Frequently Asked Questions


Your questions answered...

1) The probiotic….which individual probiotics do you suggest that I make sure they are included in the product when I buy one?

At the shop, we have three kinds of probiotics from the same manufacturer. They have different potencies. We have a 5 billion, 25 billion and 50 billion counts. For most people taking probiotics, I recommend the 5 billion. For people with moderate gastrointestinal issues, I recommend 25 billion. For people with severe gastrointestinal toxicity or for people who want a high powered probiotics, I recommend the high potency one. Our probiotic manufacturer is Prothera/Klaire labs

2) Do I need to be taking iodine since I only use sea salt once in awhile? And it doesn’t have iodine in it.

Sea salt contains many trace minerals, including Iodine. If you use table salt, it is better to use iodized salt.

3) I checked the label on my “protein shake” and it does have the two amino acids that I was low in on the test results. Do I need to take more than one shake each day to get the full amount? On the label it says 403 mg Histidine and 922 mg Lysine. Is one shake a day enough to cover the Histidine that I need?

Probably not. The shop does not carry these specific amino acids, however, we can order them for you.

4) How do you treat diseases? Do you ever recommend herbs for medical problems? The reason I am asking is because I was diagnosed with diverticulitis a couple of years ago and diabetes a few months ago. If I ONLY concentrate on taking all the nutrients my body needs, will that be enough to turn those two diseases around? Or do I need herbs as well?

Functional medicine uses all means to treat disease, as long as there is scientific evidence that it works, and it does not cause harm. Yes, I use herbs. I use foods as well. For diabetes, you should be checking your blood sugar regularly. For diverticular disease, fiber, and MCT oil. Here is a link to the documents page on my website. ( Please download as much as you can, and use the recipes. I even have a diabetes diet in there. Use it.

5) When do you suggest that I get tested for diabetes again?

You should be checking your blood sugar everyday. We will talk about testing at your next visit.

6) When I first had diabetes the lady at (store name deleted) told me not eat even my Duland’s oatmeal and Sami’s millet/flaxseed breads because they would turn to sugar in my body as a carbohydrate. I know not to eat white bread because all white things turn to sugar in our bodies. But what about these two breads?

All carbohydrates turn to sugar in your blood. The problem is with refined sugars, and processed foods that "dump" sugar into your blood soon after you eat. The vegetables that are supposed to be good for you also get turned into sugars, but much more slowly. Some foods, such as gluten (from wheat) may cause immune activation, which can make one ill without even considering the sugar problem. try to avoid all the white starches, consume more vegetables, and certainly avoid any foods which you developed antibodies to. The test report was mailed. You should be getting it today.

7) Are you familiar with “muscle testing”? (kinesiology)

No. I will make a note of it. We may add it at some point it I investigate it, and find that it will be helpful to our patients.

8) Naturopathic physicians usually tell you to never eat sugar and dairy products. Some include other things. Do you agree? And LOTS of water – at least half our body weight in ounces.

I would not say "NEVER" to anything, unless you have a reaction to that food. Some people do just fine with dairy, and cheese is high in protein.

9) Do I need n-Butyrate under Metabolic Products?

The bacteria in your gut can digest the fiber you eat to produce butyrate. Butyrate is also available as a supplement, and we can order it for you if you wish.

10) I looked at the label on the multivitamins product. Compared to the list of what I need on the test results, the product doesn’t give me enough magnesium according to the Genova Diagnostics test result. The same with the B-vitamins….there aren’t enough miligrams in the ingredients on the label of the B complex bottle to cover what the test results tell me that I need. Not sure I understand??

You should take a separate magnesium as no vitamin complex has enough magnesium. You should take B-complex in addition to the multivitamin to meet the Genova stated requirements for you. Even though the multivitamins are high dose, they still do not meet you need as given by the test.

11) What does Oxidative Stress Markers mean? What is 8-OHdG, and what does it mean when it is high? How does it affect risk for cancer.

Oxidative stress means your body is making more free radicals than it can clear through detoxification. Free radicals can damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer. 8-OHdG is a marker of DNA damage (an oxidative stress marker). A high 8-OHdG shows a lot of DNA damage, and an increased risk of cancer. It does not mean you have cancer, or that you will get cancer. It gives us the opportunity treat the oxidative stress by taking any recommended antioxidants. We also look for why you have oxidative stress, and try to correct the problem.

12) Are you familiar with the importance of our body's pH balance needing to be about 7.3 to 7.5 alcoline? An acidic body is a magnet for diseases.

