Meet Dr. Lobur
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA
IFM Certified Practitioner
Professional Associations: ILADS, Walsh Research Institute, Kresser Institute
Undergraduate Degree: University of Notre Dame
MD Degree: Jefferson Medical College
Residency and Chief Residency: UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
Our travels down the river of life are full of twists and turns, ebbs and flows, highs and lows. Each of us essentially function as a “vessel” sailing through the at times turbid waters of life. The quality of our personal journeys depend on maintaining the integrity of our vessel as best as possible against the maelstrom of environmental factors that may veer us off the optimal course. There is no predefined route to follow on our treks but there IS a compass in the form of functional medicine that can sturdy and direct our vessels to travel upon the calmer and gentler waters of life. Functional medicine has proven to be such an immensely important guiding force in my own personal and professional life, so much so that I have rerouted my own course in many unexpected but amazing ways! So as I look to embark alongside you as a guide on your own personal health venture I would like to take the opportunity to share some of my own story as we set upon our journey together.
I am very thankful for the love and care of my family who influenced my early course in life. With a dermatologist for a dad and my mom a nurse working alongside him the winds were ever present to direct me towards a career in healthcare. My father’s kindness and compassion have been the most important shaping forces in my own journey and I have always strived to emulate him, which has led me to become a physician, husband and father. Losing my dad to cancer when he was 51 in 2005 has been the most traumatic loss I have endured and with this surfaced the first questions of “WHY?”, though I did not have any good answers at the time for why my dad died from cancer. I take comfort in that his spirit is always with me and that he lives on through me, helping to guide my course from above.
Aside from the early loss of my father my life has thankfully been devoid of many other significant rough passages. Like all of us though my journey has not always been a smooth one and my vessel has taken on its own share of water over the years. Prior to finding functional medicine I spent the majority of my life being overweight (at my highest 250lb as a college senior) and simply not eating well with major stress eating issues I have lived with periods of significant and impactful stress and generalized anxiety to point where my hair began to grey in early 20s. I had trouble sleeping with need for Nyquil just to calm my nerves enough to rest. I lacked confidence and purpose and at times felt like a “rudderless ship” though I was generally “successful” in life from the outside looking in.
My Loving Wife
These issues persisted for some time but slowly began to improve for the better when I met my loving wife, Jaclyn. Her zeal for life has and continues to be an inspiring force in our life together. Her passion is contagious and this became very clearly evident when we were blessed to be pregnant with our first child - this was the “spark” was lit under both of us to live life better. Our interaction with our Lamaze coach at the time who with her powerful natural approach to pregnancy was immensely influential in steering us in a new direction towards health and wellness. My wife’s love of Oprah/Dr. Oz also brought my first knowledge of “functional medicine” which seemed like a form of “alternative” health to me at the time.
My First Born Son
The most compelling motivating force that directed us to a new horizon in health was the birth of my first born Caden in 2011. Caden was born in a hospital setting though we were determined to have as natural a birth a possible there, which can be quite challenging to do with monitors, IVs, and the in & out of nurses and doctors. In particular the coaching and direction my wife received through the birth process at the hospital (how and when to push, staying flat on back etc.) seemed to not match with the natural rhythm of how women’s bodies are designed to bring new life into the world. Ultimately we had a wonderful baby boy and we proceeded to do everything “by the book” with all vaccines as scheduled, prompt circumcision, regular well-child checks, use of a crib and the standard introduction of foods. We were doing everything “right” including exclusive breastfeeding but Caden had a series of health concerns from a young age, from being underweight (5lb 14oz) yet full term, torticollis noted within two months, an undescended testicle with a surgery we elected to proceed with at age 9 months, eczema, cradle camp, no crawling (walked before crawled at age 11 months) and ongoing constipation concerns. In the backdrop in caring for our son we were being lifted by an ever-raising tide of natural health knowledge and began to look for answers to Caden’s health concerns from a different perspective.
It all came to a head on Valentine’s Day 2014. I was working a usual shift as a hospitalist at and was having a worse day than usual. I had a particular patient come back for the “umpteenth time” with the same medical concerns and it was wearing on me - despite the high level of care our medical system provides we never truly get people better. I began thinking of my son and in the back of my mind I remembered that notion of functional medicine. I went on the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) website and watched a TEDMED talk by Dr. Mark Hyman. From there my life changed, I was simply blown away in regards to how a child on the autism spectrum could be reversed via functional medicine. I realized then that within our medical system at large we were simply “managing disease” and not “optimizing wellness” I immediately signed up as a member for IFM and called my wife telling her “I am going to be a functional medicine doc” which was met with an enthusiastic “Yes!”
I became enthralled with the IFM coursework and found myself looking both backwards and forwards at health concerns in an entirely new light. I began to think back to my dad’s cancer and how we could have done so much more to optimize nutrition, reduce stress, jump the right genetic hurdles and eliminate toxic exposures to prevent the initial and recurrent cancer he had. We turned our initial focus towards our son who through comprehensive stool testing showed yeast, parasites, inflammation and poor digestion. With a dedicated functional medicine regimen and a special focus on a strict elimination diet for our then 3 year old we were shocked that within three weeks his eczema vanished, his constipation resolved and mood greatly improved! I often think he would have had a very different health outcome if we had not made these early critical changes. And I found that my own health improved dramatically with a lasting weight loss of 25 pounds on a Paleo style diet, prioritization of restful sleep, focused stress reduction techniques and reinvigorated purpose and focus. By May 2015 I began seeing my own functional medicine patients and by January 2016 had joined forces with Dr. Franne Berez at Squirrel Hill Family Wellness Center, which I was elated to purchase the practice in March 2018. I absolutely love working with patients via functional medicine and take great pride and joy in the journeys I take with them. I am so excited about the future of the practice and cannot wait to see what further adventures await me in my own life with the compass of functional medicine guiding my way!