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REGENESIS MD &
AVANCE CARE FAMILY MEDICINE

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For more information about services at the Clinics, contact:
 

Bhavna Vaidya-Tank, MD

REGENESIS MD
INTEGRATIVE CARE - RALEIGH
8020 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, NC 27613

Telephone: (919) 322-2844
www.regenesismd.com

AVANCE CARE FAMILY MEDICINE - CLAYTON
2076 NC Highway 42, Suite 230 Clayton, NC 27520
(next to new JMC Hospital)

Telephone: (919) 553-5711
Specialty Services (Nutrition, Telehealth, Behavioral Wellness): (919) 237-1337
Pharmacy Services:
(919) 322-4726
www.claytonclinic.com
info@claytonclinic.com

Optimal Health: From the Inside, Out

“My practice at Regenesis MD,” says Dr. Bhavna Vaidya-Tank, “reflects my deep personal commitment to medical care that helps patients achieve high levels of wellness—in other words, optimal health. I’m not interested in simply alleviating symptoms; I want to help patients solve their health problems. And I have come to understand that solving problems requires a holistic, integrative approach—for each patient.the natuthey seek.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank, left, and Physician-Assistant, Abby Stone

“I take the term ‘holistic’ quite literally,” notes Dr. Vaidya-Tank. “I look at each of my patients as whole—and appreciate how completely integrated all our body systems are, from our digestive or reproductive systems to the appearance of our skin. It’s not possible to separate how we look from how we feel. So, everything we do at Regenesis MD reflects that understanding.

“Whether patients come to us as a medical facility or as a medical spa, we work with them from both perspectives,” she explains. “Our patients often comment that we are treating them from the inside out, and we agree.”

Providing this level of personalized, integrative care, emphasizes Dr. Vaidya-Tank, is a team effort. “Every member of our staff plays a part,” she explains. “The most valuable service we provide is the generous time we are able spend with our patients. Our team approach not only provides that kind of time, but adds many different and valuable perspectives to the healing program.”

In a conversation with Health&Healing, Dr. Vaidya-Tank and one of her teammates, Physician-Assistant Abby Stone, reflect on their approach to helping patients achieve optimal health.

Health&Healing: What does “optimal” health mean to you and to your patients?

MS. STONE: The definition of “optimal” health, and the health goals for each individual patient will be different, depending on age or chronic conditions. But there are fundamental components necessary for optimal health—balanced nutrition, a well-functioning digestive system, adequate sleep, hormonal balance, and sexual health among them.

We look at all these issues with each patient, and pay special attention to their symptoms and complaints, to help us understand the likely impediments to optimal health. Fatigue is probably the most general complaint we hear. Energy level is obviously important for everybody, but the reasons for fatigue will vary and our goal is to find the source of the problem.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: For the patient, I would say that “optimal” health means feeling good! Too often, people get used to feeling a certain way, and forget what it feels like to feel good. There’s also a tendency to limit our expectations, and suggest that “health” for an 80-year-old is different from “health” for a 35-year-old. But our goal is always to help you solve health problems so that—at 80—you feel like you’re 35!

Clinically, “optimal” means something more specific. Especially with aging patients, we look at lab values in the context of an optimal range. This differs from the reference range, which is simply the accepted standard for the high and low end of “normal.” Just because you fall somewhere in the “normal” range for a given hormone level, for example, doesn’t mean that it’s a healthy level for you.

So, for my patients, I want to look at hormone and vitamin levels, and focus on getting them into optimal range. This means adjusting levels until the patient feels good—until their symptoms resolve, their energy increases, they feel mentally sharp, and are functioning optimally.

Ms. Stone: We do a lot of hormone and thyroid care at Regenesis MD, because hormone balance plays such a huge role in a woman’s health and well-being. A typical patient would be a postmenopausal woman with hypothyroidism. But, relying on basic tests that consider only the reference range is particularly problematic when it comes to these cases. Again, “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, and conventional tests don’t address the complexity of a woman’s health, which is influenced by so many factors.

H&H: What can a patient expect when coming in to see one of the members of the Regenesis MD team?

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: Whether someone comes in for health issues or aesthetic treatments, we start with a detailed questionnaire. We are concerned about overall wellness, so we look at multiple things, including: How do you feel? How do you feel about yourself? How is your appetite? Your mood? Your gut? Your relationships?

There are questions that aren’t typically asked at a conventional doctor’s office, but they are important in understanding all aspects of your health. We do a review of your physical systems, too, but the questionnaire is very, very important.

I should add that we are equally thorough when looking for someone to work here as a part of our team. We look for people who are intuitive—an extremely important skill in this practice.

On a new patient’s first visit, the medical assistant takes a history—including the questionnaire. That first visit is often the most challenging visit, and where the intuitive skills come in.

A typical patient—80-90 percent of our patients, in fact—has been to a lot of different places seeking help for a health problem, and hasn’t had great luck. They’re frustrated and are basically saying to us: “I need you to fix me now.”

Ms. Stone: In that first visit we take the time to get to know that patient, and for the patient to feel understood. Most important, they need to leave with a plan—a path to healing. What makes the first plan more challenging is that we take such a comprehensive approach—there are so many pieces and parts to it.

H&H: What are some examples of how you work through that process with patients?

Ms. Stone: I have a patient I’ll call “Bob,” who’s a fairly healthy, active 50-year-old. He came here because he’d been put on medication for high blood pressure, but wanted to know why he has high blood pressure.

I asked him a few questions about his diet but also: “Does your wife tell you that you snore?” The answer was “yes”—a red flag that prompted me to have him do a sleep study. And the study results confirmed our suspicions—he has an extremely severe case of sleep apnea. In fact, his condition is so severe that the sleep specialist said he didn’t think Bob would live past ten more years without intervention.

Another example is a patient I’ll call “Mary,” who was dealing with extreme pain, and didn’t know why. She said “I just always hurt; I’m always in pain.” And she’s the sweetest person, just so worn down by the chronic pain. In fact, she also tested very high on a mood assessment—a score that indicated depression to the point of considering suicide.

Mary had a family history of autoimmune issues, which pointed to an autoimmune problem like fibromyalgia. So, we started with gut health. We took out inflammatory foods and put her on supplements that help with inflammation. And we put her on an IV that helps with inflammation and autoimmune conditions. Within about three months, she was about 75 percent better.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: What’s important about this example is the holistic approach that was necessary—both to understand her problems and to treat them. We didn’t just give her medicine to mask her pain. Abby helped her dramatically reduce inflammation, which is what we do for any autoimmune problem. We optimize hormones, deal with weight issues, test mood. We test for micronutrient imbalances and recalibrate the gut. And then we have our health coach help with creating new habits so she can maintain this place of optimal health.