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The Importance of Retesting: Why We Need to ‘Stay on the Path’

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At its heart, the Communication System Management™ (CSM) model is one of first testing our patients’ neurotransmitter and hormone levels through an initial HPA test and assessing the results; then intervening with Targeted Nutritional Therapy™ (TNT) formulas; and finally, testing to see if our intervention improved not only the patient’s laboratory values, but also their symptomology. This is the CSM™ model.

The model and its components are part of an overall picture of our patient that we construct utilizing patient history, physical exams, other laboratory assessments, and the CSM™ model. The result is a much clearer picture of our patient and their health trajectory. The CSM™ model allows us a window into the patient’s neuroendocrine system that we have heretofore not had access to and helps us see the ‘big picture’.

However, that picture is not static—it is dynamic and ever-changing. When we see a patient for the first time, we listen to that patient and we see their life in the context of their disease process. We review their assessments and work with them to come up with a plan—you could call it a path—to bring them to an improved level of health and wellness. When you start on a path for a long walk, you don’t stop at the beginning of the path and stand still: You walk. Along the way you see guideposts and signs that let you know you are on the right path, moving toward your goal. Without them, you might get lost, or take the wrong trail and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.

Think of the CSM™ model as a path you and your patient start on. You both have a goal, and a plan to get you where you want to go. The initial HPA test is just the beginning of the path – along with the other tests and treatments you are working on together. It is not the end—not by a long shot. You have to keep moving with your patient down the path! Retesting of the HPA profile(s) gives you guideposts –signs guiding you on the path to help your patient get to where they want to go.

You wouldn’t do a TSH and find it to be high, start the patient on thyroid medication and never test them again, right? You want to bring the patient’s thyroid into balance—get them back to homeostasis with regard to their thyroid numbers and symptoms. The same holds true with the CSM™ model, and bringing the patient’s neurotransmitters and hormones back into balance. You can’t assess the patient just one time and then guess where they need to go from there on out. You and your patient might start moving down a wrong path and end up where neither of you wanted to go.

The CSM™ model also provides our patients insight into why they feel they way they do. Many of our patients will actually ask, “Why on Earth haven’t my other doctors ever done a test like this on me? Now I finally understand why I have been feeling this way. This test makes total sense to me”. This kind of statement is often followed by a heartfelt “Thank you!”.

Treating patients using the CSM™ model is both challenging and exceedingly gratifying—particularly when we get it right. But in order to have real and long lasting success, the model must be used in its entirety, not piecemeal or in a fractured fashion. If we want our clinical outcomes to improve, we must use the model as it was meant to be used.

Dr. R.W. Chip Watkins, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Dr. R.W. Chip Watkins, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Disclaimer: The information provided is only intended to be general educational information to the public. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific questions about any medical matter or if you are suffering from any medical condition, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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Overview

One of our feel-good neurotransmitters; when it is deficient, we can suffer mood disorders, sleep issues and carb cravings.