Interested In Becoming A Patient or A Distance Consulting Client?
If you have been struggling to find a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner that understands thyroid physiology and autoimmunity at a high level, and that realizes most people have needs beyond just taking a thyroid hormone replacement or medication, then this could be a very important day for you.
We realize that you want to feel better.
From experience, we know that you have likely been to several other doctors, maybe even tried other functional, integrative, or medical physicians only to not get the results that you want and need.
To be very forward with you, finding a skilled practitioner that understands the thyroid and autoimmunity is very, very difficult.
Even among practitioners that focus on working with thyroid dysfunction and autoimmunity, there can be large differences in training and understanding.
One key aspect of improving your health is that you have to be your own advocate.
The first thing to understand in is…
There are some common approaches we see people and their doctors take, that NEVER work (and that you should be aware of)!
- Treating by symptoms alone. Let me illustrate the flaw in this thinking by using thyroid symptoms as an example. Most of my clients are on thyroid medications, but they still have symptoms! Why is that? It is because there are 24 possible ways that we currently understand, that your thyroid chemistry can break down and cause low thyroid symptoms. All of the symptoms are the same, but there are 24 different ways the thyroid physiology is breaking down! This occurs throughout the rest of your body chemistry too! The fact is you have no idea what your problem is without the proper testing.
- Thinking that diet alone will solve your problems. Diet is a very important aspect of your health, and it is an essential tool that should be utilized to help you, but there are several other causes of thyroid problems and autoimmunity that have to be considered. Beware of practitioners that only use dietary support, it’s not a complete approach.
- Questionable alternative treatments. When practitioners recommend things like colonics, liver cleanses and liquid diets, you need to ask questions and do your own research. Many of these alternatives can be dangerous if not done correctly and with supervision.
- Looking for the magic supplement. Supplements are just that, a supplement to everything else you should be doing, not the only method of supporting your body. Be on the lookout for practitioners that only want to load you on supplements… they are important for most people, but only as one part of a comprehensive plan, and they should not be taken forever!
So now that you know what to consider, and can evaluate the approach and recommendation of your practitioner with a more critical eye, let’s cover…
Three Important Signs You Have Found A Practitioner That Can Help…
- They take a logical and science-based approach to evaluating your problems. In our office, we follow a three-step system:
- Detect – we use reliable and repeatable testing to evaluate the cause of your symptoms. This is a critical step.
- Remove – we implement a plan to remove the offending (food, chemical, infection) that was detected.
- Repair – we focus on repairing the systems of the body that were damaged as a result of the food, chemical, or infection detected.
- They prioritize the biochemistry and systems of your body that need support. In our office, we take an approach to repairing your bodily systems beginning with foundational chemistry first. If we were building a house, #1 would be the foundation, #2 the floors, #3 the walls, and so on. This is a general framework, not an absolute approach taken with every person.
- Blood Sugar
- Liver/GI Tract/Methylation
- Sex Hormones (Testosterone / Estrogens)
- They have personal experience with Functional Medicine (and they practice what they preach). This is one of the most important steps. When you work with someone that has been through a journey of healing too, they can better understand what it takes to get better: testing, diet, supplementation and lifestyle changes.
If this approach sounds reasonable to you, then we may be able to help you start investigating the cause of your problems.
Are we a good fit for one another?
Our office is different, in that we do not accept every person that calls our office requesting an appointment… it’s not personal, we only accept people as patients or distance consulting clients that we believe we can help.
If for any reason we do not feel our office is a good fit for you, we will discuss that with you and try to give you the best direction possible.
There are a few things that I can tell you upfront, if you are not willing to change your diet, take temporary supplementation, and change your lifestyle, then we will not be able to help you.
If you can’t give up your soda, sweet tea, fast food, and are not willing to do whatever it takes to improve your health, then we can not help you.
We are inundated with appointment requests, and because of the crushing demand of people suffering, Dr. Shook only works with people that are highly motivated to get better.
If you are not committed to your health, and to getting better, then our office may not be a good fit for you at this time.
If you make an appointment and are not serious about doing whatever it takes to improve your health, then you will take the appointment of someone that is in dire need, and that may have to wait for an appointment.
So please, if you are not committed to getting better, and are not willing to make changes to your diet and lifestyle then just know in advance, that we can not help you.
There is no quick fix to supporting thyroid function or autoimmunity. It takes commitment, a positive attitude, and willingness to change if you want the best chance to improve your health.
Determining if we can accept your case and if you are a candidate for care:
If you would like to become a patient or distance consulting client, all you need to do is click here and complete the form.
The process to determine if you are a candidate for care in our office takes four steps and two appointments.
