I was admitted to our local Hospital in Germany with what turned out to be a torn ligament in my knee. It was after hours and the young doctor admitting me told me I was going to be a cripple now for life. I now know he probably meant well, wanting to scare me so I would not ever ride a motorcycle again- but I had the worst night and didn't get a wink of sleep. The next day the doctor's supervisor told me this could be addressed with routine surgery. During that hospital stay I decided that I could do better than that fellow, if only for having empathy.
I went on to study medicine at the University of Düsseldorf at the Rhine river where I lived and aimed to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. I began the 6 year long residency in Duisburg, Germany only to realize soon that this was not what I thought I should be doing: It felt like it was too late in the "game", as these patients were already so sick that indeed only surgery could help them. Yet all it did was buy them some time, their disease was too advanced to really make them well. I wanted to intervene earlier, when there would be an opportunity to expand the patient's health span (the life in your years) rather than just their life span(the years in your life).
That's when I decided to go into Primary care.
Around that time I had met my wife Annette. We decided to emigrate to the US and after residency and employment in Margaretville, NY we moved Corvallis.
I have been working for the Corvallis Clinic in North Albany since 2008 as a Family Doc. For a long time I had the feeling that conventional medicine was missing the mark when it came to chronic disease. The epiphany came when I myself was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, a condition where the immune system starts attacking the thyroid gland. I did everything the conventional approach would entail but, even though all standard laboratory markers normalized, I did not feel any better. I still was severely fatigued, had joint pain all the time and at the age of 47 felt very old.
I have since discovered and trained in Functional Medicine, which helped me find the root causes of my condition and resolve them or reduce their impact- today I am symptom free and only take a third of my original dosage of thyroid hormone.
Since then I have been incorporating FM into my standard primary care practice and decided to start my own office.
I have founded The Thrive Clinic to be able to provide uncompromising Functional Medicine to realize its full potential. I invite you to take a look at the video below from the Institute of Functional Medicine to learn more.
A JOURNEY TO REGAIN MY HEALTH
It all started with an infection that triggered a body response that was not only mysterious by debilitating. How many times did I ask myself...what's wrong with me and why can't I figure this out on my own?
Finally, my family doctor, referred me to Dr. Frank Sievert, a Functional Medicine Physician. What is Functional Medicine? A way of practicing medicine to find the ROOT or REASON you are ill. OR...WHY you are ill!
Starting with the basics Dr. Sievert walked me thru my lifestyle changes:
Remove: Dairy, Gluten and other inflammatory food from my diet
Repair: my GI tract (gut) with bone broth and healing foods
Replace: Nutrients that my body desperately needed (because of damage to my gut) and adjust my prescriptions if necessary
Reinoculate: My Microbiome with quality probiotics
Changes started to happen. Inch by Inch I was climbing out of the hole I had built my "whole" life. Energy started to return, swelling decreased, pain was less frequent, blood work improved, skin rashes decreased, digestion started working the way nature intended an so much more.
My journey continues today health and well being. I am so thankful for Dr. Sievert's expert help and direction. I know first hand how scary it can be to be sick and helpless.