The GladdMD Way

The premise of care at GladdMD is best explained in the analogy of the body as a house. No house can be relied upon for years without a solid foundation. That foundation is provided by optimal, whole foods nutrition, daily stress management including spirituality and a balanced digestive system. These form the goal of care for any and individual we care for and are concepts that every interaction should spend time focusing on. Certainly there are times when the roof may need to be replaced or other aspects of the house are not functioning as well as one would hope. In these instances, often manifested as symptoms affecting quality of life, we must help by providing some support beams in the way of hormones/supplements/meds (infrequently) that can help to stabilize the house (improve symptoms) while the patient works on the foundation issues that were likely a driving force for the issue(s) in the first place.

We always spend the beginning of the first visit with the patient sharing their story, which is ultimately a focus on some of the root issues that got them here. Often the answer lies in a difficult upbringing, disasterous relationship or series of relationships, born via C-section and/or bottlefed, starting contraceptives, a series of antibiotics or chronic antibiotics or major stressful life event. This will help form the framework for providing the patient with tools for their toolbags to help them promote health and heal the foundation.

The other premise of care at GladdMD is to help understand a patient's desire and beliefs and to try and work within that framework. Alternative ideas are always open for discussion. Some clients do not want certain labs, do not want hormones or believe very strongly in a particular supplement they are taking. We know without a shadow of a doubt that we do not know everything and will never pretend to. We are very focused on providing evidence or a lack of evidence when appropriate.

If a patient swears by Brand New Juice X for joints or when they hold their left hand 60 degrees in the air on a rainy day they feel better, we simply say there is no strong evidence for it, but there is little to no risk so keep up the good work! On the other hand, when patients are paying several hundred dollars a month for a lot of supplements or doing live blood analysis or muscle testing, we are quick to point out the the data supporting these methods of care is very weak and non-reproducible and they need to know that. Again, if they choose to continue, that is their decision, discussing and helping them weigh risk and benefits is our role.

The approach to lifestyle change is based on motivational interviewing techniques. Some clients can be easily overwhelmed, so change starts by asking them what areas can they commit to changing. For many, we start with beverages. "Can you give up artificial sweeteners?" "What could you drink instead?" or start with one meal. "Are you willing to change your breakfasts to get started?" We find that easy recipes and quick stuff is very helpful. For example: club soda and 100% fruit juice instead of soda, making raw nuts trail mix for a snack, crockpot steelcut oats which can last a week, granola for a snack/breakfast while trying a non-dairy milk.

The care provided by GladdMD is done as a partnership with our clients. Unlike most healthcare experiences which have become like the military: I order this drug and demand you take or you will be labeled non-compliant. We are there to simply provide an educational and empowering framework from which our client can make a decision for themselves. This goes for everything. Often clients follow-up and are ashamed of not changing their diets or state they almost cancelled the appointment because they still drink pop everyday or still eat gluten when found to be sensitive. We'll respond by stating, "We are friends no matter what you do. These are your decisions. Now, what we can do is help you work toward your goals." If they understand the reasons they should avoid gluten, but are having a hard time, we'll ask what areas they are finding difficult. Often there are easy alternatives to help them over this hump. Making some small changes build confidence and confidence is king.

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Contributed by:

Dr. Jeffrey Gladd


Dr. Jeffrey Gladd graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001. He then went on to train in family medicine...

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Dr. Jeffrey Gladd
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