Dr. Kendal Stewart | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Dr. Kendal Stewart

Background:  

Founded in 2016, Austin-based Genomix Nutrition is a leading provider of comprehensive nutrigenomic testing solutions used to help patients determine personalized nutritional support based on their DNA.

The Mistake:

I was treating patients retroactively, instead of proactively.

As a general rule, in the 1980s and 1990s, we were waiting for people to get sick or have a tumor before operating on them. As a skull-based surgeon, basically I was taught to wait until a patient had a tumor in their head and then wait and see if we can take it out, or not. Most doctors in general had to wait for you to get sick and then deal with it by helping you with the symptoms.

We were operating blindly without being informed by science and in large part, because the technology wasn’t there yet. For most of my career, I was looking at things with the wrong perspective – as in how do you get a headache to go away, versus what’s causing it?

Practicing medicine didn’t have the right approach to taking care of people.

I quit operating completely once I realized I could do a much better job of making people feel good before they got sick.

The Lesson:

For me what’s really shaped my career more than anything has been a transition in the way we take care of people. Starting in 2005 I quit operating completely once I realized I could do a much better job of making people feel good before they got sick.

When genetics came around in late 2013 and early 2014, we saw a major transition. The machines we used to have to use for genetic interpretation were large, cumbersome and expensive. But then the machines shrank significantly. With this major change we can now look at an individual and address any issues, and hopefully avoid major medical issues that you would have had to typically deal with retroactively.

Today, using a spit test, we are able to use genetics to look at what nutritional elements may be weak and at a person’s mitochondria and battery of cells. We’re able to proactively overcome a lot of those weaknesses, and maintain health in a whole, better way. We can customize and tailor specific needs based on you alone rather than on say, a group of patients that have this tumor.

Now we can actually strengthen the immune system, and see who’s at risk and work to keep them from getting the cancer in the first place. It’s completely transitioned the way we practice medicine. So instead of cutting people open, we’re better at reviewing genetics and much more successful at providing them a quality life.

With our company, Genomix Nutrition, which we founded in April of 2016, we are actually able to address upfront a major weakness your body has, and overcome it. We call it precision medicine.

Follow Genomix Nutrition on Twitter at @Neurobiologix.

Pictured: Dr. Kendal Stewart | Photo courtesy of Genomix Nutrition.

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