Dr. Charles Guglin and his wife Francesca, owners of HyperFit MD Age Management Center at 88 Noble Ave, Suite 105 in Milford, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. As stated on their webslte, Dr. Guglin finds the root cause of chronic illnesses through the use of advanced diagnostics, including extensive blood studies, genomics, body composition analysis, VO2 Max studies and cognitive testing.

A retired doctor and his wife have opened a “functional medicine” practice unique in this area that finds the underlying causes of chronic illnesses and prescribes a lifestyle change, rather than a pill, to heal the body.

“People are allowed to become chronically ill,” and the only option a physician has is to give them medicine and send them home or recommend surgery, said Dr. Charles Guglin. “We can reverse these chronic diseases” with preventive measures.

Guglin, a longtime surgeon at Milford Hospital who recently retired, and his wife, Francesca , have opened a functional medicine practice, HyperFit MD, at 88 Noble Ave.

Francesca Guglin, who has years of experience in the preventive medicine industry, manages the office. Her husband, who was a general surgeon at the hospital for 29 years, was president of the medical staff and chief of surgery, and treated everything from trauma to cancer.

After going through his own health challenges, stepping back and realizing the way to a better quality of life was a lifestyle change, Charles Guglin became a work in progress himself, changing his diet, losing weight, exercising and kicking bad habits.

Still admittedly a work in progress, Guglin said he wanted to share all he’s learned and since he’s not ready to retire, they decided to start a business to make others’ lives better.

“I was slowly killing myself,” he said “I’ve changed the way I eat, no alcohol,” he said, noting that lifestyle change is a journey. “With this regimen , accountability is everything.”

It’s been an evolution of sorts for the doctor who realized in his own career that what doctors do in traditional medicine and surgery is to treat people who are acutely ill and send them home just as unhealthy as when they arrived, he said.

He said most doctors don’t have time to get to the bottom of chronic illness, weren’t trained with that goal, and, in addition, the complex health care system is tied in with the pharmaceutical industry and its strong lobbyists who want there to be a need for medication.

Patients are prescribed a pill, then need another pill to counteract its negative effects, and so starts the cycle, he said.

Guglin said he’s in no way recommending people leave their traditional doctor — he still has one along with his own functional medicine doctor in Florida where the trend he’s brought to Milford already is popular.

“We all need a doctor,” Guglin said. “I don’t want to be your regular doctor. I just wanted to do this.”

A visit to the office — which also specializes in hormone replacement and hair replacement — begins with a detailed assessment of the patient’s cardio fitness, genome testing, a detailed blood analysis beyond what is normally prescribed.

Based on the results, Guglin comes up with lifestyle changes that include diet, exercise, stress reduction and detoxification.

To go the next step, the practice assists patients in executing the plans — they provide nutrition education that includes how to shop, cook, read labels. And they connect the patient with an exercise expert that best suits them. In other words, they create a “life plan,” Guglin said.

He said the public has received a lot of incorrect and misleading information about hormone replacement, which Guglin often recommends.

He said everyone reaches a point — no matter hard they fight it — where hormones lessen, causing a cut in sex drive, loss of muscle and increase in fat.

The practice also offers hair replacement services of all kinds, including transplant. He said the functional medicine approach has already caught on in other areas of the country, including Florida and Southern California, where he says “older people are paying to get healthy.”

The price for services at HyperFit MD are extremely variable and typically the blood work is all that’s covered by insurance, Francesca Guglin said.

“We are all put on this planet for a purpose,” Charles Guglin said. “I want to be alive and healthy. Health is the most important thing.”