DUTCH Provider Spotlight: Dr. Ben Edwards
by Wynter Kaiser
Ben Edwards, MD was born and raised in Belton, Texas. Growing up, Ben watched both of his grandfather’s practice “old school, country doctoring”. They were General Practitioners who might be found doing anything from delivering a baby to amputating a leg to sitting for an entire hour counseling a crying patient. Early on in Ben’s life, he knew that he wanted to be that kind of doctor, one who took care of the entire family from cradle to grave. He wanted to work with the whole body and the whole family.
Ben received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and later graduated from UT-Houston Medical School. He and his wife, Jamie, moved to Waco to complete his training at the Waco Family Practice Residency Program where he was Chief Resident. After Ben graduated, his family moved to West Texas to work at the Garza County Health Clinic in Post, Texas.
DUTCH: What inspired you to become a healthcare practitioner?
Dr. Ben Edwards: I grew up in a small town in Texas where both of my grandfathers practiced as General Practitioners. They could do everything from house calls, surgeries, deliver babies and everything in between. They both impacted a whole lot of lives in a very positive way and I wanted to be like my grandfathers.
DUTCH: What is your training?
Dr. Ben Edwards:
- Undergraduate degree in biology from Baylor University, 1997
- M.D. from UT-Houston, 2002
- Family Practice Residency in Waco, Texas (McLennan County Medical Education and Research Foundation)
- Certification in Bioidentical Hormones from A4M
- Fellowship in Integrative Medicine from the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine
DUTCH: Please describe your medical background/practice.
Dr. Ben Edwards: After residency, I moved to Post, Texas and practiced conventional family practice as the only doctor in the county at the Garza County Health Clinic. After 7 years, I was introduced to Integrative medicine and within a year changed my practice to a cash-only, membership-based Integrative medicine practice. I now have 7 Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants at 3 separate offices in Lubbock, Abilene and San Angelo, Texas.
DUTCH: What other functional testing do you use in your practice?
Dr. Ben Edwards: We perform:
- Provoked urine testing for heavy metals
- Intestinal permeability testing
- Breath test for SIBO
- Organic acids
- Lyme and co-infections
- Liquid biopsies for malignant cells
DUTCH: How have you incorporated DUTCH Testing into your practice?
Dr. Ben Edwards: We utilize DUTCH testing on our patients primarily to assess their adrenal status. Most of our patients have significant stress and adrenal hormone dysfunction, so we find an accurate measurement of these hormones and their metabolites to be an essential part of the care of these patients. Of course, we highly value the sex hormone and metabolite portion of the DUTCH when we need an accurate look at these too, especially the estrogen metabolites.
DUTCH: What are the changes you have seen in your patients and practice since incorporating the DUTCH Test?
Dr. Ben Edwards: We have shifted our prescribing habits on Biest from a 50-50 E3/E2 to more of an 80/20 E3/E2. We have also aggressively pursued the adrenal support, adaptogen herbs, etc.
DUTCH: Where do you see Functional/ Integrative medicine 20 years from now?
Dr. Ben Edwards: I really feel like it will be more widely accepted and utilized for two main reasons:
- People are going to continue to get sicker and sicker with conventional medicine. We’ll continue to have the worst health outcomes of all the industrialized world because the Standard American diet and lifestyle issues that drive all this western disease is only going to continue to deteriorate.
- Individuals and companies both will be spending so much money on healthcare (or sick care) that they will lead the way, innovating ways to bring the cost down, including utilizing clinics that deal with root causes of disease.
DUTCH: What do you like to do outside of work?
Dr. Ben Edwards: I enjoy being a dad to our 6 wonderful kids ages 11 months to 14 years. I also enjoy doing some “real” work, playing cowboy, helping my in-laws with their cattle work in Turkey, Texas.