expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. David A. Gordon, MD

Internist

Dr. David Gordon has spent his entire career helping patients create health. Early on, he realized that blindly following his conventional training and using prescription medication was not making patients feel better or become healthier. From that point on, he has dedicated himself to understanding what creates optimal health and finding the safest, and most effects methods to achieve that goal. He owned, operated, and managed a private primary care clinic for 15 years passing that knowledge on to patients as their educator, mentor and guide. During his time in practice, he witnessed the safety and effectiveness that medical cannabis offered to patients and is excited to be on the forefront of cannabis medicine, bringing that knowledge to patients.

Dr. Gordon received his Medical Doctorate and Residency training at the University of Colorado. He is board-certified in Internal and Integrative Medicine and is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner thrpugh the Institute for Functional Medicine.

4 key pillars — food, movement, relaxation and community — are the cornerstones to achieving optimal health. Dr. Gordon believes that learning about and incorporating these pillars are the path to control your own destiny, understand the root causes of your illness, and distance yourself from a dysfunctional system that stresses drugs and procedures at the expense of true health. When not working to achieve optimal health in others, Dr. Gordon brings those same philosophies to his personal life alongside his wife, two teenagers, and his dog Dexter. He has an active meditation practice and believes that is crucial for balancing the onslaught on information, toxins, and technology to which we are exposed. On days off, you’ll find him playing tennis, riding his bike, or getting out into nature. Cooking and traveling are also things he and his family enjoy.
18 years Experience
Dr. David A. Gordon, MD
  • Denver, CO
  • University of Colorado
  • Accepting new patients

Why do my feet swell up by evening?

There can be several reasons, some of which are quite benign, but sometimes swelling can be a marked of more significant issues. Most common reasons for swelling include 1) sitting/standing READ MORE
There can be several reasons, some of which are quite benign, but sometimes swelling can be a marked of more significant issues.

Most common reasons for swelling include
1) sitting/standing for extended periods through the day without sufficient movement to push the fluid out
2) hot weather (blood vessels open more in heat so fluid lingers)
3) increased or too high salt intake (typically gotten through breads and packaged foods)
4) use of aspirin, ibuprofen, or aleve type medications (NSAIDs) as well as many other pharmaceuticals
5) other triggers for increased inflammation, many of which are foods your body might be reacting to

More serious reasons for swelling include heart, liver, and kidney issues. Thus, if some of the more common issues are present and the swelling resolves with adjusting behaviors then no concern. However, if you don't have those issues then a medical eval for liver, heart or kidney issues is warranted.

Other simple measures for improving leg swelling are
1) leg elevation above the heart for 20 minutes 1-2 times per day
2) aggressive hydration to help flush excess salt out of body
3) compression stockings, especially if you're sitting all day

What should be done for a low grade fever?

Low grade fevers do not need to be treated. The fever is just part of the body's response to infection and is not a danger of any kind. If the child is uncomfortable, then simple READ MORE
Low grade fevers do not need to be treated. The fever is just part of the body's response to infection and is not a danger of any kind. If the child is uncomfortable, then simple measures like sitting in a cool bath, putting a cold towel on the forehead, back of neck, or wrists, or sipping on cool beverages can help. I would recommend avoiding acetaminophen or motrin (or other over the counter medications) as they have multiple short and long-term side effects.

Can a respiratory therapist help treat a bronchitis infection?

If the respiratory therapist does vibration therapy (essentially banging repeatedly on the back) that could help bring up some extra congestion and phlegm but otherwise not likely READ MORE
If the respiratory therapist does vibration therapy (essentially banging repeatedly on the back) that could help bring up some extra congestion and phlegm but otherwise not likely useful or probably worth the expense. Please remember bronchitis is a not a bacterial infection (except in regular or heavy former smokers) so antibiotics should not be used. Asthma inhalers can sometimes help symptoms. Menthol or eucalyptus inhalation can also help. There isn't definitive research in acute bronchitis but I've repeatedly seen benefit with N-Acetyl-Cysteine 1200 mg twice daily (this is a supplement). Of course basics such as hydration (especially with warm liquids) and short-term avoidance of pro-inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar will also help.

Is shingles contagious?

Technically shingles is not contagious with a couple exceptions. Someone who has never had chicken pox or been vaccinated against chicken pox (which is rare) can get chicken pox READ MORE
Technically shingles is not contagious with a couple exceptions. Someone who has never had chicken pox or been vaccinated against chicken pox (which is rare) can get chicken pox from shingles lesions. Also someone with marked immune suppression (in cancer therapy, bone marrow transplantation, etc.) could catch chicken pox. In those rare cases, I would avoid those people or ensure all lesions are covered as they can transmit virus until the scabs are essentially gone.

What is the best treatment for the flu?

