Dr. Amy Knaperek, PharmD
Integrative Pharmacy Specialist
I am a licensed pharmacist in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. After graduating from Creighton University's School of Pharmacy and Health Professions in 2012, I have been working as a community pharmacist in the Southeast United States.
As a Diabetes Nutrition Educator and Pharmacy Manager for a large grocery store chain, I provided seminars on nutrition for people with Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. I am an Integrative Pharmacy Specialist and have taken Functional Medicine courses from the Institute of Functional Medicine.
I have certificates in Diabetes Management from ASHP and Medication Therapy Management through Power-PAK. I recently obtained a certificate in Pharmacogenomics, and I am excited about incorporating genetic testing into the Deep Dive Consultations.
I have a passion for gut health and nutrition and the connection to overall health and wellness! Committed to lifelong learning, I will work to bring the most up-to-date information to you.
Life is a Journey
Hello! My name is Dr. Amy Knaperek, PharmD, and I am the founder and CEO of PIVOT Integrative Consulting LLC. I received my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University in 2012. As an Integrative Pharmacy Specialist, I am here to help you uncover root causes for your chronic diseases and guide you to use the power of food to take control of your health and wellness.
I cannot believe where my journey has taken me. I have struggled with weight gain, chronic pain, and inflammation for most of my life. When I was 19 years old, I was given a tentative diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. The labs were inconclusive, but I had inflammation in all my joints, and the rheumatologist could not tell me what was causing it. My doctors prescribed medications to help with symptoms and reduce my inflammation, and then lectured me that I just need to have a better diet and exercise more. Sound familiar?
So, I followed the Nutrition Guidelines religiously. Low-fat dairy, lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables became my mantra. But I was still fat, tired, and in chronic pain. What was I doing wrong? I was eating salads, drinking skim milk, cutting out sweets, and eating whole wheat breads and pasta. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do? When my pain wasn't too severe, I walked, did some Yoga, used some weights but the scale kept going higher and higher. My pain worsened, and I was always tired.
I tried many fad diets and exercise programs over the years and my weight went up and down like a rollercoaster. I would feel winded just walking up one flight of stairs. I lived in chronic pain and on the bad days would take medications to help me cope. I gave up on myself so many times, wallowing in a pint of ice cream. It seemed it did not make a difference if I ate "healthy" or not. Does that also sound familiar?
One day, one of my pharmacy technicians asked me what I knew about this new “Keto Diet” that seemed to be all the rage. I began to research the diet with a critical eye. I was fascinated by what I found in my research, though, and I wanted to learn more. The underlying message was contrary to what the current Nutritional Guidelines were saying: fat is not bad for our bodies, in fact, we need fat for our normal functions, and we can train them to use the fat as fuel. It was such a foreign concept, but what did I really have to lose?
I began to adopt the Ketogenic lifestyle in 2018 and the most amazing thing happened. I never felt better! I had so much more energy. My exercise-induced asthma was gone! My joints felt great! I was able to exercise without feeling winded and achy. How could the food I was eating have such a huge impact on my overall health? How could my pain and inflammation just disappear almost overnight? I had to know more.
I enrolled in an Integrative Pharmacy Specialist course. That is when I was finally able to make a connection to vitamin and mineral depletions, changes in gut health and side effects that I was experiencing. I realized that many of our chronic diseases have an inflammatory process involved that is directly related to the foods that we eat. Foods that we might be sensitive to. Foods that can cause “leaky gut” and lead to inflammation throughout the body.
Conventional medicine is taught to see symptoms of disease and prescribes a remedy to work on the symptoms (like the medications I had been prescribed to treat my pain and inflammation). I wanted to know more about the root causes of disease. Why were these symptoms occurring in the first place? That is what Functional Medicine does, and I believe integrating Functional Medicine into conventional medicine will improve overall health, reduce side effects from medications, and possibly reduce the need for some medications!
The Keto lifestyle didn't fix everything and felt very restrictive. I took a food sensitivity test to determine which foods I could eat and which ones I needed to avoid. I knew I had to apply the new information from Functional Medicine to my own life and struggles with chronic pain and inflammation. So, I made the decision to pivot and embarked on my own Functional Medicine journey to better nutrition, health, and wellness. Through Functional Medicine, I discovered a change in one of my genes that explained all of my symptoms! I look forward to sharing what I have learned about Functional Medicine with you!
Let me help you uncover roots for your chronic diseases and empower you to take control of your health with your own personalized plan using food as medicine! There are no one-size fits all diet plans and no miracle cures. There are just small pivots that can lead to big changes!
Are you ready to PIVOT to functional health and wellness?
Dr. Amy Knaperek, PharmD