1. The first step is to request an appointment. Once you request an appointment Dr. Shook’s staff will contact you within one to two business days to help with scheduling and to send you intake forms. If you have questions, Dr. Shook’s staff will help you so that we can both determine if starting the process of becoming a patient or distance consulting client is a good fit. We want you to be successful with care in our office, so we ask a lot of questions to try and set reasonable expectations from the beginning.
2. The second step is to return your forms filled out completely, no later than 5 days from the day you called in and scheduled your appointment. For example, if you called and scheduled an appointment with our office, you would need to have your completed intake packet completed and back to us with five days (please note, this is not business days). We require intake forms be returned in a five-day time frame even if your appointment is one or two months out. After you get your forms, follow the instructions on completing the new client intake packet, they must be filled out completely with no blanks; every question is relevant and important to our assessment.
Dr. Shook reviews every case before a patient or distance consulting client appointment, and this is why you are required to return your intake forms within five days from the date you called in and scheduled, not 5 days from the date of your appointment. If your forms are not returned within 5 days from the day you called in and scheduled your appointment, we will have to release your appointment, and you will have to call back and reschedule (this can only be done one time and then we require that your intake packet is returned to our office and that your appointment fee is prepaid prior to scheduling your appointment.)
Our office is very busy, and just like you, our time is precious.
3. The third step is an initial appointment either in the office or with Dr. Shook via Skype, Facetime or phone. During this first appointment, you and Dr. Shook will discuss your case and see what needs to be done next. Depending on your particular needs, Dr. Shook may recommend laboratory testing to help determine if you have an underlying metabolic problem. Any initial lab testing recommendations including cost will be covered with you in detail by Dr. Shook on this visit.
The initial labs we order on new patients and distance consulting clients is usually $299. This is a very comprehensive panel that gives us great information to help us make decisions on what to do next. This panel is done at your local LabCorp.
4. The fourth step is to a follow-up appointment with Dr. Shook for a review of your laboratory findings, and discuss recommendations.
On this visit, Dr. Shook will let you know if he can accept your case or not.
The time between your first and second appointment allows Dr. Shook to review and consider the findings from your first appointment, including laboratory testing results and points of concern from your history and intake packet. If Dr. Shook believes that he can help you to support your health, a plan will be discussed, and cost of care will be reviewed.
Dr. Shook will give you his best recommendation and will do everything possible to customize a plan based on your unique needs.
How long are the consultations?
45-60-minute new client consult: This consult is designed for questions regarding diet, lifestyle and the supplement program. 3-4 labs test may be reviewed during this time.
30-minute consult: This consult is designed for questions regarding diet, lifestyle and the supplement program. 2-3 labs test may be reviewed during this time.
*Patients are charged for the time block used not the time scheduled.
What is the best method to return the new client paperwork?
Please scan or fax your paperwork to the office at email@example.com, or (888-216-0613).
What types of lab tests are required?
Depending on the type of test, the samples required are blood, saliva, urine or stool. Blood tests may require that you visit a LabCorp draw center, or that you have an outpatient blood draw at a local clinic or hospital. If your testing requires a blood draw we will assist you finding a draw center.
Most advanced tests are completed by the through easy test kits that are self-administered in the comfort of your own home. We will mail the kits to you with instructions. Once the tests are completed they are shipped from your home to the lab.
What laboratories does Dr. Shook use? And why?
Dr. Shook has learned over many years that the accuracy of your lab findings and the quality of the professionals performing the lab tests is the key to you uncovering what’s going on.
Quality is not equal across all lab companies. Many times we see “normal” test results from regular lab companies and our lab tests find many “functional” problems.
The lab companies used by Dr. Shook have the highest testing standards and the most consistent lab results year after year. These are not replacements for regular medical tests, these tests are only used to detect “functional” issues rather than medical problems and aren’t meant to diagnose or recommend protocols for diseases.
We are attempting to detect problems with the functioning of organ systems prior to the onset of a disease.
Can I purchase supplements other than from Dr. Shook?
Dr. Shook only recommends high-quality supplements that have been formulated to achieve the best results in the right specified dosages.
If you want to do your own research on different supplements, we welcome you to do so but we do not provide any other recommendations nor advise on other specific blends or brands.
If you purchase other supplements from other manufacturers, please research carefully. Not all ingredients are equal.
Dr. Shook has gotten predictable results using the supplements that he has handpicked, and by changing, or using supplements other than what he recommends you are introducing another variable and potential problem that could slow or prevent improvement in your health.
Can I order my own test kits through the laboratories or can my regular doctor order them?
Our authorized laboratories are only able to sell test kits to licensed practitioners. Dr. Shook uses specific lab testing through laboratories that exclusively offer functional medicine tests. Larger national labs and local hospital-based labs are not helpful for these types of highly specialized tests.
