In this episode of Turnpaugh Talks, Dr. Turnpaugh sits down with Dr. Regina Smith to discuss her passions that led her to Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center. Growing up, Dr. Regina always thought she wanted to be a veterinarian but, after working in a nursing home as a medical assistant, she realized she wanted to work with people instead. She read a book by Bernie Siegel about how much the brain and thoughts influence the body and healing. This turned her onto the idea of holistic medicine. She attended osteopathic school after undergrad because she liked the idea of the body healing itself. She worked at a couple of hospitals but eventually, she began to get frustrated because she felt that setting did not allow her to do everything she needed to do to help her patients. She attended a functional medicine lecture, met Dr. Turnpaugh through her sister in-law, and never looked back.
Dr. Regina is always learning and bringing new findings to the office. She is constantly attending lectures, always up to date on the latest research, and enjoys both learning from and educating her coworkers at THWC. Dr. Regina specializes in treating chronic Lyme Disease. She has dedicated so much time to researching and attending conferences about Lyme for the sake of her patients. She is so passionate about helping her patients to the absolute best of her abilities. Many people who have chronic Lyme have been told in the past that there is no such thing and it is all in their heads. Dr. Regina provides compassionate care, understanding that if they aren’t feeling well there is something wrong and she will figure out what that is. Many times treating a person as if they have Lyme disease, even if they did not test positive, has helped them feel better. Just because it did not show up on a blood test does not mean it isn’t there.
Dr. Regina is also board certified in internal medicine. She uses this in conjunction with her functional medicine training. If a patient needs a medication, she is not against it at all, but she will also work to try and get them to a point where they don’t need it, if possible. She will put a lot of her patients on anti-inflammatory diets. Something as simple as eating better shows great results in patients who couldn’t get relief for many years. This change in how they feel encourages them to exercise and move more, and in turn has a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing. Dr. Regina finds that after making dietary changes, her patients not only feel better physically but mentally as well. She can even help people get off of their mood supporting medications, such as anti-depressants.
Dr. Regina sees some of the most complicated cases. She feels like she owes it to every patient to get to the bottom of their medical mysteries and help them get better. Most of her patients have already been down an allopathic route and found it did not work for them or were told there was nothing wrong. Dr. Regina cares about her patients and shows them compassion. She meets her patients where they are and customizes her care to their needs. A patient’s decision does not dictate whether or not she will care for them.
At the THWC Spring Summit, she will be talking about hormones and how to optimize them using a functional medicine approach. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an area in which Dr. Regina has done a lot of research and she loves to use it with her patients. She does very detailed and advanced hormone tests. These include blood tests, saliva tests, and urine tests. Many traditional doctors only use blood tests and are not capturing the full picture. It is important to make sure the hormones are going through the proper pathways for detoxification and to not only measure the level of hormones but how these hormones are broken down. Diet can play a role in how someone does breakdown certain hormones. Stress has an impact on hormone levels too. Sometimes, the solution is to fix the stress and not the hormone directly.
Dr. Regina is certified to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. She has seen great benefits in a wide variety of patients. It may help patients lower their doses, or even get rid of, their other medications. Certain types of marijuana can even help kill cancer cells. CBD has a lot of the properties that a marijuana plant has without the THC, so she will use CBD for some of her patients as well. LDN is another approach Dr. Regina uses which helps her patients make more endorphins so they feel better and have less pain. The endorphins bind to immune cells and activate them in ways that help your body kill off pathogens and tumors, balance the immune system, reduce neural inflammation and more.