Do you suffer from digestive issues that have not responded to treatments provided by your primary care doctor or a gastroenterologist?
Are you looking for a more natural and effective approach?
We can help.
Our medical director, Dr. Michael Sharp, is a Harvard trained physician who served on the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine for 20 years before a growing dissatisfaction with the practice of mainstream medicine and his brush with serious illness led him to look outside the box. Over the last 20 years, he has steadily acquired a better understanding and approach to chronic illnesses of all types, especially those involving the digestive system. His Plum Spring Clinic team and program are now guided by two fundamental principles:
A broad, holistic approach to illness that understands how all things are connected;
Getting to the roots of the specific illness.
If the focus of your treatment is only on the gut, there is little likelihood that true healing can occur.
Our unique approach is built on these three components:
1. Diagnostic testing
The digestive system cannot heal if attention is not paid to underlying factors that may contribute to illness. We have a palette of diagnostic tests that are used by few if any other clinics in the country. These include tests that determine:
- Individual metabolic variability related to core biochemical processes.
- The health of your intestinal bacteria – your flora.
- Markers of digestive and systemic inflammation.
- The capacity to regulate that inflammation. How well do you protect yourself from free-radicals? We measure your antioxidant capacity.
- The presence and severity of leaky gut.
- Body composition and a key (remediable) measure of cell membrane health.
- The gut is not called the second brain for no reason. We have tests that help us determine levels of neurotransmitters and biochemical stress markers related to gut function.
- We assess your overall stress hormone status, especially as it relates to the quality of sleep. We find well over 75% of our digestive disorder patients have sleep disturbances and if these are not repaired your gut simply won’t heal.
- A review of the health of your hormone system and tests to determine whether sex or thyroid hormone disturbances are playing a role in your unwellness.
- Are allergies playing a part? We can test that, and it may help set the course of treatment.
- A variety of ways to determine if nutrient deficiencies are a part of your illness.
2. A holistic approach to healing
We believe there are core factors that must be addressed in every individual’s path back to feeling well: exercise, nutrition, stress resiliency, sleep and attention to toxin exposure and elimination. We provide a 20-week curriculum that guides and supports you through education, self-assessment, goal setting and tracking, measures of progress in each of these domains and periodic big-picture assessment. In some instances, we may determine that a 12-week curriculum is the best choice. For almost all individuals, a critical part of this curriculum is a 28-day “fresh start” diet designed to 1) allow the system to rest, heal and clear toxins, and 2) set the course for a healthy way of eating for the rest of your life.
3. An expert team to guide your path
We believe this is the most powerful aspect of our program that makes the whole system work. Healing is ultimately a change process. We believe that a crucial factor for our patients’ success is the willingness to be helped. Willingness to be helped is not easy – we understand this. We also understand why. For many people, it has to do with the ability to trust the guide. Our team has the scope of expertise and commitment to support our patients across the challenges of their program. In many individuals, a history of trauma plays a central role. We understand that this can be a stubborn obstacle to the success of their programs. We have advanced somatic techniques to work with such individuals and to heal these wounds.
Your Next Step!
Take the next step toward your improved health. Find out if our programs are right for you by filling out our New Patient Inquiry Form. Your journey to well-being starts here!