Who does the lab review and program design?
Dr. Shook does all lab review sessions and will design your protocol during your lab results consultation. The rest of our team helps with follow up, nutritional and lifestyle coaching as well as with disseminating all of our health and wellness educational information.
How long does it take to get the lab results?
The results of your lab test(s) will be sent to Dr. Shook 2 to 4 weeks after mailing your specimens to the lab.
When you order the labs, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Shook four weeks out, so that you and Dr. Shook can review your results. During this appointment, he will review your results and recommend a plan based on your testing.
Do I have to take all the tests recommended at once?
The number of labs recommended will depend on your individual situation including the number of issues you struggle with and the length of time you have been experiencing them, but the range is 1-8 lab tests.
If your goal is to get better as fast as possible, then you should consider getting all the testing done that is within your budget. More tests provide more information so that a specific plan based on your test results can be developed.
If testing is not within your budget or priorities, then you can try a trial and error approach with diet, nutritional supplementation, and lifestyle changes. This process can be successful in improving someones health, but it takes more time, and you have to be prepared to work through periods of not improving, knowing that it is a possibility without having information on specific problems that could be causing you symptoms.
You are always in control of your care, we help guide you, but ultimately you make the decision on how to proceed.
What is included with the initial consultation?
During the inital consultation you and Dr. Shook will discuss your case and see what needs to be done next. Depending on your particular needs, Dr. Shook may recommend laboratory testing to help determine if you have an underlying metabolic problem.
Any initial lab testing recommendations including cost will be covered with you in detail by Dr. Shook on this visit. The initial labs we order on new patients and distance consulting clients is usually $299. This is a very comprehensive panel that gives us great information to help us make decisions on what to do next. This panel is done at your local LabCorp.
How quickly can I get an appointment?
We encourage clients to book at least two weeks in advance. Depending on the time of the year, we can usually schedule a new patient or lab results appointment within two weeks of the requested time.
What is the best way to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shook?
The fastest and easiest way to schedule an appointment is by requesting the appointment here: Click Here To Schedule An Appointment
The earliest available appointments will always be posted online first. You can always call the office to get on the waiting to get a sooner appointment (828) 324-0800.
Backgroud / Communication
Is Dr. Shook an MD?
Dr. Shook is not a medical doctor; he does not service medical emergencies, diagnose, treat or issue protocols for any specific diseases. If you have a medical emergency, you must contact your primary care physician or dial 911.
Dr. Shook supports chemical and physical stress imbalances, with the goal of promoting improve health.
How would you describe Dr. Shook's personality/practitioner style?
Dr. Shook is a very caring doctor. He is deeply passionate about empowering people to take back their health and live fully balanced happy lives. He found his way to his career through his own health challenge and knows what it’s like to have a chronic health condition. In working with thousands of patients, he practices kindness and understanding through all of his interactions.
Please see our testimonials and reviews for feedback from many of his patients.
What should I do if I am struggling to stick to my protocol?
We completely understand that many times, prioritizing a wellness plan requires major life changes. Our advice is to start one product at a time and take one day at a time.
Often keeping a health journal allows one to stay on track and also shows the progression that we often forget when we need a little inspiration.
If you are a member of The 6 Week Hashimoto's Program or our Greater Hickory Thyroid Support Group then you have access to a huge support community. Interacting with the people in these groups can often give you clarity and direction that you need.
If you need further assistance and guidance from Dr. Shook then you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment by calling our office (828) 324-0800.
What is the time frame in which I should expect an answer?
Dr. Shook and the office staff are committed to responding within 48 business hours. Office business hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM, and 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.
Can I email Dr. Shook or his staff with any questions/concerns?
Due to the volume of emails, messages and phone calls received, clients can email yes/No questions if they are up to date on their email follow-up subscription. If you need to subscribe to our follow-up email service for yes/no questions, please subscriber here. If it is a complex question which requires further back and forth communication, you will need to schedule a 30 min. consult and you will need to call to make an appointment (828) 324-0800.
Cost / Insurance
Does my new patient consultation fee include follow-ups, test kits and supplements?
The new patient consultation is an assessment of your health and recommendations on what tests are required to understand the state of your body systems. The new patient consultation fee does not include any follow-ups, test kits or supplements.
Does Dr. Shook take any insurance?
Your insurance deems the care we provide in our office as "not medically necessary," and therefore will not cover it.
Medical necessity is a term used by your insurance company to determine if a service is covered under your policy or not.
Medical necessity is determined by best practice guidelines, and these guidelines are different for every insurance company.
The care that you are currently receiving is based on your insurance company's best practice guidelines.
