Q: WHAT MAKES CHH DIFFERENT?
A: Any situation can be viewed from multiple perspectives. Like the old story of the blind men describing what the elephant looked like to them. Each man had a different description of the very same animal. In traditional medicine, the patient is often viewed by a physician, especially a specialist, based on his or her particular experience or specialty. This perspective can be quite narrow and limiting. We believe that most if not all medical issues need to be viewed from multiple perspectives. This is the basis of the holistic approach.
The doctors here at CHH have found that utilizing the holistic, (nontraditional approach) enables us to see from various perspectives and thus enables us to deal with the variety of underlying imbalances that often lead up to a disease state instead of just looking at the current disease state and dealing with the resulting symptoms.
Q: WHY ARE THERE TWO SEPARATE VISITS TO BECOME AN ESTABLISHED PATIENT?
A: The initial visit with one of our MD’s entails a very thorough history and a brief exam. This is the visit where the doctor will really listen to your symptoms as well as ask very pertinent and detailed questions. For many patients this is the first time they have ever spent this amount of time with a doctor. The doctor will also determine at this visit what diagnostic tests need to be run. The second visit entails a full physical exam, a review of lab results and a detailed formulation of your treatment plan including any additional lab test that might need to be run.
Q: WHY CAN’T YOU USE THE EXAM PERFORMED BY MY PREVIOUS MD?
A: Examinations from another physician cannot be accepted based on the reality that those exams were performed by a doctor with a very different (traditional) perspective than us. Exams from other physicians and sometimes even tests from them are not valid when seen through the eyes of a holistic doctor because of their completely different perspective.
Think of it this way, you would not go to a mechanic expecting the repairs to be done based on the previous mechanic’s opinion about what he saw under the hood. This is especially true if you were looking for a second opinion or another “perspective” to the problem. The new mechanic would have to look under the hood for himself and come to his own conclusion as to what he saw and what he truly thought needed to be repaired.
Q. WHY DON’T YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
A: We did participate with insurance for many, many years. However, we ultimately realized that the current medical approach when participating with an insurance company was a five minute office visit, writing a script and sending the patient out the door. This approach simply does not work for us and it certainly wasn’t working for our patients. We knew from our many years in healthcare that regaining your health or even maintaining it required addressing and balancing many underlying issues. This includes the physical, mental and spiritual state of the patient. This balancing takes time to evaluate and even more time to help the patient achieve.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOOD ALLERGY OR A FOOD SENSITIVITY?
A: Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a food allergy (IgE) is not the same as a food sensitivity (IgG), which is also known as a food intolerance. A sensitivity to a food is an IgG reaction and put simply it is a delayed response that occurs when a food eaten has a direct effect on the body or the brain but is delayed up to 72 hours after ingestion of the food. These reactions occur without IgE antibodies so there is no immediate and pronounced effect like breathing difficulties, hives, or anaphylactic shock that people expect with a food allergy. Because food sensitivities have this delay the symptoms are not as recognizable so this type of food responses can be hard to detect. It is believed that up to 80 percent of the general population has undiagnosed food sensitivities, while true food allergies occur in less than 10 percent of the population.
Q: DOES INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF THE TESTING?
A: If your insurance covers out of network labs, then the “yes”. However, the reimbursable amount would be subject to their out of network levels. In our experience it is usually reimbursed somewhere between 30-70 %.
Q: CAN I EVER EAT THE FOODS AGAIN?
A: IgG food can be reintroduced after the elimination part of the program is completed. The period of time before these foods can be brought back into the diet is somewhere between 12 weeks and six months. IgE foods on the other hand are considered permanent and whether a patient will be able to tolerate them again is usually based on their IgE levels and their personal constitution.
Q: WHY DO I HAVE TO ROTATE NON ALLERGEN FOODS?
A: Generally, food sensitivities are “developed” through exposure to the foods. Therefore, while we are trying to eliminate the old food sensitivities through abstinence from those foods we do not want you to develop reactions to additional foods. Through rotation of the non offending foods you are lessening your exposure to those “safe” foods and also lessening the potential to developing a problem to those new foods. We see patients routinely that are doing absolutely wonderful on their diet program until about six to eight months when their symptoms start to return. Often, when we re-test their foods they have developed issues with the foods that they had used as substitutions for their original food sensitivities.
Q: WHAT FOODS CAN I USE INSTEAD?
A: As part of your food allergy/sensitivity testing you will received a “wellness plan” that is designed specifically for you, based on your results. In that plan will be a list of foods that are non-reactive for you. These foods are even put into a four day rotation for you to make the substitution process even easier for you.
Q: WHAT IS CANDIDA?
A: Candida is a natural and beneficial yeast cell that lives in the intestinal tract. It is kept in balance by beneficial bacteria that also live there. But something happens in us that changes this natural helper. The beneficial bacteria is easily killed off by our lifestyle changes. Today, modern living styles and modern medical practices often compromise your immune system: excessive use of antibiotics or steroids, oral contraceptives, overly-acidic pH levels from fast foods, stress, hormone imbalances, exposure to environmental toxins (often mercury) and chronic illness. Your exposure to all these modern medical conditions sets you up for the fall into the medical condition known as Candidiasis.
