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Dr. Payal Bhandari:
"When people are empowered they often pay the favor forward by positively impacting other people's lives."
• What is/was your profession? Integrative Functional Family Physician specializing on cellular health and the impact of the microbiome, nutrient deficiencies, and toxin overload.
• What is your illness(es)? Chronic eczema
• Where do you work/what’s your business? Owner and senior physician of integrative medical center, SF Advanced Health in San Francisco, CA
• What types of patients/conditions do you work with? Patients with either a chronic disease or no diagnosis with debilitating symptoms who have already been evaluated by many different medical physicians and other healthcare specialists but unfortunately are not getting better.
1. What makes your approach to care unique? I give people as much time as necessary to truly understand the full picture and discover exactly where their problem lies on a cellular level. I can then define an effective personalized treatment plan which drives results quickly and empowers the patients to use tools they easily have access to.
2. How did your illness shape your career? The persistence and intensity of my chronic eczema throughout my life has never responded or resolved with all the treatment options offered by conventional western medicine. The debilitating nature of my skin disorder would cause severe itching, skin bleeding, anxiety, and poor sleep. When my youngest daughter also began to develop variants of eczema in the form of idiopathic hives by age 2 and my oldest daughter required an emergency oophorectomy at age 6, I became determined to find real answers. I couldn’t accept that my daughter’s and my health issues were idiopathic (aka., without a cause) as we were always informed by our doctors.
I began doing aggressive research outside of allopathic scientific research, and discovered how intertwined nutrition, gut function, the nervous system, and environmental toxins are with one’s health. I realized that all acute symptoms and chronic diseases are actually caused by cell dysfunction and poor neurotransmitter signaling caused by environmental factors. These discoveries led me to shift my perspective on how I lived my life, cared for my family and patients.
I began shifting away from being a traditional family physician who just treated patients’ symptoms with pharmaceuticals loaded with side effects or recommended expensive tests and invasive procedures which did not necessary address the underlying cause. I began integrating from many different schools of thought in order to understand exactly how the body functions on a cellular level. I now specialize in discovering the root cause of any chronic condition by blending the best in evidence-based Eastern and Western Medicine. Patients are now given personalized treatments utilizing tools they already have and hence, feel empowered. Significant results occur within weeks.
3. What do/did you do when you don’t know what to do about a patient? I have built an amazing team of healthcare professionals both within my integrative medical center and within the community which I reach out for guidance in helping care of my patients.
4. Are/were you open about your illnesses with your patients? Always! When practitioners connect with patients on the same level, we humanize the experience, and built trust and confidence with our patients.
5. What does “trust” mean to you in the patient-practitioner relationship? Everything! Without trust, there is no confidence, faith, and hence, no relationship.
6. What are you most passionate ab