Is that the level of care that you want?
Dr. Shook decided a long time ago that he was not going to let an insurance company dictate the care he gives, but that he was going to do what he felt the person needed. For these reasons our office does not accept insurance or Medicare, and we do not file insurance paperwork on your behalf. However, we will provide a detailed receipt for services performed for you to submit to your insurance carriers, but it is our experience that the services will not be covered.
You may have a health savings account that you can use to help cover care in our office. We work with people from all socioeconomic statuses, and we treat everyone with the same respect and compassion that we would like to be treated with.
How does Dr. Shook bill his clients?
Payment is due at time of consultation. If paying by credit card, the card number is required to be on file with our office prior to the consultation. Checks are accepted if received prior to the consult.
What types of payment does Dr. Shook accept?
Methods of payment are: Visa, MasterCard, HSA, Flex-savings, Discover and Debit Card.
Why was I charged a lab read fee?
Lab fees include the time outside of consulting with you to read, interpret, and formulate a plan based on your results. The process of evaluating your tests takes a significant amount of time and expertise.
If any labs are ordered outside of the office and are brought back for Dr. Shook to review, a lab read fee will be charged.
How much is it going to cost?
The first rule in our office is that you will never go from one step to the next without knowing exactly how much something is going to cost.
Is that fair?
A few fees that we know for sure...
The initial consultation with Dr. Shook is $250. (45 minutes to 1 hour, if more time is needed, you will need to book two-time slots) In-office new client appointments are $350.
Upon booking of the appointment, a $50 nonrefundable deposit is required to hold your spot. The $50 deposit goes toward the cost of the first visit. For example, you would pay $50 to make an appointment, and on the day of the appointment, you will be responsible for a payment of $200.
The initial metabolic panel that we commonly order at the conclusion of the first visit is $299.
All follow-up appointments are $175 (30 minutes, if more time is needed, you will need to book two-time slots)
If advanced laboratory testing is recommended, it ranges in cost from $350 to over $7,000 thousand dollars. If advanced testing is recommended, it will be itemized for you and reviewed in detail.
Dr. Shook will cover each test, and why he recommends it so that you can make an informed decision on what you want.
Your care is always up to you, and in your hands. We will give you guidance, but how you decide to proceed is completely up to you.
Temporary nutritional supplementation can range from $0 to $300 the first month, and typically decreases each month after that. Supplements are temporary, and we make every effort to reduce the amount you take as quickly as possible. We do not recommend taking nutritional supplements long-term. Ultimately, the goal is to get the nutrients from your food, so spend your money on good food!
If you go over 5 minutes for your designated time slot you will be charged for a 15-minute time block at the rate of $87.50.
Dr. Shook's Approach To Health
What is Functional Medicine?
In short, Functional Medicine is root cause resolution.
Rather than targeting individual symptoms, Functional Medicine focuses on the optimal functioning of the entire body and its organs. It addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach in partnership with understanding the conditions and history in which the disease manifested.
Genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors all have a direct influence on long-term health and chronic health issues.
What is Dr. Shook's Approach?
Dr. Shook’s approach is a functional medicine, diagnostic lab based health approach focused on using testing and measurable findings through laboratory testing to 1) Detect problems with your physiology 2) Remove the problems found, and 3) Repair the damage caused using natural protocols that work with the body's healing abilities.
How long does it take to get results?
Results vary for each person.
Some people feel dramatic improvement within the first month, others may take a bit longer. Typical clients take 3 to 6 months to reach maximal improvement, but we have worked with people for longer periods of time.
We customize our approach and plans to meet your individual needs. Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress and illness takes its toll and it takes a proper amount of time to restore.
On average it takes one month of repair for each year you’ve suffered from a specific problem.
How is Dr. Shook's method different from other practitioners?
Dr. Shook's approach seeks to identify root causes of your symptoms. Many of the problems Dr. Shook works with are misunderstood/misdiagnosed by conventional medicine practitioners who attempt to address the symptoms, not the root cause/damaged system.
Dr. Shook’s approach is a lab-based and focused on using quantitative numbers to help guide your care, rather than guessing with natural protocols that waste time and money in the long-run.
Dr. Shook uses a Detect, Remove, Repair framework to assess, address and improve your problems and uses all natural health protocols. The lab tests are used to determine the required natural support needed to re-balance your body back to its normal state.
Have you met any natural health, alternative medicine or functional medicine doctor that advocates taking less supplements? Dr. Shook does.
Dr. Shook believes the body has the capacity to heal, and that if we can identify the problems, remove them and then support repair of the body, that you should not need to take supplementation long-term. Once you are healthier, you should focus on good food, and only spurt dose supplements if needed.