July 14, 2024

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Dr. Dewald Jurgens Brings Functional Medicine to Foothills Wellness Clinic

4 min read

Dr. Jurgens, who hails from South Africa and has 20 years of experience, took over Dr. Simon James’ practice upon Dr. James’ retirement. A strong advocate for functional medicine, Dr. Jurgens feels it is the key to revolutionizing patient care.

Foothills Wellness Clinic’s Dr. Dewald Jurgens is excited to be treating patients from Calgary and the Foothills, and very excited to introduce his passion, functional medicine, to the clinic.

Dr. Jurgens, who hails from South Africa and has 20 years of experience, took over Dr. Simon James’ practice upon Dr. James’ retirement. A strong advocate for functional medicine, Dr. Jurgens feels it is the key to revolutionizing patient care.

“After practising medicine for decades and feeling frustrated with managing chronic diseases, I felt that there should be a different approach,” he explains. “Unfortunately, change in the medical world can take a long time as there are many parts to it (such as government, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, media, patients, etc.).”

He continues, “I truly believe that functional medicine comes back to the core of most health problems. Instead of just applying temporary fixes, what is the underlying issue or trigger for the symptoms? Addressing the root cause makes sense and this can be achieved with appropriate diet changes, exercise, specific supplements, good sleep and stress management – principles that sometimes get overlooked in a fast-paced approach.”

Dr. Jurgens explains how functional medicine can fit into today’s care models.

“Traditional medicine is great and that is what I was trained in primarily. Acute and emergency medicine is vital to our society and saves lives daily. I just think in managing our chronic diseases we jump to medicine as first line treatment far too quickly. There is obviously a place for medicine, but we should take the time for early detection and specialized tests to find the root cause of the symptoms or disease. That is the crux of functional medicine.

“Early detection of any disease prevents complications and saves lives. In functional medicine, you are part of the team and not a bystander in your own health. Patients feel sick and die every day despite normal lab tests, so it is important to look at other clues as well.

“The earlier we can find a disease, the easier we can manage it with specific lifestyle interventions. The tests will include our traditional tests as well as genetic tests, hormonal saliva tests, stool test and a lot more. The importance of a good diet and looking after our gastrointestinal tract is vitally important in so many systems in our body.”

Spots are open now for bookings in his functional medicine clinic.

“My functional medicine practice will focus mainly on vascular health and anti-aging,” Dr. Jurgens says. “Cardiac disease remains the number one killer worldwide despite incredible advances in medicine the last 50 years. Ignoring common risk factors, and in some cases relying only on medication, has cost us dearly. It is time to fine tune our approach. With the help of genetic testing and advanced lipid tests, we can customize a personalized treatment plan for you as an individual and not just rely on a blanket approach. The success of this approach has been backed up by numerous studies.”

What can patients expect? Dr. Jurgens explains, “By utilizing the standard approach in conventional medicine and incorporating specialized tests, we can come up with a personalised, precision approach for each patient. Sometimes only a few minor changes to lifestyle or supplements are sufficient. Sometimes a major overhaul is necessary. The treatment will not override a family physician or specialist’s treatment plan. It will be complimentary with the patient being the driver and taking responsibility.”

He concludes, emphasising the need for early detection.

“Prevention, or at least early detection, cannot be emphasized enough. This goes for all areas of medicine but particularly cardiac disease, hypertension and diabetes. Sometimes these disease processes are present in your body for decades before showing themselves and it’s during this period when we want to identify the high-risk individuals through very specific investigations. With early detection we can turn things around. For those with known disease, it may not be too late to prevent further events or complications and it’s paramount to be aggressive from all angles. A natural and common sense approach can be lifechanging and might just save you a trip to the emergency room!”

To learn more, visit Foothills Wellness Clinic online and check out the functional medicine page (where you can also book an appointment). The clinic is also active on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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