pdf of this article


For more information about the practice, contact:




1000 Corporate Drive, #209
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Telephone: (919) 732-2287

The Path to Rejuvenation:
“First We Must Test”

A patient we’ll call Suzanne came to Dr. Dennis Fera, a holistic physician in Hillsborough, with a wan smile and an extraordinary level of fatigue.

Dr. Fera records vital information as he prepares a patient for IV chelation therapy.

“Actually, she felt exhausted most of the time, but she gamely always tried to look upbeat and happy,” he recalls. “What I found after testing was that she was on the very edge of adrenal failure, which is a serious condition. She had been treated for some time for a thyroid condition, but in fact, the thyroid problem was essentially a symptom of the failing adrenal glands.”

The adrenal glands—small, triangular glands that sit on top of the kidneys—can be divided, anatomically and functionally, into two distinct regions that protect us against acute and chronic stress, Dr. Fera explains.

“One has profound impact on the body’s metabolism, the way in which stored energy and food are used. The second, smaller region of the gland is part of the sympathetic nervous system, the body’s first line of response and defense against physical and emotional stresses.”

Many Approaches to Health and Healing

As a holistic physician with extensive training in physical medicine, Dr. Fera employs many "non-traditional” therapies to aid his patients in their quest for emotional and organic balance and robust health. His therapeutic approaches include:

CHELATION THERAPY. A safe, effective IV detoxification process that is also increasingly used to restore the blood flow in victims of arteriosclerosis without surgery. Often used to remove concen-trations of mercury, lead, and other toxic metals from the body.

OXIDATION THERAPY. Another IV procedure that rapidly relieves allergic reactions, symptoms of influenza or other acute viral infections. Tumor cells, bacteria, and other unwanted foreign elements in the blood can usually be destroyed with hydrogen peroxide treatment.

A procedure called “photolumin-escence” is beneficial in the treat-ment and cure of an extremely broad range ailments, from colds and flu to kidney diseases, osteo-porosis pain, tinnitus, certain dermatologic problems, and many others.

PROLOTHERAPY. Used for treat-ment of painful joints (back, neck, shoulders, knees, etc.). An injection procedure that is often beneficial, particularly when other treatments don’t work and X-ray findings are negative.

NEURAL THERAPY. Scars and other traumas to the body can cause areas of disturbed energy flow known as “interference fields.” Neural therapy eliminates the interference field, restoring normal energy flow and balance to the nervous system.

NATURAL HORMONE THERAPY. Used to address a wide range of problems including fatigue, weak bones, frequent joint injury or chronic pain, weakened immunity, thyroid problems, unsatisfying sleep, and skin problems.

NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE, including IV therapies and a strong emphasis on nutritional balance and proper use of vitamins and supplements.

STOMACH AND INTESTINAL SCREENING AND TREATMENTS. Used to discover the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, and various parasites, and to overcome digestive related prob-lems, GI irritation, and inflam-mation.

MERIDIAN STRESS ASSESSMENT TESTING a non-invasive technique to evaluate imbalances in glands and organ systems, and to help the body achieve optimal balance.

It’s possible that Suzanne’s chronic adrenal failure began early in childhood, Dr. Fera believes, “but it was the birth of her son five years earlier that set her on a downward spiral—dramatic increase in weight, very high blood pressure, fatigue, hair loss, and other difficult conditions. She saw an endocrinologist, who discovered a thyroid condition and prescribed thyroid hormone with frequent increase of the dosage to high levels. Still, she was not doing well.”

Health&Healing: What is your holistic approach with these kinds of cases?

Dr. Fera: I use saliva testing, which I find to be quite effective—more so in fact, that the more standard serum testing. I’ve had cases where I’ve said, “Let’s check your adrenal gland function,” and the patient responds, “I‘ve had it checked, they did a blood test at the hospital and it was fine.” But when I do the saliva testing, we may find abnormal function. That was the case with Suzanne.

So I began to treat her adrenal failure with adrenal hormones. I use natural hormones, the molecules that the body makes and is accustomed to metabolizing, rather than the synthetic, non-physiologic molecules. As a result of this treatment, Suzanne is off her thyroid hormone. The hypothyroidism she suffered from was secondary to the adrenal gland dysfunction. That’s not uncommon.

I do more than simply use the hormone in such cases. I use the hormone principally as support for the body. With the natural hormone, the body believes, “The adrenal glands are working!” In reality they’re not. But, in the interim, I’m also giving the patient nutritional supplementation to rejuvenate the adrenal gland. Often what happens is that the adrenal gland starts to normalize and often the patient can come off the replacement therapy. This takes time. Most of these cases develop over many years. It may be a year or more before we can normalize adrenal gland function and hormone production.

Overall, I am always seeking to achieve balance in the hormonal system. Too much progesterone, too much DHEA, too much of any hormone can lead to problems. Physiologic balance is the goal.

H&H: DHEA and progesterone are popular hormones.

Dr. Fera: I use them if needed, after I test. I usually won’t recommend hormones at all unless I test for them. It concerns me that hormones can be purchased over the counter and the Internet. Hormones are not supplements. They are very powerful. They affect the cell at the DNA level.

H&H: Do you often recommend estrogen replacement therapy for women as they approach menopause?

Dr. Fera: Again, I use hormone testing to determine whether or not estrogen or any other hormone is needed. My basic point of view is that good testing—in my opinion, saliva testing—needs to be an integral part of any hormone replacement program.

H&H: Does chelation therapy have a role in HRT?

Dr. Fera: If a patient comes to me with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, for example, I will first look for cause of their problem in terms of nutritional status and functioning of the endocrine system. Are they perhaps dealing with an infection or a parasite that is sapping their energy? Are they suffering from the effects of toxins, all too common these days? I have a special interest in patients where there is the possibility of vascular compromise, which is far more common that we may realize. People in their thirties are now developing fibrous plaques—the so-called hardening of the arteries.

To remove toxins and clean up the vascular system, which supplies blood to every organ and tissue of the body, I may recommend chelation therapy. For many people, this results in a great increase in energy, because they have better blood flow, better oxygenation to the tissues, and easier removal of waste products. So when people are chelated to obtain positive benefits to their vascular system, they almost always report much higher levels of energy.