Interview with Dr Richard Powell Transcript

Dr. Weatherby:
Well, hello everybody. Dr. Dicken Weatherby here, and I’m joined today by Dr. Richard Powell, practicing chiropractic physician for the past 31 years licensed in not only Illinois, but also North Carolina and South Carolina. Welcome Dr. Powell. Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your practice. You’ve been in practice for a very long time. I know that you do both chiropractic work and also have been a practicing functional medicine practitioner for many years.

Dr. Powell:
Yes, Dicken. Well, thank you very much. Actually my chiropractic practice has now been minimized over the last ten years and the functional medicine practice has really blossomed and really growing and taking off. My introduction with functional medicine actually began with you when you were with Dr. Crisanti with Functional Medicine University a number of years ago when I took the course work and learned a lot through you folks at that time. And I had a personal issue as well because at the time I weighed about 258 lbs and through the knowledge and testing I found out my thyroid gland was not working—thyroid hormones were not working properly and as a follow up test found out that I wasn’t absorbing my iodine through a urinalysis urine test we were able to do. Basically bromine was blocking the iodine absorption and so I did a short course of iodine supplementation, restarted my thyroid function and followed up with blood tests from there and found out that I lost about 30 lbs right away.

Dr. Weatherby:
Wow.

Dr. Powell:
Then as a follow up from that probably about five, six years ago when Thyrex Labs came out, I did a follow up test and found out that I was a gluten sensitive person as well. And then through cross reactivity tests and found out there were certain foods that were inflammatory to my system and therefore I shouldn’t be doing that. Over the last ten years, though, I’ve basically my niche is to help reverse Type 2 diabetes. I also do some thyroid and autoimmune conditions as well. We do typically my blood panel is a very comprehensive blood panel that we utilize your software with and put everybody into that system and then when the reporting for the patients I can give them that nice colored report with follow up with them. It saves me a lot of time in that, one, I don’t have to sit there and go through every bit of information with the patient. I may highlight some of the high points but they can take that home and read it and share that with any family members so it’s a nice take home piece for them. Additionally, any follow up blood tests we get a nice comparative value there so we can see changes that are occurring so we can clinically determine how that patient is progressing or regressing or that sort of thing.

Dr. Weatherby:
Wonderful, well I mean there is nothing like a personal health journey to take us into this work, is there?

Dr. Powell:
That’s correct.

Dr. Weatherby:
So, I’m curious though, you know you had a chiropractic practice that is more structurally oriented. How was it for you with your patients and the flow of your practice? How was it to make that adjustment to, I would expect, probably go to a more consultative type service running blood work, prescribing nutritional protocol to lifestyle changes? How was that for you, for both you and your patients?

Dr. Powell:
Well, it’s very interesting you say that because, yes, it is—it’s kind of like a dual thing that you’ve got. One is a structural basis people come in with musculoskeletal complaints, pain situations. And now if you look at a functional medicine type of situation, they have another disease and they don’t always relate it to pain and symptoms, so I’ve had this dilemma in my mind and in my practice of how do I have both at the same time. And I found out that I really can’t have both at the same time. One, the functional medicine practice, is becoming more forefront in my mind and in my practice and I find a lot of patients when they are looking for and looking me up or something to that effect, if they find musculoskeletal they think, oh, what does he know about diabetes or what does he know about thyroid? That’s because they see the musculoskeletal component of that. So I’ve minimized my marketing and my promotion of that and actually changed the sign on my door in my office. You come in my office you don’t see anything about musculoskeletal work at all because I don’t want to have a mixed message. I want people to believe that this is a physician’s office that we can help them in those conditions. Now, I still see a few patients that are musculoskeletal but they are long term existing patients I’ve had and I don’t see that practice—that musculoskeletal practice—growing at all at this point.

Dr. Weatherby:
Wonderful, sounds like you are using blood testing as a pretty important part of your—your diagnostic or assessment procedures. How do you find that doing blood testing combined with other diagnostic and assessment techniques, how do you find that works for you?

