Frequently Asked Questions | Root Cause Medicine | HealthNOW Medical Center
formerly Medical Center

FAQs

What Makes Us Unique?

Root Cause Medical Clinic is multi-disciplinary, consisting of doctors from the fields of Internal Medicine, Functional Nutrition, Physical Therapy and Chiropractic. This array of practitioners allows the doctors to treat you utilizing a wide variety of tools. We are not limited to the use of drugs as our only tool of treatment, unlike so many traditional medical clinics.

Root Cause Medical Clinic concentrates on diagnosing the reasons underlying your health problems. The diagnosis involves using the latest in medical technology, and treatment tries to focus on non-drug therapeutic approaches whenever possible.

How long does it take to see health changes?

Everyone is very different in this regard. It is very difficult to predict who will respond quickly to care and who will take longer. Discuss with your doctor what you are noticing and he or she will give you a good idea what time frame you should consider to be “normal” for your particular condition.

Why shouldn’t I just take a drug?

The problem with drugs is twofold:

  1. They don’t tend to get to the root cause of the problem but rather only mask the symptom thereby allowing the underlying cause to worsen.
  2. Drugs have dangerous side effects.

In recent years many drugs have been taken off the market due to dangerous side effects. You have only to watch TV for a short time to hear all the life threatening side effects associated with drugs that are on the market. Suicidal tendencies and death are named side effects for drugs available from your doctor. It’s truly frightening. Therefore, drugs should only be used as a last resort, and then only temporarily until the root cause can be properly diagnosed and addressed.

We specialize in getting our patients off their medications, because after you have successfully completed a program here, you typically don’t need most or all of the drugs you initially were taking.

Gluten Intolerance & Celiac Disease – Why is suddenly “everyone” talking about gluten?

Here at Root Cause Medical Clinic we’ve been diagnosing and treating gluten intolerance for over two decades. While it was all but unheard of then, today most people have at least heard of gluten and know that it can be a problem for some people. Awareness has increased globally and it’s, in the main, not difficult to find gluten-free foods in grocery stores and restaurants.

How could gluten be bad for me?

If you haven’t looked at the section on gluten intolerance on this site I invite you to do so now. Many questions should be answered there.

Wheat, oats, rye, barley and other glutinous grains are obviously very prevalent in our society. And for most of the population they aren’t a problem. But a substantial portion of the population has an inability to digest them. That inability puts a strain on the whole digestive system resulting in compromised digestion, absorption and multiple health problems.

In our over 20 years in practice we have seen a reversal of many, many different problems when we have diagnosed a gluten intolerance in a patient. Symptoms you wouldn’t think were necessarily related to diet such as headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, hormonal imbalance, arthritis, high blood pressure, just to name a few, have all been irrefutably linked to gluten problems.

If you are having any chronic health problems I would definitely recommend that a gluten intolerance be ruled out. If it is missed the ability to truly regain health would be next to impossible.

Why don’t more doctors test for gluten?

I have been diagnosing gluten problems for a decade now. During that time the awareness of the problem has risen considerably. This doesn’t mean that all doctors know about it but with more research coming out about it each year the knowledge will be more widespread.

Physical Therapy

Do you put patients on exercise programs?

Absolutely. We believe that exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. But the question becomes what type of exercise program is best for you?

Our Physical Therapy Department specializes in evaluating and creating a tailor-made program for each individual. Programs are typically easy and not terribly time consuming. But if done regularly will result in the changes you’re looking for.

If I exercise will all my problems go away? 

Exercise is very important. But what if you can’t stick with it? What if you feel more tired and sore after exercising? What if you frequently get injured while exercising?

There is a reason these things are happening which is part of your underlying health problem. While lack of exercise can be part of the problem; it is rarely the sole problem.

Can bad posture be changed?

Yes. Our Physical Therapy department is excellent at changing posture. Programs are designed to strengthen and balance the muscles responsible for posture. These programs are not hard to do nor are they time consuming. They do require a commitment on your part of course, but nothing which you should find difficult to execute.

