“Aches and pains, poor digestion, lack of energy and low sex drive are not a normal part of aging.”
– Michael Bauerschmidt, MD, MBA and Medical Director Full Potential Health Care, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The following is a transcript of an interview between Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD and Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt, Medical Director of Full Potential Health Care exploring radical healing via Functional Medicine – treating the root cause instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. Listen to the interview here: https://www.patrick-wanis.com/radical-healing-with-functional-medicine-audio/
Also see Patrick Wanis’ “Secrets to Losing Weight, Being Thin, And Loving Your Body” https://www.patrick-wanis.com/product/losing-weight-hypnosis-download/
Patrick Wanis: This is Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, Ph.D.
In the 21st century, with the extraordinary advances we have in technology, information, we would expect to be extremely healthy. Yet in the United States alone, the most medicated nation in the world, spending the most amount of money on healthcare, the U.S. remains number 36 on the list of the healthiest nations in the world, even behind Cuba and Iran.
So what is the real approach to health? What are we doing wrong? Is it because we are treating the symptom and not the cause? What do we need to do to change our lifestyle and to take charge of our health?
One of my clients recently began working with a new doctor, and this doctor was able to identify her whole problem relating to adrenal exhaustion and an extraordinary hormonal imbalance most of which I’ve been telling about for a long time, but she didn’t recognize until she went to a specialist.
That doctor is Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt. Dr. Bauerschmidt is a doctor in functional medicine, and he has a practice, Full Potential Health Care, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Dr. Mike, thank you very much for being available, and it’s very interesting that we share a client. I refer to her as a client; you refer to her as a patient obviously. And it took her a long time to actually get it, which is that she needed to change her lifestyle and needed to address her serious stress issues and the actual causes which include adrenal exhaustion.
So I’m really happy that she found you. So I thank you very much. Just to begin though, what is functional medicine?
Dr. Mike: Well, Patrick, thanks for having me, first of all. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, a number of patients come in to me as a referral from another source and things that they’ve been telling them for years just don’t make sense until they hear it from somebody with an M.D. behind their name.
Functional medicine is — traditionally, medicine is, from the allopathic point of view, you come in, you have a symptom, the doctor asks you a bunch of questions, he comes up with a diagnosis, and he writes you a prescription. Well, to me, that’s only the part of the problem. Functional medicine looks behind the symptom complex to find out the cause of the problem. And once you find the cause of the problem, let’s deal with the cause as opposed to just simply putting a band-aid on the symptom.
Patrick Wanis: Your approach is exactly the same approach that I do with my clients, I never treat the symptoms; I look for the root cause. So whatever your behavior is I’m looking at what’s driving the behavior versus trying to teach you how to manage your anger, I want to find out what are you angry about, what are the emotions beneath the anger, what’s truly creating the problems for you that’s motivating you to act this way.
So there’s an interesting parallel between what you just defined is functional medicine —
Dr. Mike: We’re looking for functional medicine is it’s not that — we are not sick because of karma, because of a germ, because of our genes. Our manifestation of our current health is based on our body doing the best it can with what we’ve been giving it to work with.
So if our body is not working well, we got to look at what haven’t we been giving it? What does it need in order to function more properly? If your engine was missing and sputtering, wouldn’t you take it to the mechanic and expect him to fix — find the reason it is sputtering or whatever as opposed to just rubbing it up a little bit?
Patrick Wanis: How did you go from being a traditional doctor to being a doctor of functional medicine?
Dr. Mike: I was failed by the traditional medicine system. I had a car accident coming — I’ve worked for 25 years in the emergency room, and I was coming home from work one morning and got in a rear end collision on I-95 — it’s a major interstate here in Fort Lauderdale — and blew up some discs in my neck and my spine.
And, of course, I went to see the neurologist who sent me to the neurosurgeon, who sent me to the physiatrist, who sent me to the anesthesiologist, and I got my long and short-acting narcotics and my muscle relaxants and my anti-inflammatories and eventually my anti-depressants and then my sleeping pills and none of it really worked, along with all the injections and the stuff.
It wasn’t working and so they finally said, “Well, let’s give you — let’s do a procedure.” Well, procedures always fix everything according to my training. And sure enough it worked for, oh, about a week. And then I had progressive pain and the symptoms got worse and worse until I ended up in the hospital unable to even lift my foot six inches to step into the shower to wash myself.
Patrick Wanis: Sorry to jump in there, but what was the actual problem? You said, you dislocated or you ruptured or you damaged your discs?
Dr. Mike: I had five different discs rupture as a result of the accident, three in my neck and two in my low back. And so they did a procedure on the low back because that was the one that seemed to be the most bothersome and it was supposed to be a really simple procedure. Just stick a needle in there and make the gelatinous portion of the disc vaporize and that made the fibers portion pull back off and take the pressure off the nerve. And it worked really great for a week.
And then I had progressive pain and I — they ended up putting me in the hospital because it wasn’t being controlled with anything else taken orally. And eventually, they diagnosed an infection in the disc and the bone. And I spent three weeks on IV morphine, IV Ativan, oral medications as well and then six weeks of IV antibiotics. And by the time I was done with that whole program, I was worse off than when I started.
Patrick Wanis: You just said that you were worse off than when you began. So what do you mean by that?
Dr. Mike: That means my pain was worse than when I started. I had less mobility than when I started — than when I had the accident. I would — if somebody said, “We can take you back to the time of your accident” and have that pain back or have the pain I was in, I would have taken the pain from the acute accident, hands down.
Patrick Wanis: And how much time had passed between the accident and the point which you’re referring to?
Dr. Mike: That was two years.
