Holistic Hemochromatosis Doctors: Learn About Us
We are Eric and Kristina Lewis, a husband-and-wife team of naturopathic doctors.
We are also a family personally impacted by hereditary hemochromatosis.
Our Story Begins
Our names are Eric and Kristina Lewis. We are a husband-and-wife team of naturopathic doctors, in private practice together in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.
We met and fell in love during medical school in Tempe, Arizona and have been an inseparable team ever since.
We have two children and an ever-growing “zoo” of pets.
We are also a family personally impacted by hereditary hemochromatosis.
Hemochromatosis entered our lives in 2012.
That was the year when Eric learned that his unexplained joint pains, insomnia, and foggy thinking were, in fact, due to hereditary hemochromatosis.
This discovery sparked our journey to research and learn as much as we could about his iron overload condition.
We were quickly surprised at how much of the current information available about hemochromatosis was unclear, confusing, and conflicting!
We realized that if we, as doctors, were confused, then how would others feel who were searching for reliable answers and advice?
What if what we had discovered about diet, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to help support overall health with hemochromatosis could help others in our shoes?
We bring this unique perspective with us in everything we write and create on Hemochromatosis Help. We’ve been there, too, and we are happy to share what we have learned with you!
Dr. Eric's Discovery
Hemochromatosis can be scary, lonely, and intimidating. I know this firsthand.
In my mid-30s, I was a healthy guy. I had a wife, a baby, a thriving naturopathic medical practice, a home, and hobbies. I was doing everything “right” regarding my health—eating well, exercising, taking vitamins and supplements—but something just was not right.
I was fatigued, but I could not sleep. My joints ached. I was experiencing foggy thinking.
At first, I blamed it on being a new parent, on being too busy, on anything I could think to blame it on. But deep down, I suspected something else was wrong.
Even though I was a doctor (and a naturopathic doctor at that, which means I am supposed to think outside the conventional medical box), I did not immediately think of hemochromatosis.
When doing some routine bloodwork, I added an iron panel as an afterthought. Imagine my shock when it came back with serum iron 20 points over the upper limit of normal, along with a significantly elevated transferrin saturation percentage!
My wife and I stared at each other, and we both wondered, “Could this be hemochromatosis?”
Hemochromatosis was something we had learned about in medical school. There was a lecture here, a lecture there, a test question about being cautious about supplementing iron, but that was about it. We had never seen patients with this condition (or so we thought). It did not seem to be something “real” that actually happened to people.
To investigate the root cause of my elevated iron levels, I did the genetic test. I found out I was a heterozygous carrier of the C282Y gene mutation, meaning I carry one copy of the HFE mutation.
I immediately got to work, seeking out information about approaching hemochromatosis with not only conventional therapies but also using tools of diet, supplements, and holistic medicine.
I was shocked at the lack of information, the conflicting information, and the confusing information I found. Here I was, an educated naturopathic doctor who understood biochemistry and medical science, and I was confused.
I started to imagine what it must be like for people who have this condition but are not trained to understand medicine. How much more confused, overwhelmed, and lost must they feel?
It was out of this realization that this website HemochromatosisHelp.com, and later my book Holistic Help for Hemochromatosis, were born.
I realized that as I went on my personal journey to learn how to be healthy with hemochromatosis, I could share what I learned with others at the same time.
I also realized that my unique perspective from being both an expert in natural medicine and a patient with the condition might help bridge the information gap between doctor and patient.
Dr. Kristina Starts Cooking
When my husband discovered he had hereditary hemochromatosis, I jumped in right alongside him to research and understand how the condition would impact our family.
I may not be the patient, but I am a doctor, and this condition was now critically important for me to understand as well, personally and professionally.
My special focus evolved to take a combined passion for health and cooking and figure out ways to lower the iron in his meals while maintaining a regular diet for the rest of us. (I tend towards having low iron, which makes for a fun contrast when creating family meals!)
After the publication of his book, Holistic Health for Hemochromatosis, it became clear that a companion guide with recipes and cooking instruction was what the readers of Hemochromatosis Help needed next.
As someone who naturally loves to cook and who finds inventing tasty and healthy recipes a fun challenge, I decided to take on the challenge of creating a recipe guide for hemochromatosis from a holistic perspective. After all, I was already doing this at home for our family; why not share what I was learning with the world?
Soon it became evident that what was also needed was practical advice about how to grocery shop, how to meal plan, and recipe ideas for getting low-iron meals onto the table, resulting in the 2019 publication of my cookbook, Cooking for Hemochromatosis.
I’m not a formally trained chef; I’m a formally-trained naturopathic doctor. But I love cooking, and as my husband said in the introduction to my book, “when life gets busy and she has to wing it, she can pull things from our fridge, freezer, or pantry to create a wonderful dinner out of randomness.” Guilty as charged!
My book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, took two years to write and is filled with over 100 recipes, foods the whole family can enjoy (not just those with iron overload!). These are also meals that taste delicious and that are balanced in other nutrients as well.
The Profession of Naturopathic Medicine
The profession of naturopathic medicine seeks to understand the underlying cause of disease, as opposed to just treating the symptoms.
Therapeutically, naturopathic doctors strive to support the body’s natural and inherent ability to heal itself.
Naturopaths are experts at integrating the science of medicine with the art of holistic healing.
We both graduated with honors with Doctorates in Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.
We opened our Asheville, North Carolina, private practice, Lewis Family Natural Health, in 2007, and now work with people from around the world on their health issues, including hemochromatosis.
We have two children, and as a family, we love camping, hiking, and taking photographs in our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
How We Can Help
Hemochromatosis Help was officially born in 2012 and started as a small website with a few articles.
Originally it was meant as a place to keep track of the research we were discovering and to put everything in one place for our desire to unify the information and provide clarity to anyone who might stumble upon the site.
We didn’t know if anyone else out there was even asking the same questions, but in case you were, we wanted it available to share.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones asking these questions and looking for answers.
People started finding us.
From all over the world.
You started emailing us, calling us, and asking your questions, wanting to learn more.
Your questions were excellent, leading us to research new topics, and the site and our knowledge continued to grow.
We started writing articles. We wrote about what is hemochromatosis, what are the symptoms, what are the treatment options, and what kinds of dietary choices are available to help?
These articles and many more are organized in our Hemochromatosis Learning Center, a great place to start on your journey to learn about this condition.
Whether you or a loved one were recently diagnosed, or whether you’ve been dealing with iron overload for decades, you will likely find helpful articles over at our learning center.
After a few years, we realized that it might be easier to assimilate the information if it appeared in an organized and logically explained book format, so we wrote some books. These books expand upon the topics covered in our articles and take the help to the next level with practical, actionable steps that anyone can take.
Around the same time, we curated a small line of nutritional supplements specifically designed for the unique needs of the iron overload community.
These supplements are free from ingredients typically found in mainstream vitamins that may be contraindicated in iron overload. They are also rich in herbs and vitamins demonstrated to have potentially beneficial effects in peer-reviewed medical research.
As our knowledge has grown, the offerings of supplement options have also expanded, providing many options and choices for any hemochromatosis patient looking for safe vitamins to take.
We also began offering one-on-one consultations in person, over the phone, or using video chat for those who want to speak with Dr. Eric directly, to get customized recommendations for your unique set of symptoms and health challenges. If you wish you could talk to us instead of just reading our words, you can!
We have also created a free newsletter to keep our community up to date, and resources to help you find the lab testing you need.
All of these resources that we’ve created for you are detailed here on our Products and Services page.
We welcome you to our site, and hope you find the help for your hemochromatosis that you are seeking!