Can my tight hamstrings be fixed?

In one of the latest research journals, a study was highlighted about the increased incidence of tight Hamstrings and consequent low back pain in young adolescents.

Tightness of the Hamstrings are caused by a multitude of factors such as poor sitting posture, having a sway back due to weakened muscles and misalignments of bones of the lower back and pelvis. As a child develops and grows taller, the muscles have to adapt to the increasing size of the bones. The Hamstrings are bi-jointed which means that they have to travel extra length to achieve a good stretch.

It’s a good idea to stretch the Hamstrings properly and regularly before and after any sports. It makes them less predisposed to injuries and tears. Not all stretches work well, so feel free to see us for personalized help.

My child walks on the outside of his feet. Can that be fixed or will her outgrow it?

The normal developmental pattern for an infant developing into a toddler is to have a flat foot initially which then slowly builds its arches as they begin to stand and later start walking.

If the infant’s foot is inverted and he’s walking on the outside of his food, it may pose problems later on with normal walking. It may also indicate muscle tone problems in the feet.

The child needs to get checked and evaluated by a specialist such as a pediatric Physical therapist or Podiatrist. Here at HealthNOW our Physical therapist specializes in such cases.

Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition

Is there research on the types of lab tests you do?

Yes. Functional laboratory tests have been around for several decades. They are more widely used in Europe but have been in the United States for almost two decades and their use is growing.

For research regarding a specific lab test, please consult your clinician here at the clinic.

How do saliva tests work?

Saliva sampling for lab tests is an effective method for testing both hormonal and immune system activity. Research studies have shown saliva testing to be on par, and in some cases more accurate than blood tests when immune function is assessed.

For research regarding other specific lab tests, please consult with your clinician here at Root Cause Medical Clinic.

Why doesn’t my doctor offer these labs?

Functional lab tests are not done by most doctors usually because they are unaware of them. These tests, while a major tool for us at here and in many functional medicine offices across the country, are not yet mainstream.

We consider them to be invaluable because they allow us to assess more sensitively the actual function of a certain system or organ. We don’t want to wait until someone develops a disease. We’d rather use more sensitive testing which allows us to detect malfunction often before a disease state develops.

Why do you use specialized tests?

Many of the tests we use are “functional” laboratory tests because assess how the body is functioning on a more sensitive level than simply determining if there is a disease or not. Such tests are important because it is the malfunction of the body that eventually causes it to become sick with a disease. These tests help us identify the root cause that lies beneath the symptoms and often we can treat the malfunction before a disease state has developed.

Because these tests are not often requested by the “typical” physician, most clinical laboratories don’t carry these tests as a part of their menu of choices for doctors. Therefore, specialty labs have sprung up which fill the niche of providing most functional lab tests for clinics like HealthNOW.

The good news is that most PPO insurances pay for these lab tests the same as the would for a more traditional test.

Can you handle seasonal allergies naturally?

Yes.

It isn’t difficult to get to the root cause of environmental allergies. We have treated allergies successfully for over two decades.

While it does require some lifestyle changes, if you are willing to discover what you are doing which is burdening the gland responsible for making natural antihistamines, then the likelihood of improving or eliminating your allergies is excellent.

Do you work with one vitamin company?

No. We probably work with over a dozen different companies. We strive to find the very highest quality supplements for our patients and our research has taken us to different companies to get what we need.

Most of the companies we deal with only sell to health care practitioners and not the general public.

Do I need supplements if I eat well?

There have been many research studies done which confirm the need to augment our diets with nutritional supplements, especially when we are trying to improve our health status. Unless you are truly optimally healthy you’ll probably find benefit from taking supplements which are of high quality and suited to your particular health care needs.

Supplements are not a “one size fits all” proposition. Your program should be tailored for you individually.

Here at Root Cause Medical Clinic we design nutritional programs which address the root cause of your problem. These specific nutrients will improve the function of whatever organ or system which was discovered to need assistance.

