Pillar 1 IDENTIFY: What We Do To Ensure You Receive the Best Care Possible

 In Functional Medicine

At Sharlin Health and Neurology, we take a different approach to general wellbeing and neurology. Our five pillars are the foundation of our practice, and they guide us in everything we do. What does IDENTIFY as one of our five pillars mean for you? Let’s take a closer look.



Our five pillar system at Sharlin Health and Neurology is the basic approach we take with everyone who comes in, interested not only in working with me as a neurologist but as a functional medicine doctor. It is important that you understand how we work before you come to us for help. We want to be able to provide you with the outcome you are looking for.


IDENTIFY, Our First Pillar

What does identify mean? 

People come and see me for many different reasons. Sometimes people have a diagnosis, but other times they don’t. And even if they have a diagnosis, I’ll make sure it is correct.

This is why I take the time to listen to my patient’s stories. I want to understand what’s going on so I can give them the best possible care.

About 20% of the time, the diagnosis a person gets when they come to see me is not even correct. So it is very important to understand what is going on. If you do not have a diagnosis, this means you have symptoms such as brain fog, weakness, numbness, alteration in sensation, pain, dizziness, and so forth.

We will sit down and take a very detailed medical history. This will take more than 5 minutes, as it does at a typical doctor’s office. It is important that I listen to you and hear your story. This could take 20-30 minutes. 


Physical and Neurological Examinations 


We’ll then go through a physical exam. This is more than just listening to your heart, though that’s obviously important too. The reason for going through this is because, even though most of the diagnosis is based on a detailed medical history, the physical examination is very important to get clues. 

Ultimately, we do something called localization


This is my job, and it happens sort of invisibly. What this means is that the nervous system has a vast geography. Everything from your brain, brain stem, spinal cord, the nerve roots coming off your spinal cord, the peripheral nerves, the neuromuscular junction (where the nerves and the muscles communicate), and the muscles themselves are included.

For example, if you have a weakness, you could have it because: 

  • you have a problem in the brain
  • you have a problem in the spinal cord
  • there is a peripheral nerve problem 
  • or a muscle problem

It’s crucial to understand where the weakness comes from before we start talking about its cause of it. Localization helps me understand where the problem is coming from in the nervous system. This can help me figure out what kind of conditions might cause that problem.


Differential Diagnosis and Tests


Sometimes when you go to the doctor, they want to do a lot of tests right away. This is not usually the best way to do things. The first step is to get a history of what is going on. Then we look at where the problem might be, and after that, we start thinking about a list of potential explanations. This is called a differential diagnosis. 


Finally, with a list of reasonable potential explanations in mind, that’s when we start thinking about what tests are appropriate. Here at Sharlin Health and Neurology, I’m going to be ordering cutting-edge tests. Some of which you’ve never seen done at other neurology clinics.


These might include 

  • Spinal fluid testing for Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Genetic testing 
  • Automated 3D Volumetric analysis of your brain using MRI, (but going a level above MRI) 


Eventually, what we want to do is take the information from that list of possible explanations, narrow things down, and dial it in with the appropriate diagnostic tests until we understand exactly what is the diagnosis.


Why all these? 


I understand most of you are especially interested in addressing the root causes. This comes in with our next pillars: INVESTIGATE and INTEGRATE.


Still, it is vital we start with a disease-centered approach so we understand what is the problem affecting you, so we can then go on and explore the factors contributing to the problem in the first place.  


Where, as we say at Sharlin Health and Neurology, “What has put you on the trajectory, and what is keeping you on the trajectory?”


Ultimately, with this information in hand, we can help you change the trajectory of your illness, whether it’s Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, ALS, epilepsy, migraine, and so on. 


We take all of this into account when creating your individualized treatment plan. It’s why we spend so much time with each patient during their initial visit. To ensure you not only receive the best care possible but that you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. We want to make sure you are an active participant in your own care. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a discovery call, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We value our patients and appreciate the trust they place in us.


If you want to learn more about our approach, please visit our website which provides information and contact details for making an appointment. To get started with this type of treatment please speak with one of my team members who can help answer any questions or concerns. We’d be happy to schedule a discovery call with you. During this call, we can discuss your symptoms in more detail and come up with a plan tailored specifically for you.


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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional

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