Wendy A. Ploegstra, APN (advanced practice nursing), FNP (family nurse practitioner)-BC, Dip ABLM (American Board of Lifestyle Medicine), Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner.
Board-certified in family practice in 2008 and certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner in 2018, Wendy A. Ploegstra has incorporated alternative therapies into her practice for the last five years. She was recognized as a top nurse in the 2019 Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare publication by the International Nurses Association.
Over the course of her career, Wendy has worked in multiple healthcare environments, most recently in family practice. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and her Masters of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner degrees from Rush University.
Wendy’s interest in using an integrative approach started when she recognized that mainstream medicine was not addressing the underlying causes of her patients’ chronic health conditions, but rather serving as a Band-Aid.
She’s passionate about learning and helping patients achieve their best health. She also recognizes the urgent need to transform health and healthcare and promotes Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to treating symptoms with expensive, ever-increasing quantities of prescription medication and procedures. Her goal is to identify and eradicate the cause of disease.
Lifestyle Medicine involves the use of evidence-based, lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as eating a predominantly whole-foods/plant-based diet, getting regular physical activity and adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding the use of risky substances. Wendy also uses other non-drug approaches to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes reverse lifestyle-related, chronic disease, focusing on her patient’s strengths to surmount the challenges standing in the way of achieving ideal health.
During her time in primary and acute care, Wendy received many awards and accolades for patient satisfaction. She is compassionate, kind, and a good listener. Her passion and belief in lifestyle/integrative/functional medicine was strengthened through her own health journey and struggle with conventional medicine burn-out.
SHOULD I SEE HER? YES!
–If you want to improve your health and try a lifestyle approach, complemented by other therapies as needed.
–If you have any longstanding medical problems or symptoms that have not been diagnosed or treated to your satisfaction.
–If you’re taking medications for any condition whose side effects worry you and you’d like to know if alternative therapies are available.
–If you have a medical condition that’s being treated to your satisfaction elsewhere, but are curious to know whether alternative therapies might be effective.
–If you have one of the conditions regarded as controversial or “non-existent” by many health providers. These include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, candida overgrowth, low blood sugar, hidden food allergies, intestinal parasites, chemical sensitivities, heavy metal poisoning, adrenal gland exhaustion, and mildly underactive thyroid gland.
–If you’d like to partner with a primary-care provider who will focus on wellness, disease prevention, and slowing down the aging process.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THERAPY?
–A very detailed initial visit, focusing on you as a unique individual and, if necessary, a discussion to determine when and why changes in your health started appearing.
–A physical exam and discussion of any recommended diagnostic tests.
–A conversation about the potential factors contributing to your specific condition. Also, why you’re feeling the way you do and what you might expect from conventional, nutritional, and alternative therapies.
When needed, referrals to conventional specialists at Chicago’s major medical centers who are respectful of alternative therapies.
Monday through Saturday.
24-hour on-call availability via e-mail.