"Nurturing the Roots"
The presence of a symptom is usually the starting point for a trip to the doctor. Conventional medical approaches typically focus first on how to make the symptoms “go away” and often will institute pharmaceuticals as first line therapy to quell symptomatic concerns. The functional medicine approach towards symptoms is to focus on WHY that particular symptom is present and what changes can be made within the modifiable lifestyle factors to get to the root of the concern. As reading below will illustrate, our body works as a SYSTEM and NOT isolated organs – we have to treat the whole body and pay great focus to how these different “roots” intertwine to optimize healing. Here are the major physiologic root cause imbalances we will focus on and optimize with each patient:
Assimilation and Elimination: This is all about “the gut” and our ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients, and eliminate wastes. Optimal gut health is critical and “upstream” to just about every chronic illness known. We will focus on your gut function and implement a targeted protocol based on your needs. We incorporate focused testing when necessary, including comprehensive stool and nutrient analysis, lactulose breath tests and food sensitivity/allergy panels.
Defense and Repair: A healthy immune system and cellular structure is vital to defend us from a dangerous world. At times our immune system can become our own worst enemy due to an excessive inflammatory response stemming from things like chronic infections (including Lyme/mold), allergies, inappropriate autoimmune responses and stress. We will work to balance the immune system in many unique ways through targeted supplements, diet and lifestyle changes.
Energy: A core tenant of many different chronic conditions is damage to our mitochondria. Mitochondria are the “energy powerhouses” of our cells and without them our normal cellular processes do not function. Our mitochondria are particularly sensitive to poor nutrition and toxic environmental insults, leading to poor sleep, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, and numerous nervous system conditions including dementia, as well as elevated risks for cancer. Our protocols will focus on how to revitalize mitochondria and reverse the imbalances that lead to symptoms and chronic conditions.
Detoxification: The most overlooked impediment to our collective wellness is the impact of environmental toxins. We are exposed to untold hazards on a daily basis that affect our physiology in often silent, though profoundly impactful, ways, with the most notable concerns being poor air and water quality, water-damaged/moldy buildings, food additives, heavy metal exposures and industrial chemicals being used on a daily basis in our cleaning/grooming products. Certain individuals are more genetically and physiologically equipped to handle these insults – our goal is to optimize your own personal environment and biochemistry to better handle the environmental stresses of modern day living.
Transport: Our blood vessels are vital for the transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Numerous inflammatory insults from diet, stress, and toxins lead to damaged blood vessels which result in physiologic disruptions that lead to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, impaired cholesterol levels and abnormal blood sugar levels and diabetes. As cardiovascular syndromes are the number one source of mortality in our society, special focus will be paid to how to prevent and reverse the effects of an improper blood vessel inflammation through advanced testing/supplements and necessary diet and lifestyle changes.
Communication: Our hormones essentially function as a “beautiful symphony” to conduct information across great distances in our bodies from central locations of production. Like an orchestra, if one instrument is “out of tune”, then the entirety of the orchestra’s music is affected. Such is the case for our hormones – many outside environmental/diet/lifestyle factors can throw off our hormones and lead to a variety of chronic disturbances in our thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone function. We will look to properly support your hormone levels using bio-identical medications and supportive supplements as needed, while we work towards re-balancing the myriad of factors leading to the primary hormone dysfunction.
Structural Integrity: Very often we encounter patients who have significant deficits with the structural integrity of the human frame. Be it from osteopenia/osteoporosis, to arthritis, to muscle/joint/ligament pain, there are numerous physical maladies that actually take root in imbalanced biochemistry. Our goal is to evaluate these structural deficits at a deeper level to build resiliency and help reverse and heal the sources of pain and dysfunction to allow patients function at a much higher level.
Mental, Emotional and Spiritual: To truly heal on a deeper and long-lasting level, the entire being of who that person is must be addressed. Our human essence goes well beyond biochemistry, structure and function. How we have been raised, our life experiences and relationships, along with the values and beliefs we hold dear, are inextricably a part of who we are and must be considered in each individual’s healing path. We will respect and nurture these immensely important tenants of our humanity to help our patients achieve their ultimate health goals.