Dr. Powell:
Oh, it’s very critical. I mean that’s part of my—of all my protocols I always start with a very, very comprehensive blood test including Vitamin D, inflammatory markers like homocysteine, ferritin, some of those types of things, urinalysis. And then I also do adrenal stress index test with androgen hormone panels as well as a take home test for the patient. And we also do a three day parasitology stool sample as well. That is another take home test for the patient. This allows us to track basically three components what I look at as the three pillars of diabetes. One is certainly inflammatory markers and blood chemistries and you’ll see anemias showing up there, you’ll see infections, that sort of thing. And that’s what we address in what I call the initial pillar is the liver. And so we put a patient on a three week detoxification protocol and then track their blood sugar, have them track their blood sugars daily for about a three week period. Then we, at the end of that three week period we’ll get the adrenal stress index test back as well as the stool sample, and that’s where we enter the second phase where we put them on addressing the adrenals. And that’s where we start checking changing the protocols, the nutritional supplementation, and working on the adrenal function and that will last probably about another month, maybe two, and then we address finally, the gut. Typically a leaky gut is involved, but there might be parasites, fungal infections, some of those things that we have to address as well in the third component.

Dr. Weatherby:
Wow, very comprehensive indeed. That’s fantastic. What was life like before you had something like a software program to help with blood testing?

Dr. Powell:
Well, I’ve got to be honest with you, Dicken. I’ve had your books and I know there were handwritten forms in them where you could actually try to track them and do them before and after, but it became very tedious, very long standing and your homework was a lot involved if you’re going to do everything. And to be honest with you I really wasn’t keeping track of things as well as I can now with your software.

Dr. Weatherby:
Yeah I mean I’ve heard, you know, practitioners say, you know, if I have a patient that really needs good in depth analysis it would take me anywhere from an hour to an hour and thirty minutes. But now with the software it’s about 15 minutes I get a report and I can start moving onto preparing the patient consult.

Dr. Powell:
Right.

Dr. Weatherby:
How is the reporting being received by your patients?

Dr. Powell:
Oh, they love it. I mean they have a nice color—we always print ours up in color so we have a nice color pamphlet we can hand back to the patient. We give the patient a three ring binder so they can keep track of all their labs, they get copies of this and they share it with their medical doctors, physicians, so that they can see the progress the patients are making and we’re getting nice feedback from them as well saying, wow, this is a great report. It explains things in nice customer friendly way and they can see this, and of course they share this with their family members because not everybody is always at the consultations and reports. So it’s really nice that they can take that home and they look forward to the changes. So when we do follow up blood work or any other testing they really look forward to those tests.

Dr. Weatherby:
Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard to is it actually makes it easier to have them come in for a retest because they are almost anxious to see what change has been made and I think the software does a nice job on that.

Dr. Powell:
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Weatherby:
So as sort of a final question for you, if there was a chiropractic physician or a practitioner listening to you today, what would be some of the things that you would say to them in regards to implementing functional medicine, using a software program, putting functional blood chemistry analysis into their practices, what words of wisdom could you let them have?

Dr. Powell:
Well, as a musculoskeletal practitioner for a number of years and if you are currently in that model of care you know that the wolf is at the door. I mean, with all types of other practitioners from acupuncturists to physical therapists to everybody is chasing that same small percentage of patients and then of **** course you are going to have the financial gain on that or, you know, supply of that is very, very minimal. It’s very difficult to make a living in that day and age. And as you age, you know, you probably won’t be able to see that 100 to 200 to 300 patients a week to make a living. So therefore, transitioning over to functional medicine, which as a chiropractic physician we have a very, very in depth knowledge in our schooling which a lot of us haven’t used for a number of years, that’s why getting into functional medicine I think is very, very important. And you’ll find your niche, whether it be thyroid or autoimmune or diabetes or neuropathy. You really need to find a niche that works for you that would be economically feasible and then utilize good tools such as the functional medicine blood chemistry analysis, the software that Dicken has created. This is a very vital tool so that you can really utilize your time appropriately and make accurate decisions.

Dr. Weatherby:
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for sharing that and for all of the work that you are doing in helping patients achieve health and wellness. It’s really phenomenal to hear of the success that you’ve had and the work that you are doing so I really appreciate it.

Dr. Powell:
Very good. Well thank you again, Dicken. I really appreciate all the work you have put into this whole program and your teaching over the years to help me and train me to do what I do. Thank you again.

Dr. Weatherby:
Alright, thanks Rick.

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