Patrick Wanis: So in two years of traditional Western medicine procedures, you got worse?
Dr. Mike: Oh, yeah.
Patrick Wanis: I am pausing because I’m completely stunned by the story. So then what happened?
Dr. Mike: Well, then what happened is I happened to run into — not literally but figuratively, they’re not accidents — I ran into a fellow I used to work with in the emergency room who had opened in an anti-aging practice in a town nearby. And he said, “Mike, let me give some IV Vitamin C.” And I remember very clearly looking at him and said, “Mark, I thought you were a doctor?” And he said, “I am. Let me give you some IV Vitamin C. What have you got to lose?” Then I went, “Okay. You’re right. I don’t have anything to lose.”
And so after the third infusion, it was over a course of about a week and a half. But after the third infusion, I remember very clearly walking out to my car and I went to open my car door and I noticed that for the first time in what was now almost three years since the original accident, I remembered what it was like not to be in constant pain.
Patrick Wanis: There are lots of people who right now instantly relate to the concept of being in constant pain and very few people ever get past it. So there are extraordinary amounts of people who are in constant pain. You just said that an IV of Vitamin C shifted your pain.
Dr. Mike: Yup, absolutely. There is nothing else that changed in anything that I did or… and there is no question that walking out of that office I experienced for the first time in almost three years a pain-free interval.
Patrick Wanis: So here is a doctor, a doctor of traditional Western medicine, an M.D. who has an accident goes through all the potential possible procedures available, whatever — there were surgeries, operations, procedures, treatments — none of which worked. You find an anti-aging doctor who says the most extraordinary thing, “How about an IV of Vitamin C.” I’ve never even heard of that. And then you’re telling me that that removed the pain.
Dr. Mike: That’s what I’m telling you.
Patrick Wanis: I’m still in shock. What happened next?
Dr. Mike: Well, what happened next is I just went there is something more going on here than what meets the eye, and I committed myself to learning as much as I could or rather relearning because there’s nothing I’ve learned subsequent to medical school that I haven’t learned in functional medicine. It’s just how I applied the knowledge.
Patrick Wanis: What you said is significant because you’re saying that it wasn’t about learning new things, it was about applying what you’ve learned in a different way.
Dr. Mike: Exactly. Exactly. Biochemistry is biochemistry, and once you unders — and really what we are is just a walking, talking biochemistry machine. And what I’ve come to appreciate is that as I mentioned earlier in trying to define functional medicine, we are basically a manifestation of what we have given our body to work with. But there’s a thing underlying all these called oxidative stress, and it just occurs naturally. It’s the result of the energy production that we undergo on a daily basis to power our biochemistry. And every time we create a molecule of energy, we create a free radical. This free radical is oxidizing it, rusts us which is why we can’t live forever.
Patrick Wanis: What is oxidizing stress?
Dr. Mike: Oxidative stress is in our body’s ability to generate energy. We have this thing called the redox reaction. This is basic chemistry, reduction and oxidation. On the reduction side of the equation are things that can donate an electron. They’re also called nutrients or anti-oxidants. The oxidative side, the rusting side of the equation, we have those things that need an electron, and they’re also called free radicals or toxins.
When we generate — when that electron is exchanged, we generate energy in the form ATP and cyclic AMP and dual molecules of energy our body needs. However, every time we generate that molecule of energy, we also generate another free radical. So under best of circumstances, we’re going to slowly rust, but we should last for 120 years before our rust gets so bad that we actually die.
Patrick Wanis: To try and break it down in simple terms, you’re saying that the very nature of the way the body functions, the way that the body operates on a daily basis is also working against us?
Dr. Mike: Yes, eventually, that’s why we can’t live forever as yet because we haven’t figure out how to stop the rust process.
Patrick Wanis: So whilst our body is functioning, it’s also producing free radicals which are toxins or poisons, correct?
Dr. Mike: Correct. Because there are four general areas that will dramatically increase the rate at which we rust which is why we’re only living to 60, 70, maybe 80 years old and why many of those last years are spent in a nursing home or in some other extended care facility. And those four areas are what I call my DEEP approach to medicine, and the DEEP stands for diet, emotions, environment and physical.
That’s how patients are treated in this office is we go through the DEEP approach and figure out what it is our body is either missing or what it’s got too much of in way of toxins and help the body get rid of it or adapt to the presence. D stands for diet, E is for emotion, the second E is for environment, and the P is for physical.
Patrick Wanis: Diet, emotion, environment and physicality goal.
Dr. Mike: Physical or physicality. And if you want to look at it from a toxin standpoint, you can put toxin under each of those: dietary toxins, emotional toxins, environment toxins, and physical toxins.
Patrick Wanis: Give me an example of physical toxin.
Dr. Mike: Physical toxins are things that are already wrong with you, things like — that often go unnoticed in traditional medicine, things like a functional hypothyroidism. This is the classic “Gee, I’m tired all the time. My hair is falling out.” Yes, but your numbers are all normal. Well, I’m sorry. If your hair is falling out, your eyebrows are thin, you’re gaining weight and you got no energy, you got a thyroid problem.
And another one would be adrenals. Adrenal dysfunction is very common in this office. I mean there’s not anybody in here who’s got us working properly, whose diet is good and whose adrenals are humming along very swimmingly. Adrenal mental function is probably core of a lot of our problems, and it is directly related to emotional toxins.
Patrick Wanis: But the physical toxin is different to the environmental toxin?
For Part 2 of this transcript – the continuation, click here: https://patrickwanis.com/blog/radical-healing-functional-medicine-environmental-toxins/
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.