We’re back with another post for our Meet the Staff series, and this time around, we’re focusing the spotlight on Dr. Matt Lewis — a BioDesign Wellness Center functional medicine practitioner who provides clinical care to women and men suffering from a variety of health concerns related to hormones, digestion, thyroid health, inflammation and more.
Dr. Lewis (known as “Doctor Matt” to our patients) makes sure patients are receiving the most appropriate treatments and are responding well to our treatment plans. One of the things that make Dr. Lewis unique is that he intentionally provides a consultative approach that allows for time to get to know and understand the needs of his patients.
In other words, unlike other doctors who spend 10 minutes or less with their patients, Dr. Lewis’ training and experience have shown that the more time he spends with his patients, the better their health outcomes. As a result, a typical appointment with Dr. Lewis can last anywhere from 30 or 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
When we asked him, Dr. Lewis said he decided to work at BioDesign Wellness because of a shared vision. He found everyone — from our owners to the folks working at the front desk — was eager to help patients achieve their health objectives. And he says our staff members value their own health and lead by example.
Prior to joining our team, Dr. Lewis owned and operated a medical practice on Long Island in New York for 15 years. During his quarter-of-a-century career, he has been deeply involved in the clinical nutrition and functional medicine sides of healthcare.
We asked Dr. Lewis to fill us in on a few more details about his life, and here’s what he told us:
BioDesign Wellness Center: Where did you go to college, and what degrees do you hold?
Dr. Lewis: I went to Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., for undergrad as a Physical Therapy major. I decided I wanted to take a more holistic path and that led me to obtain my Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Ga. From there, I went on to my Diplomate status in Clinical Nutrition from the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, my CFMP® from Functional Medicine University, and my certification as a Digestive Health Specialist through the Food Enzyme Institute.
BDWC: Why did you choose to go into functional medicine?
Dr. Matt Lewis: My journey began when I was 16, visiting my chronically ill grandparents at the hospital. My grandmother was a smoker who developed emphysema, and my grandfather, a WWII veteran, had heart disease and diabetes. As I looked around that hospital, I was struck by the number of chronically ill people in beds. Would this be my fate? I wondered. Did it have to be?
Fast forward 25 years, and my dad developed diabetes and colon and liver cancer. My mom had autoimmune thyroid disease. Having that as my immediate family history and having plans to start a family of my own, I had a full check-up that revealed a borderline autoimmune thyroid and elevated blood sugar. I was about to become my own first patient.
That’s when I refused to let genetics determine my fate. Unfortunately, within several years of starting my practice, I became ill due to exposure to mold, which led me to a deeper understanding of environmental toxicity and just how many of my patients were living life in close proximity to harmful toxins.
Over the last fifteen years in practice, I have chosen to focus on work on the root causes of chronic illness and have had the pleasure of working with people who are seeking better outcomes than what the current healthcare system offered them. That’s where functional medicine comes into play.
As a result, I find it especially rewarding to help those with chronic conditions, such as hypothyroid, chronic digestive complaints, and diabetes, as well as mold-related illnesses and chronic fatigue feel better than they were led to believe they ever would and regain their youth and vigor.
BDWC: If you could tell new patients one thing about BioDesign Wellness, what would you want them to know?
Dr. Lewis: I think it would benefit prospective patients to know that if they are looking for treatments that will help them to improve symptoms and quality of life, they are in the right place.
By testing for and treating the underlying causes of their symptoms, we’re able to help new patients discover, restore, and optimize their health in profoundly sustainable ways.
BDWC: If you could eliminate one food so that no one would ever eat it again, what would you pick to destroy and why?
Dr. Lewis: I would eliminate dairy. I have found it to be the most likely food to cause digestive issues.
BDWC: Where did you grow up, and what did you want to be when you were in grade school?
Dr. Lewis: I grew up in Bayside, N.Y. — not to be confused with Bayside, Calif. (the fictional location for Saved by the Bell’s Bayside High School in Los Angeles). Growing up, I wanted to be a basketball player (point guard, obviously).
BDWC: If you moved to Sesame Street, who would you want as your neighbor and why?
Dr. Lewis: Why, Cookie Monster, of course. I can’t possibly eat all those cookies by myself, so having Cookie Monster’s voracious appetite would be a real blessing, as would hear him say, “Me want cookie” and mutter, “Om nom, nom, nom” while eating!
BDWC: What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Dr. Lewis: I am an excellent cook. Om nom, nom, nom!
BDWC: Please tell us about your hobbies or interests outside of work.
Dr. Lewis: I like staying active by hiking, playing basketball, paddle boarding, and hanging out at the beach.
BDWC: Are you married, and do you have children? If so, please tell us something about your family.
Dr. Lewis: I am married and have two young girls — Ava and Gia. My wife, Dipti, is a chiropractor and, most recently, a licensed Realtor. Ava and Gia love horseback riding and when they are not at the barn, I am their horse of