Local Doctor Leads the Fight Against Chronic Disease

Encinitas doctor presents a new solution to chronic disease.



Dr. Lindsey Mcilvena, MD, MPH

Photo Credit: LindseyMcilvena.com

With an impressive list of achievements including board certifications in both preventative and integrative medicine, as well as a master’s degree in Public Health, Dr. Mcilvena is prepared to help people who are suffering from common chronic diseases. 

From Missouri to Moonlight

In July 2014, Dr. Mcilvena opened her Moonlight Beach practice to make way for a unique type of treatment that is consistently growing in popularity within the medical field. A sect of preventative medicine, Chronic Health Reversal, is what Mcilvena currently focuses on. Specializing in heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol, she intends to reverse and prevent chronic disease. But the journey into the field of preventative medicine was not an easy one to take. Growing up in Joplin, Missouri, Mcilvena attended University of Missouri, Columbia until she realized what she wanted to study. “I knew for sure at the end of my freshman year I wanted to be a doctor. So I transferred into a different program," she said. Mcilvena transferred to the University of Missouri, Kansas City where she was able to combine her undergraduate education with her furthering medical school plans.

Dr. Lindsey Mcilvena, MD,
Advice on Chronic Disease Prevention

The Switch

Mcilvena graduated in 2009 and continued to study various types of medicine. “I wanted to be to be an expert in both adults and children," she said, "to see everyone from infancy all the way to those in their early 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s." In Phoenix, Arizona, Mcilvena worked at a handful of hospitals such as Banner Good Samaritan and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Although she loved her colleagues, supervisors, and patients, she realized she felt as if something was missing. No one was focusing on prevention. “It took me about a year to figure out," she explained. “When I was seeing people who were really sick and staying overnight at the hospital, a lot of times they just wanted to have one less person coming into their room to bug them so they can get home. I didn’t really have time to talk about what a healthy lifestyle looks like." 

Dr. Mcilvena’s career-defining moment came when she realized she was inspired by other factors in another medical path. “At night I was reading books about meditation and optimal nutrition," she recalled, “and that’s when a light bulb went off and I thought okay, preventative medicine is more the field for me." In 2011, she made that leap. 

“Not a lot of people - including myself - knew that it’s its own specialty. Just like surgery or OBGYN, preventative medicine has been a recognized specialty since the 70’s," said Mcilvena. This realization led her to train in Preventative Medicine at Loma Linda University.

“The vast majority of chronic diseases that plague Americans are heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc and they are completely diet related. There are some exceptions, but probably 98-99% of cases are related to lifestyle habits,” she claims. This is why she switches her patients to a plant-based diet. She explains that this switch doesn’t require becoming a vegetarian or vegan but does require changing up the diet in creative and educational ways. The idea behind eating specific types of foods is what she says leads to “chronic disease starting to reverse and the body beginning to heal itself."  

A plant-based diet can improve your health.

A Significant Result

What makes Chronic Disease Reversal different from other areas of medicine? Mcilvena describes the work in her field to be “fascinating,” and it’s easy to agree with a strong current emphasis on healthy lifestyle, especially in San Diego County. Dr. Mcilvena has already noticed a change in health from her patients: “The thing that I love about what I do here with chronic disease reversal is that it is only one treatment, but its treats everything. So it’s usually pre-diabetes or high blood pressure that gets someone in here and that’s what we focus on. But then they come back two days later and say oh, by the way, my sleep apnea is gone, I no longer have headaches, I have more energy and feel like I can concentrate better at work. I love the powerful simplicity of a plant-based diet coupled with moderate exercise." Her practice is only 15 months old, but her patients have already seen some big changes.

Visit her website for more information and click the link to her blog which contains some delicious and healthy recipes that will leave you wanting to eat more veggies. 

Dr. Mcilvena’s office is located close to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas at 230 2nd Street, Suite 201.