of nutrition on health and disease. Today, things are changing, and more and more doctors are beginning to incorporate nutrition into their practice. Dr. Epperly got certified in clinical nutrition a long time ago because he realized years ago how vital nutrition is to getting people well. Allergy Allergy and sensitivity issues can be a big part of why people do not feel well. We do skin testing and blood testing in our office to see what environmental allergies you might have and we use standard and innovative approaches to help you have less allergy symptoms whether that be allergies to pollens, dust mites, mold spores, or pets. One of the treatments we use to treat allergies is called SLIT which stands for SubLingual ImmunoTherapy. These are drops placed under your tongue on a daily basis and they work as well as allergy shots (which we can also give you if desired) and are actually safer. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Biodentical hormones are estradiol (main form of estrogen) and testosterone and progesterone, and are present in both men and women. Many problems are associated with deficiencies or imbalances in these hormones in both men and women. We have been using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in our patients for over 20 years, and the results can be amazing. They can be in the form of patches, gels, creams, injectables, pellet implants, or vaginal suppositories. The exact therapy is tailored to fit the individual and their unique circumstances. Testosterone Replacement Therapy Testosterone replacement therapy is estimated to be currently used in only 20% of men with hypogonadism (“low T”). Our office treats men with “low T” using weekly self-injections, topical gels, patches, and testosterone pellet implants. It’s important to realize that just because your total testosterone is above 300, your “bioavailable testosterone” my be significantly low, and therefore we measure that, too, in addition to an ultrasensitive estradiol level as well. Hormone Pellet Implants For decades, it has been possible to insert bioidentical estradiol and testosterone pellets, the size of a BB or a grain of rice, under the skin of the buttocks to provide an excellent source of bioidentical hormone replacement. The blood levels that are obtained are excellent and the convenience factor is high. In our office, the pellets are painlessly inserted through a tiny incision only 2-4 times a year, and the procedure takes less than 10 minutes. Our practice has been using hormone pellet implants since 2004 and the results are very good. They can be used in both men and women. Hypothyroidism Treating hypothyroidism has become a very large part of our practice. Our approach is sometimes unconventional in the sense that we don’t rely entirely on lab results to determine what doses or types of thyroid hormone to use. We listen to our patients’ symptoms and not just look at lab numbers. Also, our testing of blood levels tends to be a bit more extensive than just TSH and free T4. We go deeper in our investigation, and we will sometimes use thyroid hormone replacement based more on symptoms than labs, especially if the labs are not in an optimal range.