Everyone has heard the clichés, “Doctors are the worst patients,” or “Doctors don’t take their own advice.”  It’s also the toll of the hours required in medical school and during residency that have an impact on the health of many MDs. Add in stress, poor sleep and poor diet and it’s the perfect storm for a chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes to be diagnosed.  That’s exactly what happened to Dr. Mark Bowman.

Dr. Bowman and his family arrived at Adventist Health Tillamook Regional Medical Center in 1994.  He was the first emergency-trained doctor to serve at TRMC.  Before Tillamook, Bowman had gotten his medical degree at Ohio Northeastern Medical School in Emergency and Family Medicine, and then his residency in Toledo, Ohio.  It was during this stressful time that Dr. Bowman was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  “I was shocked,” said Bowman. “How could a reasonably healthy guy in his mid-30’s have diabetes?”  He continued, “But it added up – significant weight gain, not a healthy diet, on-the-go, grab and go food, lack of sleep and stress.  That was the real trigger for my onset.”

With oral medications, a healthy diet and exercise, Dr. Bowman has been able to maintain and reduce is A1C levels. “There are so many other health impacts from increased A1C, cardiovascular disease, brain health, that’s why it’s important to know your numbers.  It can be a silent disease,” he said. 

Dr. Bowman is a good patient, and since he was diagnosed he’s taken the same dosage of medication, and made some adjustments to what and how he eats, moves and lives.  He commented, “It’s cool to have a bunch of tools to use that can help manage a chronic disease like Type 2 diabetes, and I knew that to avoid some of the bigger consequences, I needed to do something, make some changes.” He continued, “I’ve had ups and downs, but I’ve never felt better.”

Another path opened up when Dr. Bowman was introduced to functional medicine. “About 4 or 5 years ago our daughter sent us this YouTube link that featured Dr. Mark Hyman talking about this specialty,” said Bowman. “After viewing it, my reaction was ‘this makes sense.’ And I began pursuing the training and certification.”

From the Institute of Functional Medicine:  Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.  “One  condition can have many different causes, and how one cause can lead to many different conditions,” describes Mark Hyman, MD, IFM Board President. The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.

“This is the future of medicine, the direction I’m excited to take my medical practice, and bring to our community,” said Bowman.  “We are wired and tired.  It’s about doing simple things, eating healthy and walking, but most importantly controlling stress, with mindfulness, yoga, activity, meditation. Figuring out what the combination is that works for you, for each individual,” he enthused.”  This is another first in Tillamook County for Dr. Bowman as he is completing his certification in the specialty and is seeing patients one day a week at the Tillamook Medical Plaza as he sets up programs for his functional medicine practice.  For more information, contact Dr. Bowman’s medical assistant at 503-815-6358. 

Dr. Bowman’s Wrap It Up

YOW asked Dr. Bowman for one of his favorite recipes …

“This low carb wrap which relies on almond flour tortillas that I get in Portland at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers. I take one wrap and spread a healthy oil mayo with some protein (egg with or without cheese) and some cooked leafy greens with some jalapeno sauce. Yum! And less than 10 grams carbohydrate for a good start to the day!

This recipe has LOTS of flexibility and can be adapted to things you have on hand, such as leftover chicken or burger, rice or more

Wrap It Up

1 serving

Prep time: 10 minutes (or less)

1 tortilla (almond, flour, whole wheat, spinach)

Mayo (or use refried beans or pesto or …)

1 egg, scrambled

2 Tablespoons cheese (if desired)

Add meat, if desired

½ veggies cooked or uncooke

Warm in oven slightly before you head out the door; or microwave for 30 seconds. And as Dr. Bowman said, “YUM!”




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