Editor’s Note: Today we’re passing the pen to a good friend and respected colleague of ours, renowned anti-aging, functional and regenerative medicine expert Dr. Phil Roberts. But his inspiring discovery below is just the beginning of things to come.
He’ll be sharing much more of his valuable expertise in the days and weeks to come. Dr. Roberts, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
After more than two decades of practicing medicine, I remember clear as day the moment I felt… different.
Something was off.
I had always relished the opportunity to learn more about what was “under the hood” in regard to human physiology.
And I loved being in medicine and serving humans in need.
Helping others through minor and major life issues – interacting with them, listening to them and working to improve their plight – brought me a lot of joy.
But as I was searching around the busy emergency room for a free computer to enter people’s information, I knew something wasn’t right.
I was slipping.
At just 53 years old, I was starting to forget things… too often.
My response time was slowing.
And yes, 53 could probably meet the criteria of “getting up there,” but I’ve worked with physicians well into their 60s who still brought their A-game to patient care.
My head started filling with concerns about burnout and the possibility of early Alzheimer’s.
It was a scary moment.
After all, if I couldn’t care for myself, how could I possibly care for others?
The Test of a Lifetime
I got through the day. But while doing so, I recalled a book I recently read. And that prompted me to get my hormones tested.
Before that, I’d never given a second thought to checking my testosterone, estradiol or other hormone levels.
I worked in an ER. I was more familiar with monitoring blood gasses… or brain natriuretic peptides… or evaluating overdose indicators.
But still, I figured it made sense to pursue all possible culprits.
I submitted a simple salivary sample to a good compound pharmacist I found and got my diagnosis…
Andropause (or male menopause).
Low levels of testosterone were causing my brain fog and diminished response time.
I worked with the pharmacist to come up with a plan to raise my testosterone levels and improve my condition.
I was told to take an estrogen blocker every day and rub a DHEA-laden cream onto my skin every morning.
I remember thinking, “That’s it? You’ve got to be kidding.”
But I wanted to fix my situation. So I took my supplement and rubbed on the cream like a good patient.
Six months later I got retested and discovered that my lipid levels were better than they’d been since I was in my 30s.
My energy levels were up. My concerns about Alzheimer’s completely vanished. And I was physically stronger and had more stamina.
It changed everything… including my career path.
I knew I had to learn more about this. So I committed to learning more about these amazing hormones and enrolled in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
It was there that I met some of the most innovative doctors and researchers that I’ve ever worked with while training to become an advanced diplomat and earning a master’s degree in metabolic and nutritional medicine.
Discovering the root cause of my illness rearranged how I approach the medical conditions of others.
What if we could reverse a chronic condition through nutrition or lifestyle changes?
What if we could use what we know about our genes to prevent – or even reverse – things that conventional medicine considers to be lifelong afflictions?
I slowly cut back on my time in the ER and ramped up my focus on functional medicine.
I paid witness to the reversal of autoimmune conditions that I previously thought would never go away.
Hypertension… weight issues… Type 2 diabetes…
My new approach enabled me to drastically improve these issues in patients. And often, they went away entirely.
Just because I became singularly focused doesn’t mean you should be too. A functional-only approach to your health doesn’t make sense for everyone.
Medicine isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. But it’s important to know the differences between conventional and functional medicine… and why you need both types of practitioners on your personal medical team.
The United States is currently ranked 34th in healthiest nations in the world. Yet we’re No. 1 when it comes to annual spending on healthcare. Clearly something isn’t working.
That’s one of many reasons it’s vital that you assemble the best medical team you can.
Your health depends on it.