The body’s pH is tightly regulated between 7.35 and 7.45. It is very tightly controlled, and is often as close to 7.4 as possible. Even though the range is between 7.35 and 7.45, the pH does not stay at the extremes for long, unless there is an underlying illness present. The body can tolerate acid pH (pH below 7.35) better than it can tolerate alkaline pH (greater than 7.45). Although I have seen many patients with pH of 6.9 (that is normal minus 0.6), I have never seen a patient with 7.6 (normal plus 0.2). Different parts of the body have different pH values. The mouth is alkaline, stomach is acid, which helps with nutrient absorption, and digestion. Acidity in the stomach also protects the integrity of gut microorganisms. Fatty acids produced by bacteria in the colon maintain an acid environment, which also makes for good colon health. The blood is tightly regulated to maintain a pH close to 7.4. Urine pH tends to be acidic, but has a wide range. The kidneys and lungs do a very good job of maintaining the blood pH. Certain disease conditions can affect the pH of the blood. Deliberate disturbances of the balance in the different environments could create conditions for disease.

13) I am considering coming to Magnolia Health. Should I make a functional medicine appointment or an internal medicine appointment?

Functional medicine services are premium services at Magnolia Health Care. To answer your question, I would frame it as "do you NEED functional medicine?" The typical functional medicine patient is someone with a chronic medical problem for which they have been to many doctors, and they are not finding the answers they need. Functional medicine also works for people who are tired of taking prescription medications, or just want to improve their health with a comprehensive wellness program. If we see you for an internal medicine visit, and we think you would benefit from functional medicine, we will recommend it to you. However, if you are in doubt, choose functional medicine.

14. The nurse from my health insurance company calls me every month to check on me. She has advised me to have a piece of cheese and cracker or peanut butter and cracker at night before I go to bed. This is to prevent my blood sugar from dropping too low at night. What do you think?

The short answer is that this is not the best advice, based on emerging scientific evidence. This is not consistent with the emerging scientific evidence on the treatment of diabetes based on what is known as autophagy. (1,2) Autophagy is a natural cleaning process by which the body rids itself of harmful cellular debris, which accumulate in cells as a result of usual activities and processes within the cells. This natural cleaning process is triggered when we sleep, if the body is in a state of relative deficiency of nutrients (a fasting state). In other words, when we go to bed hungry, this cleaning process kicks in. When the sleeping body is in a fasting state, it turns on itself, breaks down the broken and defective parts within the cell and uses these parts as food, to make energy and build new parts.

Autophagy has been linked to weight loss, prevention and improvement in fatty liver; (3) and control of diabetes. It may even have a role in treating dementia. (4,5) I suspect that as we understand autophagy more, we will find out that there are more benefits to it.

You might be wondering how you might use autophagy to help you with your diabetes. There are currently no drugs on the market to enhance autophagy. This natural cleaning process depends on fasting while sleeping to initiate and enhance it. Certain foods may enhance autophagy as well. A therapeutic program known as the fasting mimicking diet has been developed to enhance autophagy. There are also fasting programs: “time restricted feeding” and “intermittent fasting,” which enhance autophagy. Before applying any of these practices, please discuss it with your doctor.

For a diabetic, the major potential complication of applying autophagy is a drop in blood sugar at night. This will happen only if a patient is taking a diabetes medicine that has the potential to drop your blood sugar (such as insulin and/or the type of drugs known as oral hypoglycemic drugs). The solution to preventing blood sugar drop at night is not to eat something before going to bed, because this defeats the idea of employing autophagy to help manage your diabetes. Rather, I would either stop or reduce the doses of these drugs (if you are taking any) before starting a treatment program based on autophagy.


Questions about functional medicine visit

What is functional medicine?

To tell you about functional medicine, let me first tell you about regular medicine. When you go to the doctor with a problem, the doctor will talk to you, examine you, may be order some tests or x-rays and make a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor prescribes medications. End of story. In functional medicine, our doctor will do all the above, and may write you a prescription, but then he will also ask why you have this diagnosis. He will further dig into the cause of the problem and try to prevent or reverse the problem. That can only happen if he knows what caused the problem in the first place. To do that takes a long time. Functional medicine is like holistic and integrative medicine, and there are special tests which we only order for functional medicine patients.

What does my insurance cover?

Your insurance covers a regular doctor’s office visit, which usually last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Functional medicine visits take much longer.

What does the $400 cover?

Functional medicine visits can last up to 2 hours for a first visit and over one hour for a follow up visit. Insurance companies do not recognize the time our doctor spends with you for the functional medicine visit, and do not pay for it. The $400 is for the opportunity to have the doctor spend the extra time with you and go over your information even after the visit. There are special tests which we only order for functional medicine patients because they are time consuming, and fall into the realm of holistic, integrative medicine. 

Why is the cost so much?

It is a premium service, and although it costs more in the beginning, it saves the patient money in the long run because you will pay less for medicines in the future. What we provide is worth every penny you spend. 

Why am I paying $200 for a follow up visit?

Many of our patients tell us about a doctor that walked into the room, did not even touch them, and wrote a prescription and walked out. That kind of an office visit is what insurance pays for. A functional medicine visit is not that kind of a follow up visit. You are meeting with a doctor who takes his time to talk to you. You don't want to pay Pinto type money for Cadillac services.

Magnolia Health Care
619 S. Dargan Street
Florence, SC 29506
Phone: 843-279-2943
Fax: (843) 799-1392
Office Hours

Get in touch