Can I take vitamins instead of changing my diet?

Vitamins are micronutrients – meaning small quantities of nutrients. Food is a macronutrient – meaning a large quantity of nutrients.

It makes sense that if your food intake is poor that just taking vitamins probably won’t be enough to counteract the effects of a poor diet. We typically encourage our patients to both change their diet and take vitamin supplements. This combination will speed your health recovery.

It would be great and very easy to be able to just swallow a pill and eat whatever we wanted. Unfortunately it doesn’t work.

Why doesn’t my regular doctor help me to change my diet or lifestyle?

If your doctor ever told you to lose weight or exercise more he or she was suggesting a lifestyle change. It’s just that most doctors don’t go beyond a general recommendation because they aren’t nutritionists. Nutritionists know the value of lifestyle changes and thereby put in a tremendous amount of time assisting their patients to successfully implement them.

I changed my diet and I feel worse, why?

Initially some people actually feel worse when they change their diet. The reason this occurs is usually one of two things.

Most commonly it’s because they have stopped eating something that their body reacts poorly to and their body is now starting to detoxify as a result of the offending substance no longer entering the system. This is why it’s important to be consuming a lot of water at this time in order to flush out these toxins.

Secondly, and less commonly, a person has inadvertently started eating more of something which is “allowed” on the modified elimination diet which they actually don’t do well with. As an example, quinoa is allowed on the modified diet. While it is not a very common sensitivity some people do react to it. If that type of person started consuming more quinoa they would feel worse as their body would be reacting to it.

I’ve tried diets and failed; why will your program be different?

We have excellent compliance from our patients when we change their diets. There are several reasons for this success.

First, we will be putting you on a program which is tailored for you. This isn’t some generic “one size fits all” diet. This diet will be designed for you, your biochemistry and your symptoms. Because of this it won’t be difficult to remain on.

Second, our diet programs are not so restrictive that you will feel hungry or deprived, two of the key reasons people have failures on other diet programs.

Why do I need to change my diet?

We live in a society which likes to “take a pill” and have the symptom go away.

The good news is that drugs do often make the symptom go away and they do so rather rapidly.

The bad news is that the effect is only temporary and the drug doesn’t solve the root cause of why the symptom developed in the first place.

So where does food come in? Food is fuel. Just like your car needs fuel to function, so does your body. All too often we find our patients putting “bad fuel” into their bodies and wondering why the body doesn’t work well.

Missing the fact that the food someone is consuming is not fueling their body well is a big mistake and one we don’t make here at HealthNOW. Patients are often so amazed at how much better they feel when “all they did” was change their diet. They can’t believe that simply making a dietary change created such an impact on their health – but it very much does.

Is anti-aging possible?

Yes. There are glands and organs of the body which, when restored to their optimum function, repair the effects of aging on the body.

Many of us are biologically older than we are chronologically. This can be reversed so that while you continue aging chronologically, biologically you are much younger.

This program does not involve drugs or surgery. We restore optimal function to the glands and organs of your body, we do not perform cosmetic or plastic surgery. Although many patients who do this program notice that their restored health does cause them to “look” younger as well as “feel” younger.

Do you work with bio-identical hormones?

Yes.  Natural or bio-identical hormones are the only hormones we prescribe. Synthetic hormones can have negative reactions in the body and we therefore avoid them.

After specific lab tests are performed our Functional Nutritionist and Medical Doctor will create a hormonal balance program tailor made for you.

Why haven’t I heard about adrenal fatigue before?

This is a very common question. We live in a society that stresses treating organs which have become diseased.

The adrenal glands don’t often become diseased and therefore they are not frequently addressed. However, they do malfunction frequently and we’re finding that malfunction to be affecting a large number of Americans.

Those doctors who study the adrenal glands agree that optimal adrenal health is critical for normal bodily function.

Adrenal Fatigue is one of the most pervasive, yet under-diagnosed syndromes affecting people today. And since Adrenal Fatigue occurs both as a distinct clinical disorder as well as a contributing factor to many chronic illnesses and pain disorders, we don’t feel that its importance can be overemphasized.