There is no formal treatment for the flu except a couple prescription medications that need to be started within the first 1-2 days. I would recommend avoiding all over-the-counter READ MORE
There is no formal treatment for the flu except a couple prescription medications that need to be started within the first 1-2 days. I would recommend avoiding all over-the-counter medications as they are harmful and essentially have zero benefit. Flu is a self-limited condition and the most important measures are rest, heavy fluid intake, sinus irrigation (neti pot or neil med squirt bottle), and avoidance of pro-inflammatory foods (processed foods, gluten, dairy, and sugar). Some immune support measures can help though the research is variable but this would include excess zinc, vitamin c, mushroom extract and vitamin D). Also not that is someone is improving from the flu and then gets abruptly worse they should be re-evaluated as there could be a secondary bacterial infection that requires additional therapy, often prescriptions.

I have stiffness in my neck. Will an over the counter medication help?

I would avoid over-the-counter pain medication if at all possible. There are multiple short and long-term side effects from acetaminophen and NSAIDs (motrin, aleve type medications) READ MORE
I would avoid over-the-counter pain medication if at all possible. There are multiple short and long-term side effects from acetaminophen and NSAIDs (motrin, aleve type medications) that are not told to patients. The best home therapy for neck stiffness is likely heat, though some people respond better to ice if it's very tender. Also topical creams can help that are either menthol-based, or if your in a state with medical cannabis, those salves are extremely effective. Finally, the ideal therapy is manual treatment with a massage therapist or chiropractor.

What is causing my random back pain?

Tests are almost never recommended for back pain unless there are specific red flags (high cancer risk, loss of muscle function, unrelenting pain after several weeks). You should READ MORE
Tests are almost never recommended for back pain unless there are specific red flags (high cancer risk, loss of muscle function, unrelenting pain after several weeks). You should be evaluated by a manual practitioner such as a chiropractor, osteopathic doctor, physical therapist or massage therapist and they will effectively treat you. There are good and bad providers within each speciality so ask for recommendations but there is really no role for imaging for most people.

Can you feel OK after getting hurt in a car accident and then feel worse the next day?

It's markedly rare for something to become life-threatening after several days with the exception of bleeding in the head. If there was head trauma or notable whiplash and there READ MORE
It's markedly rare for something to become life-threatening after several days with the exception of bleeding in the head. If there was head trauma or notable whiplash and there is localized (one-sided) headache that is persistent, or any new weakness that seems unrelated to pain, that should be evaluated. Otherwise, it's actually quite normal to have increased pain and stiffness several days after the accident. If there was head trauma, it's very common to have nausea, brain fog, headache, mood changes, and other symptoms for days or even weeks after (post-concussive syndrome). The best thing I think you can do is see a good chiropractor who can address many of the symptoms. Medicinal cannabis, specifically whole plant extract CBD (able to purchase online in any state) is especially valuable post head trauma and for general pain as well. Also a good quality turmeric extract (500-1000 mg three times daily) and omega 3 (DHA + EPA) 3-6 grams daily can help dramatically.

Does every sinus infection need an antibiotic?

No. In fact, the vast majority of what people call sinus infections do not need to be treated. Most are viral infections that just have more prominent symptoms and are commonly READ MORE
No. In fact, the vast majority of what people call sinus infections do not need to be treated. Most are viral infections that just have more prominent symptoms and are commonly called sinus infections. The two scenarios that are more typical of sinus infections are 1) new onset acute severe localized pain (eye, cheek, forehead, or tooth) along with a new fever and sick feeling that occurs several days after what appears to be a resolving cold and 2) more than 2 weeks of heavy, thick, junky congestion with continued head pain/pressure often associated with an ongoing low-grade fever.

These are pretty much the only scenarios where antibiotics should even be considered, however, you still can resolve these issues without. Aggressive sinus rinsing (3-4 times daily) with either a Neti Pot or NeilMed squirt bottle is imperative. You can also add some antimicrobial compounds (peroxide, herbs, tea tree oil, etc.) to facilitate clearance. Hydration of 3-4 liters of water daily will help. Avoidance of gluten, dairy, and sugar for 2-3 weeks can also help. In the early days of the infection, regular zinc intake can help resolve it prior to escalation.

There are a few unique situations like imaging diagnosed sphenoid sinusitis that should always be treated, but that is rare. As a primary care physician, I've had a number upper respiratory and sinus infections over the past 20 years and never taken antibiotics once. I typically immediately start Zinc 30 mg twice daily, sinus irrigation 3-4 times daily, lots of hydration and avoidance of irritant foods, and eat lots of mushrooms (immune support), and that does the trick.

Is diabetes hereditary?

You definitely can inherit the risk for developing diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2. However, a strong family history by no means means you are guaranteed to get the disease if READ MORE
You definitely can inherit the risk for developing diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2. However, a strong family history by no means means you are guaranteed to get the disease if you make positive lifestyle decisions. In fact, the majority of patients that focus on the 4 Pillars of Health — food, movement, relaxation and community (www.4pillarsdenver.com) — will not get develop diabetes even if both parents and multiple siblings have it.

However, if you follow a normal standard American diet and lifestyle of limited movement, poor sleep, lots of sugar and refined carbohydrates, poor stress management and screen addiction, then you are almost guaranteed to get diabetes.

For Type 1 diabetes, the hereditary risk is lower, but as with all auto-immune diseases, you inherit the susceptibility and can then set yourself up to get the disease by having poor gut health (low quality diet, infections, antibiotics, NSAIDs [i.e., Aleve and Motrin], and acid blockers).