Introducing Dr Avani Karl

Rather than write a bio about my accomplishments, I wanted to take this opportunity to just introduce myself and what I do and why…

I have been in family general practice for the last 30 years in Hawke’s Bay looking after the full spectrum of three generations: children, their parents, and their grandparents.   This has been an immensely satisfying journey and I feel grateful for having the privilege to share their life stories and help them return to health.

However, the time spent in the care of families has taught me a lot.   I have gained insight at successful outcomes of acute diseases but not necessarily patient satisfaction from management of long-term chronic diseases. 

With advanced medical treatment, we have increased their lifespan but often the quality of the last 10-20 years of life is less than optimal. Besides, I firmly believe that the escalating costs of hospital (tertiary) care are unsustainable for any government agency to support.

Scientific literature has reported that most of our current chronic diseases and disability stem from a myriad of lifestyle issues. Chronic stress, poor nutrition, sleep disruption, and poor exercise add to poor hormonal regulation and set the scene for several diseases including accelerated aging.

I am now convinced that prevention is the answer especially for a majority of illnesses like obesity, arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and others that are essentially diseases of poor lifestyle over many years. 

A daily dose of painkillers may reduce the pain at the risk of gastric bleeding or kidney failure, and a long-term use of narcotics will cause problems like drowsiness, constipation and addiction issues

Hence, treating the root cause of chronic degenerative diseases via a functional medicine approach is a result of my research for answers. 

I believe the current medical approach to diseases should sit harmoniously alongside a functional medicine approach for an integrative model to achieve better long-term health outcomes. 

Just as we need antibiotics to beat an acute condition effectively, there is simultaneous need and value in using probiotics to save our microbiome which ultimately helps our long-term health goals as an example.

This is the challenge….as well as an opportunity for better health.  This is what excites me now and drives me in my practice and care of patients.

Yours in health,