Courtney Hunt MD, FACOG
- Desert Jewel Wellness
Medical Director and CEO
- University of California at Berkeley
BS Integrative Biology
- Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
- UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency
Are you interested in learning more about Dr. Hunt’s medical care and services, or to meet Dr. Hunt in person?
How often does our life take us off the traditional trajectory and we must unlearn things that are incorrect or broken to re-learn what matters most?
Dr. Courtney Hunt has spent the majority of her career as a board certified OBGYN helping women, mothers, and their children deal with 21st Century illnesses that current medical textbooks fail to address. Most of these illnesses arise from our changing, modern environment. After many years delivering babies, Dr. Hunt grew tired of seeing mother after mother, and woman after woman, come in feeling exhausted, foggy, achy, and sad. Worse yet, she grew concerned about the growing number of sick children these women were bringing in with them; children of all ages. Dr. Hunt herself was a busy delivering obstetrician and operating gynecologist and has spent years translating that expertise into figuring out how to make surgery and pharmaceuticals less necessary and lifestyle more important in the path to wellness. She began to study nutrigenetics many years ago when she started to realize that the majority of her pregnant patients were nutrient depleted and grew concerned over the impact this could have on the fetus.
Since childhood, Dr. Hunt had a desire to become a physician, especially when at the age of 13 her grandmother developed ALS also known as Lou Gherig’s disease. This motivated her at age 17 to attend The University of California at Berkeley as an integrative biology major with a focus on reproductive endocrinology, genetics, and neuroscience. She graduated from medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine at 25 and completed her residency at UCLA, ultimately administrative chief resident.
After practicing for one year in California, at 29, she moved to Arizona. After working with a large OBGYN group, she opened her own practice, Desert Jewel OBGYN, in 2005 as the founder and medical director. It was in this practice that she saw an increase of patients that suffered from chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, horrible perimenopausal symptoms, Hashimoto’s, vertigo, migraines, memory disorders – and the more she saw, the more they came. These were patients who had previously been ignored by others, undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or had only been given band-aids for their symptoms. In an attempt to better understand those patients and their symptoms, Dr. Hunt utilized her knowledge in genetics to develop a deeper understanding of human DNA how it interacts with environment, lifestyle, and food choices. In addition, her husband was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue shortly after they were married. A childhood disease that was missed in him despite numerous doctor’s visits until well into adulthood with almost catastrophic ramifications. This spurred her to deepen her knowledge of the gastrointestinal tract and the affect our food choices as well as the microbiome have on it and it’s connection to our brains.
On this journey, Dr. Hunt was forced to look outside of what she had been taught in medical school and residency and look deeper for answers. This lead her to the pursuit of nutrigenetics. As an early adopter of BRCA cancer gene testing over 20 years ago, she realized that if we could see the genes that predict cancer we could also see the genes that will could heal us. A roadmap for healing, if you will, an instruction book for the body and it’s environment.
It was at about the same time that it became clear to her that the mitochondria are centrally important as energy producers and therefore the controllers of the nuclear DNA.
There are some people that have unlimited energy that can accomplish their days with ease, while others become exhausted shortly after lunch or can’t get up at all. These are related to mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial function or dysfunction is quickly becoming a topic of interest in modern medicine. It is the energy produced in the mitochondria that allows a person to work at optimal levels and can pull those that are sick out of the darkness of suffering. Utilizing genetic testing on mitochondrial function we are able to see where those weaknesses are in energy production and develop nutritional lifestyle protocols to move your bar further towards optimal.
Educational consults with Dr. Hunt will address all of these issues as they relate to your genetics, your mitochondrial DNA, and your environment. They will take into account your sleep, your light environment or circadian signaling, your diet, and your genetics.
Above all, one must realize that the environment is the key to our health and happiness. we are not meant to be ill as humans. We are meant to fly. Our genetics are a small part of our healing. If we can modify our environments by changing diet, supplements, light, stress around our genetic weakness we can offload enough symptoms to allow our bodies to not only heal but thrive. We must see ourselves well. We must see how we want to be. Please come to your educational consult with your list of what you want to improve and be prepared to connect to that vision of you. You have the power to create your health. your genetics offer you a map, a plan. We are looking forward to meeting you.