Family Medicine Meets Functional Medicine


Colds and Flu

Focus is on ensuring a properly functioning immune system to prevent illness, and fight infection. I avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. Supplements that have been shown to be antibacterial are offered as an option when appropriate.

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Health Screening

I use the US Preventive Task Force recommendations for health screening. And more. I go into detail regarding lifestyle, ability to detoxify, and early signs of inflammation. As we are learning, over time these problems lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, and osteoporosis. You will need to go to a gynecologist for paps.

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Vaccinations

I do not provide vaccinations at my office. However, I will remind you of when they are recommended and discuss your concerns with you (both medical and religious). The decision is a personal one, but should be well informed. A healthy immune system is essential to safe vaccination. So, before getting vaccines I review the individual's vitamin D and other factors.

Genetic Predispositions

Epigenetics is the exploding science of how environment turns genes on and off, affecting our health. While we are still learning, certain genetics can be part of a wellness initiative, or used to help understand specific health problems in the long term.

Fatigue, "Brain Fog", and Mitochondrial Function

Solutions are multifactorial and may include endocrine (thyroid/adrenal), toxins, nutritional deficiencies, impaired mitochondrial function, immune, infection, and more. Solving these problems can take a bit of detective work.

Weight Gain

The standard approach is to address calories in and calories out. We delve into the details: eating habits, sleep, exercise, adrenal function, thyroid, inflammation, hormones, and more. The goal is sustainable life changes, not fad diets. It takes time, but it lasts a life time.

PMS, PCOS, Acne

Cycle problems and hormone imbalances are often a sign of other problems. A functional approach usually involves testing hormones (via saliva, urine, or blood spot) and/or charting cycles. Solutions vary from food choices to bioidentical hormones.

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GERD (symptoms can include heart burn, difficulty swallowing, cough, sore throat...)

Untreated, GERD can lead to esophagitis and worse. The long term effects of a PPI (pill to lower stomach acid) can include bloating, increased risk for cardiovascular disease*, vitamin B12 deficiency, and more. The functional approach is to help the gut work well by ensuring adequate stomach acid and enzymes for digestion, a healthy mucus barrier, and relief of leaky gut and dysbiosis. Stool testing is often very helpful as a first step.

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Anxiety, Depression, ADD

SSRIs (antidepressants) are now in the top 3 most often prescribed medications--they are showing up in our drinking water! There are alternatives. Ensuring adequate neurotransmitter function, particularly along with a good counselor, can provide relief.

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Brain on Fire: PANDAS, PANS, Autism, Functional Movement Disorder...

Functional Medicine looks to root causes, so is not too concerned about what you call it, and there is no medical diagnosis (label) for these syndromes. In many cases, there seems to be a immunomimicry or other mechanism causing high levels of oxidative stress: The Brain is on Fire. The science is emerging, so interventions are often "off label". My approach is to optimize function (EG gut, hormones, detoxification...), to control oxidative stress (through antioxidants and mitochondrial function), and to find ways to moderate immune function (EG: address infection, low dose naltrexone).