Candida research shows that when your immune system is compromised, this fungal yeast can quickly multiply and overwhelm the beneficial flora (acidophilus type bacteria) that normally keeps the yeast levels in check. Fungal yeast, when set free from the beneficial flora actually changes or “morphs” to create a more aggressive, harmful type of fungal cell and develops long, burrowing legs. Without bacterial balance this Candida yeast proliferates in our intestines. This new yeast cell is able to move throughout the body, actually burrowing through the intestinal wall. It clogs systems and gets into organs, causing a variety of food allergies, baffling symptoms and chronic illnesses.
Q: DOES CANDIDA CAUSE LEAKY GUT SYNDROME?
A: Candida is a major culprit in food allergies because of its ability to burrow through the intestinal wall. This creates an escape route for food particles (among other things) to escape into our blood stream. This disorder is called leaky gut syndrome.
Q: WHAT IS LEAKY GUT SYNDROME?
A: Simply put, leaky gut is when large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall. These spaces allow bacteria, toxins, and food to leak into the blood stream. The official definition is an increase in the permeability of the intestinal mucosa. Leaky gut causes inflammation of the intestinal lining and damage or alteration of the microvilli (cellular brush borders lining the intestinal tract). The damaged cells (microvilli) are unable to produce the necessary enzymes and secretions essential to effectively digest and absorb nutrients. The leakage of toxic substances from the intestine is usually controlled by the immune system. Eventually the immune system gets overwhelmed. The overloaded system then allows toxins to leave and enter the liver, thus increasing the burden on the liver. When the liver cannot deal with the toxic overload, it flushes it back into the blood system, and all the body’s alarm systems are triggered. This is considered an attack to the immune system, so the circulatory system then pushes the toxins to the connective tissues and muscles. This is the body’s way of storing the extra toxins in its inherent attempt to prevent major organ damage. If this condition continues, substances larger than particle size, such as disease causing bacteria, potentially toxic molecules, and undigested food particles, are allowed to pass directly through the damaged cell membranes. This, in turn, sends them directly into the bloodstream, activating the alarm system and causing an allergic reaction. The body then releases histamines in response to the cytokines, (the alarm susbstances). These cytokines alert the lymphocytes (white blood cells) to fight the invading particles. Oxidants are produced in this response, causing irritation and inflammation. These symptoms are especially evident in allergies, arthritis, fibromyalgia, bowel disorders, and chronic fatigue. When the gut is not healthy, general health declines.
Q: WHAT IS BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE THERAPY?
A: The hormonal milieu of the human body is extremely complex, involving multiple neuronal and chemical pathways which rely on precise communications to remain in balance. Often, imbalances in one system will lead to changes in one or more other hormonal systems in the body. Our focus is to gently restore the natural balance of the hormonal systems by not only replacing specific deficiencies but also examining the inter-relationships of the hormonal systems and bringing them into a natural balance. This often involves not only hormone replacement but also removal of toxins which may inhibit the hormones from their full effects.
Q: WHY IS THE TEST DONE BY SALIVA AND WHY OVER 24 HOURS?
A: We prefer saliva because it tells us what is “free and available” in the body. We will often test blood levels also if we need to establish what the body is still “producing”, however saliva gives a us a better picture of what is happening in the body because it is done over a full “circadian panel” which put simply, is the rhythm of the body over a full 24 hour period. This information is very important in helping us to understand not only the current state of hormones but also the state of your adrenals and electrolytes. This is especially crucial information in determining and addressing sleep and fatigue issues.
Q: WHY ARE THE HORMONES IN A CREAM?
A: We find that the creams allow the hormones and supporting components of the formulas to bypass digestion and go directly through the skin and into the bloodstream. This application process also allows the hormones to be pulsed into the body in a time released action over an extended period of time. Wherein, oral ingestion goes through the digestive tract and is dispersed into the body rather fast and can’t be time released like in a cream base. Additionally, the lab is able to compound into the hormone creams many other compounds including adrenal support, thyroid support, hormone precursors, etc. into one economically priced formula. To try and have a person take all the components that are in the average hormone cream would entail a dozen or more separate prescriptions or supplements and would be burdensome and cost prohibitive.
Q: WHERE IS THE CREAM APPLIED?
A: Your cream will come with detailed instructions for application however, generally it is applied to trans-dermal location sites such as the inner thigh, inner arm, chest, wrist, behind the knees, etc.
Q: HOW DO I RE-ORDER MY CREAM?
A: Each cream is made specifically for you. Therefore, it is imperative that you re-order the cream before you run out. When you are about half way through your jar, simply fill out the re-order form (it was provided with the cream or you can down load it form our website under “forms”) and fax, email or mail it to us. We only order from the compounding lab on Fridays with delivery to our office the following Wednesdays. Therefore, it is important that we receive your re-order by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Q. HOW DO I GET MY CREAM?
A: You can pick it up from our office after 2:00 p.m. on the Wednesday following your re-order.
Q: CAN THE CREAM BE MAILED TO ME?
A: The lab can mail the hormone creams directly to you however, since the creams contain hormones and are organic they can’t be over heated. Therefore, they will need to be sent via federal express and lab charges $20.00 to do that.
Q: WHAT IF I HAVE A REACTION OR A NEGATIVE EFFECT TO THE CREAM?
A: Because the hormone creams are compounded very conservatively, negative reactions are uncommon, however they do occur. If this is the case with you, it is important that you contact the office and inform them of your reaction. The lab can usually reformulate the cream to deal with the negative reaction.
Q. IS THE TESTING AND THE CREAM COVERED BY INSURANCE?
A: Usually no, however it is usually covered by health savings accounts.