This month, we spoke with Dr. Kristi Tompkins of El Dorado Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Kristi draws on years of training and experience in functional medicine to help her patients toward optimal health and wellness. Not only does she run a thriving practice in El Dorado Hills, but she holds informative presentations throughout the area, on topics such as menopause, peri-menopause, andro-pause, thyroid hormone and weight loss. She also authors a health blog and conducts webinars on health and wellness.
Tell me about your El Dorado Naturopathic Medicine
I am a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing Naturopathic Medicine. It’s very similar to Functional Medicine or Alternative Medicine. In this specialized profession, we spend a lot more time with patients. For example, the first New Patient Appointment is usually between 60-90 minutes, asking a lot of detailed questions surrounding their symptoms. Our treatment approach is to investigate and determine the root cause or causes of medical symptoms and conditions. We evaluate and treat the whole body, rather than just treating one symptom or organ (i.e. skin) with a quick medication. We typically do a lot more in-depth functional medicine testing that provides more information valuable to the patient and to the doctor as well. The hormone panels are more usually more comprehensive compared to a basic or incomplete screening test.
For each and every appointment and especially if there are test results to review, we design a treatment plan that is geared specifically for that person. We recommend everything from targeted diet and lifestyle changes, stress management, hormone prescriptions, professional quality supplements, exercise and activity recommendations and any referrals to other practitioners like acupuncturists, chiropractors and sometimes conventional doctors for diagnostic imaging or more mainstream treatments as needed.
Many illnesses and diseases stem from an unhealthy, nutrient-poor diet, so, fortunately, there are a lot of conditions that can be treated with dietary modifications. Food can be nourishing fuel for the body and that can often address and treat a lot of symptoms. It’s not always the case, and that’s when you need a more comprehensive plan using other treatment recommendations.
Generally, I do treat the whole family – females and males. However, my main specialty and passion is women’s health – hormone support and general health balancing for women of all ages from puberty to menopause. I do a lot of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for my peri and post-menopausal females and andropausal men (male hormone decline). For my younger female patients, that might include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, PMS, irregular menstruation, acne. Often those conditions are correlated with hormone imbalances and dietary choices.
I also see and treat a lot of patients for thyroid disorders and adrenal stress disorders, gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, Constipation, GERD, SIBO, etc along with a variety of skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne, rashes and more.
How did you get started in this field?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics or Nutrition from California State University, Chico. Rather than diving into that field, I decided to take a detour working in Silicon Valley/High Tech for a few years. After realizing that wasn’t my true calling and wasn’t as fulfilling as I’d hoped, I decided to go back to school for a post-doctorate degree to become a Naturopathic Doctor up in Washington state. Before that time, I also struggled with my own health, having symptoms like cystic acne, IBS, food allergies, sugar cravings, insomnia, chronic stress. At the time and before I went back to school, I had no idea that my skin was a reflection of my lifestyle and my gut health and my stress level. I started doing a lot of reading on different ways of healing the body and eventually discovered Naturopathic Medicine and was eventually able to use that approach to help heal my body. I went to school at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. I finished that intensive Naturopathic Medical program and then worked at an integrative medical clinic in the greater Seattle area for about four years before moving back to California to set up my practice here in El Dorado County where I once lived many years ago. I have family and friends in this area and this was the perfect place to set up my practice.
Why did you choose Business Workspaces?
Initially starting my practice in Placerville for a few years, I later decided to move to El Dorado Hills in 2016. I love this convenient location and so do my patients. This is a beautiful and spacious building. I appreciate the fact that my business lease is all-inclusive with great amenities, including a fantastic break room/kitchen. I love that there are friendly and helpful receptionists as part of this workspace establishment to greet my patients when they arrive. I like the variety and community feeling from the other business owners in this building.
My business/practice is considered a micro practice meaning I do the majority of business practices myself and yet I do have integrated software systems and also hire other professionals to help support me at times. Business Workspaces is affordable, practical, convenient and supportive of my type of business.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to move in the direction where I can help more people. So in the near future, I’d love to do more webinars, podcasts and video conferences so I can reach and help more people across the world.
What energizes you the most about your business?
Seeing people heal and live healthier lives. When patients follow their treatment plan given to them and implement the recommended changes, they get better and they are excited and happy as well. As those patients heal and feel better, then they often refer other people (family members and friends) who also need help. That’s a huge compliment to me and that means a lot. I’m very appreciative. I’m helping somebody improve their quality of life so that they’re able to function better, sleep better, live a better quality life and that’s the most rewarding part of my job.
What are you passionate about or what hobbies do you have?
I love being outdoors doing fun activities – hiking, biking, swimming, paddle boarding. I’m doing a Spartan race in Lake Tahoe coming up, which is an intense obstacle course style race. I love to exercise which energizes me and also balances me too. I love cooking, socializing with my friends and family. I love dinner parties, hanging out with my friends and checking out new restaurants in the area.
What book do you recommend or gift to people and why?
It’s a book and a website – The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain. The website not only recipes but also has scientific research as to why this diet works well for most people. The Paleo Diet can help heal or support a lot of medical conditions caused by a standard unhealthy diet. In this long term lifestyle way of eating, people usually feel much better, they lose weight, their energy increases, inflammation decreases, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure usually drop as well.