Chiropractic – how does it fit into a healthcare program?

Chiropractic care is a unique form of health care which not only addresses pain in the body without drugs but has the ability to improve the communication between the brain and the body’s organs through removing any stressors in the nervous system. Most people don’t realize the importance of a functioning nervous system. Nerves which are irritated can create pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and muscle spasm. Not getting to the root cause of pain but rather just continuing to medicate it creates bigger problems in the long run.

If I injure myself, should I get chiropractic care?

As soon as possible. Here at Root Cause Medical Clinic we can provide a medical exam, a chiropractic exam to assess the injured area, and a physical therapy evaluation.

The sooner you receive treatment after an injury or accident, the quicker your healing will proceed. If the pain and/or inflammation is so severe as to preclude a chiropractic adjustment, we can treat with a variety of gentle physical therapy modalities to reduce the pain and inflammation, making you more comfortable.

Oftentimes, a gentle chiropractic adjustment can immediately reduce restriction of movement and dramatically reduce pain levels. It is truly best not to wait to receive care.

If you have a question, call us for a free phone or in-house consultation.

Can chiropractic help my acid reflux?

The diaphragm is a big umbrella-like muscle that separates the lungs and heart from the abdominal cavity containing the stomach, liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, small and large intestines.

Acid (esophageal) reflux can be helped by normalizing the diaphragm muscle tone if the opening that allows for the passage of the esophagus through the diaphragm is not functioning correctly.

An enlargement of this opening (hiatus) permits the stomach to push up through the opening (hernia) and the stomach acid can then splash up into the esophagus.

Nerves that control the diaphragm muscle originate in the neck (the phrenic nerve) and the upper back. Delivering a chiropractic adjustment to these areas of the spine can help to normalize the function of the diaphragm.

Additionally, we can manually break the spasm of the stomach allowing it to relax into a better position below the diaphragm, thus relieving the pressure. This may take a few sessions, but most patients report relief after the first few treatments.

Additionally, a nutritional evaluation is a necessary component, often, to successfully treating acid reflux. As a condition, acid reflux is a great example of how chiropractic spinal adjustments and manual manipulation go hand in hand with the nutritional approach of functional medicine to improve health and restore balance.

Weight Loss Program – If I lose weight will all my problems go away?

Not necessarily. Plus a lot of times the reason you’re having trouble losing weight is due to the underlying health problems you’re dealing with. Many people feel that if they have weight to lose that is reason behind all their problems. We find this to often not be the case.

How soon can I expect to see weight loss?

Everyone is different. The real goal is to restore function to the body so that, over time, it can slowly but steadily get back to its ideal weight. The average person loses 1 to 1½ pounds per week.

How did you create your weight loss program?

Our weight loss program is derived from science and clinical research. It is not from a book and doesn’t have a particular name – but it does work!

Insurance – Can I afford care with no insurance coverage?

Yes. We offer discounted cash plans for those patients who have HMOs or no insurance coverage. Most patients are happy to discover that our care, while specialized, is quite affordable.

Why aren’t you a part of my HMO?

Root Cause Medical Clinic provides a specialty type of medical treatment that focuses on treating the cause of the health problem. Most medicine practiced today focuses on managing the symptoms which are the result of a body’s malfunction and breakdown. Since we are committed to treating the cause and not predominantly the symptoms of disease the HMO system does not provide the structure for us to treat patients in this manner.

We provide care that is not available in the standard HMO system.

Becoming an in-network provider requires the doctors to see all patients in their geographical area who are signed up for that network. The special treatment that HNMC provides focuses on treating the cause of a patient’s problem. This usually requires change in the patient’s lifestyle and therefore often requires a period of time. The typical “network” practice involves a lot of one-time treatment for colds, flus, etc. If we were in a network, our doctors would not be able to practice our specialty. The good news is that our fees are similar and in some cases identical to what a patient would pay per visit even if we were a “network” doctor.

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