Functional Medicine

Time of average doctor visit

The Problem with the 7-Minute Doctor Visit

One of the key issues undermining health in the United States and especially here in Tampa, Fla., is the simple fact that our modern healthcare system treats patients as consumers instead of as partners in health. The average primary care physician sees three to four patients per hour. That averages out to about 15 to 20 minutes per patient visit, not counting the time the doctor spends between patients and time spent writing prescriptions, ordering and reviewing test results, and so on. Subtract that time, and we estimate the average time a doctor actually spends communicating with a patient is about seven minutes.

Time of average doctor visit

Seven minutes is certainly enough time for a doctor to hear a patient describe one or two primary symptoms and to write a prescription or make a referral to a specialist. However, it is not nearly enough time for a doctor to establish the sort of partnership with a patient that enables doctor and patient to work as a team to restore optimum health. Seven minutes is not even enough time to sort through the long list of possible physical, emotional, environmental, and lifestyle factors that could be contributing to a patient’s illness and work with the patient to address these potential underlying causes.

Doctors don’t limit their time with patients by choice. Most doctors would like to spend more time with each patient, but they’re restricted from doing so by insurance companies or the practice in which they work. Compensation for most general practitioners is tied not to effective treatment outcomes or patient satisfaction but to the number of patients they see. As a result, doctors who spend less time with patients generally: continue reading

Glutathione Treatments: Part 2 — Treating Common Health Conditions with GSH

Welcome to Part 2 of our two-part series about glutathione treatments. In Part 1, “The Mother of All Antioxidants,” we explained the importance of maintaining a healthy ratio of reduced-to-oxidized glutathione, presented common illnesses that arise when imbalances are left untreated, explained the benefits of reduced glutathione (GSH), and revealed the risks of “self-medicating” with over-the-counter GSH supplements.

In this part — Treating Common Health Conditions with Glutathione — the focus shifts to specific illnesses and other health conditions that can be improved with the addition of glutathione supplementation, and we also explain the types of glutathione supplementation we use here at BioDesign Wellness Center (because the method of delivery can have a big impact on its effectiveness).

Lung Diseases

Smoking tobacco causes oxidative damage to lung cells mainly due to the additives in most tobacco products. Research shows glutathione can help to clear the oxidative damage in the lungs and throughout the rest of the body caused by those additives.

The key to treatment is to deliver the glutathione directly to the lungs, specifically to the continue reading

Glutathione Treatments 101: Part 1 — The Mother of All Antioxidants

If you are aging prematurely, feeling run down or depressed, or are suffering from lung disease, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction or any of a number of auto-immune or inflammatory conditions, one of the underlying issues could be that your body is running low on reduced glutathione (GSH). A powerful and normally abundant antioxidant, glutathione protects cells from oxidative stress — a condition that ensues when free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them.

Abundant amounts of glutathione are required in the liver and brain to reduce inflammation, support healthy detoxification, reduce infection, protect DNA, and support the clearance of medications. As the “mother of all antioxidants,” glutathione has a wide array of positive impacts on the body. It can help to support the liver following alcohol consumption, reduce some of the negative impacts associated with smoking, and speed recovery from viruses, infection, exercise, and injuries.


In Part 1 of this two-part series, we explain the importance of maintaining a healthy ratio of reduced-to-oxidized glutathione, present common illnesses that arise when imbalances are left untreated, explain the benefits of glutathione, and reveal the risks of having too much GSH. In Part 2, we will cover how we use glutathione at the BioDesign Wellness Center in many of our treatments for a wide range of health conditions.

Maintaining a Healthy Ratio of GSH-to-GSSG

The body actually has two forms of glutathione: continue reading

The Role of Bloodwork in Functional Medicine

Here at BioDesign Wellness Center, we place a great deal of importance on bloodwork. In fact — when it comes to our master plan of care — selecting which blood tests will be administered ranks right up there with your initial appointment and interview with our doctors. That’s because nearly everything we do from a diagnostic standpoint begins with analyzing the results of your bloodwork.

We sometimes use analogies to describe our practices, so with that in mind, we’d like you to think of blood tests as a sort of blueprint. Picture an outdated kitchen undergoing a complete remodel. What’s going to be the homeowner’s first plan of action? Probably hiring a contractor and having some plans drawn up, right?

Functional medicine bloodwork

A thorough blood workup provides us with those blueprints — vital details that we must have in hand in order to:

  1. Understand what’s happening within key systems in your body
  2. Get your body fully functional and working better than it ever was before

Another analogy: When it comes to blood tests, we liken the procedure to a farmer working a field. Think of your blood as the soil for your cells, tissues and organs. If that soil is missing key nutrients, or it’s been exposed to harmful chemicals, the crop will continue reading

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