Koi Wellbeing creates personalized approach to health and wellness

The Koi Wellbeing naturopathic wellness center is at 5632 La Jolla Blvd.
(Kambria Fischer)

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many of us questioned our susceptibility to the disease and the strength of our immune system — especially with the laundry list of underlying conditions that made the effects of the coronavirus worse.

Some of us wondered what we could do to reduce our risk and looked at our unique health needs.

Aiming to help not only with those concerns but also with people who are in mostly good health but looking to optimize their wellness or treat the root cause of an ailment, Koi Wellbeing in Bird Rock continues to offer personalized testing and a targeted approach.

Jeffrey Sternberg, Koi’s founder and chief executive, said that while many turned to “tried and true” supplements such as zinc and vitamins B12, C and D to help boost their immune systems, some did so without needing to.

“You might be fine with vitamin C because you eat citrus, so you’d be taking something unnecessarily,” he said. “People feel confident about waking up and taking a vitamin and feeling good. While you might have an abundance of vitamin B12 due to your diet, you might be deficient in something else.”

At Koi, which opened in 2016, the patient-specific testing provides a deeper understanding of the exact needs, and treats accordingly, Sternberg said.

“We use functional lab testing — much more complex and cutting-edge than you’d get at a doctor’s office. It’s so specialized and focused on the individual,” he said. “We look at your history, hormone levels, food sensitivity, vitamin deficiencies, genetics. That’s how you have optimal health — you do your best to pinpoint and hit your targets.”

The lab testing is done every three months, so when a treatment plan is created, it can be monitored and adjusted as needed.

With Dr. Deborah Wainwright specializing in hormone balancing and Dr. Kelsey Myers specializing in gastrointestinal health and food sensitivities, and the team collectively creating a targeted plan, “the patient return rate is something like I’ve never seen,” Sternberg said. “People started thinking about their health and immunity, and last year was our best year ever.”

Among the latest in personalized medicine that Koi Wellbeing offers is pellet hormone therapy.

“When it comes to hormone replacement therapy, a doctor might give you a cream or a pill and it’s a one size fits all,” Sternberg said. “So a woman of one weight or [racial] descent will get the same thing as another woman of a different weight or descent. That’s been unsatisfying because our hormone levels rise and fall based on diet, sleep, stress, etc., but we take the same amount [with the conventional approach]. With pellet therapy, the pellets are pinpointed based on your levels and your biology and what that deep-dive testing tells us. The body can access what it needs when it needs it.”

With the pandemic, he said, “we have the opportunity to shift how we think about health and how we expect our health care to be delivered.”

In addition to overall health, getting into nutritional and hormonal balance can help reduce the stress and anxiety that may have accumulated during the past year, he added.

“COVID brought on a lot of anxiety for people … but there are ways to chip away at that stress and anxiety that doesn’t have anything to do with where it entered,” Sternberg said. “When you figure out where your nutritional levels are or your hormone levels are, those are easy to get in line. Then sleep comes and anxiety is reduced.

“We all have to deal with stress, and there is a lot you can’t do anything about. We address what you can do something about. Then those other points of entry, like COVID, are more easily dealt with.”

Koi Wellbeing’s team of medical doctors, nurse practitioners and naturopathic doctors integrate Western and naturopathic medicine. Services include regenerative joint treatment, stem cell therapy, nutrient injections, IV therapy, hair restoration, Botox treatments and facial rejuvenation.

Koi is at 5632 La Jolla Blvd. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Evening appointments are available by request.

For more information, visit or call (858) 257-2808.

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