Dr. Shanhong Lu, MD, PhD
I am a 52-year-old internist who, after 18 years in conventional medicine, transformed my solo practice to focus on restorative and integrative medicine. Previously, I was dealing with 80 patients per week as well as hospital and nursing home patients. I felt rushed all the time and yet I was advised by my peers to double my patient load to make a reasonable income.
I was young, strong, and—I thought—invincible until about ten years ago, when I started noticing an obvious decline in my intellectual function, energy, and short-term memory. I noticed a shift after a few small, seemingly insignificant head and neck injuries coupled with daily stress from running around between the hospital and my practice. I couldn’t read a one-page article, much less a book. I couldn’t remember which patients I saw on a given day and had to constantly write down clues and notes. I also developed brain fog and significant fatigue in the afternoon and other symptoms typical of thyroid, adrenal, and gender hormone dysfunction.
Such cognitive problems don’t run in my family at all: My grandmother lived until 96 and learned English at 86. My mother is 87 and still practicing cardiology today. I knew something wasn’t right and started looking around for answers.
My search started bearing fruit when I was working with an auto-immune patient of mine who was unwilling to use pharmaceuticals and unable to use supplements. I admitted I couldn’t help her and asked her to find someone else who could. If she found something that worked, I wanted her to come back and tell me about it. In less than 2 months, she did just that! She had gone to a naturopath & cleared up her condition in 2 months. I called the naturopath and learned that he had diagnosed her with a disorder of the pituitary, given her a spray to support her aging and stressed pituitary, and put her on a cellular detox and immune modulation protocol. The combination had enabled her thyroid, adrenals, and immune system to recover to a naturally healthy state. He also shared with me the fact that head injury can knock out the pituitary and progressively shut down the rest of the endocrine system. Chronic stress can also mimic and compound those effects.
I started researching TBI-related brain atrophy, pituitary injury, hypothyroidism, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and neurotoxins. I began a journey to heal myself and some of my most difficult patients. Within 3 months, my short-term memory was completely recovered and I was on a discovery mission! I started reading books & articles and attending seminars that opened my eyes to new ways of practicing medicine: focusing on the root causes and restoring health and vitality. I reconfigured my medical practice to be effective and satisfying in ways that support the very reasons why I entered the practice of medicine in the first place. Equally exciting, I discovered the joy of public speaking and putting together clear and fun workshops to share what I was learning and experiencing.
Ten years later, I seem to have recreated an even more functional, calm, laser sharp and creative brain—better even than when I was 10 years younger! For this I credit four essential components of core vitality: effective neuroendocrine function, vital nutrition, detoxification, and immune balance.