Conditions We Treat
Here is a list of just some of the diseases, disorders, and syndromes that can be more effectively treated at the Center for Functional Medicine. Click for more information.
This list, once short twenty years ago, is now a growing list of over eighty different diseases. Today 1 in 12 individuals in the US have some type of autoimmune disease. The immune system is closely linked with mental health, cardiovascular health, endocrine function as well as growth and repair in response to physical and environmental stressors. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks their own body, and it loses the ability to differentiate self from non-self. A Functional Medicine physician looks for the root cause of the disease and doesn’t simply treat the symptoms. A small listing of the potential factors in autoimmunity include dysbiosis, chronic infections, neuroendocrine disruptors, heavy metals, chemical mitochondrial toxicants, environmental toxicants, aerosolized petroleum microparticles, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, etc. … This approach has to be individualized due to the multiple causes for immune system dysregulation.
Endocrine & Hormonal Disorders
The central nervous system, through the control of the hypothalamus and pituitary, sends signals to the hormone-producing organs of the body to help regulate metabolism and reproduction. These hormones interact back with the brain as well as the organ systems that are affected by the hormones themselves. Hormone production, transport, sensitivity and then detoxification can be evaluated to determine where in the chain of function that there is a missing or mismatched link. Usually, hormone dysregulation can be addressed by balancing the system. This requires addressing issues in a systematic manner and not jumping straight to hormone therapy. As a last result, hormone therapy may be employed but this is not the first step in treatment.
Adrenal Axis Dysfunction
Male Hormone Disorders
Female Hormone Disorders
One aspect of this arena has been subcategorized into the field of Lipidology. These conditions have metabolic dysfunction and endothelial (artery wall) inflammation as a major component. There are over 300 biomarkers to help us evaluate this category. Biomarkers are specific tests that measure a defined biological function (i.e.blood pressure, lipids, hsCRP, myeloperoxidase, Lp-PLA2, arterial pulse wave analysis, etc.). A thorough analysis helps to elucidate wherein a person’s complex of metabolism, there is a dysfunction and then these are addressed step by step. This includes intensive lifestyle modification, detoxification, inflammation reduction, nutrient support and more.
Coronary Artery Disease
Peripheral Vascular Disease
High Blood Pressure
Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders
Hippocrates once stated that death begins in the bowels and now we know why he came to this realization over 2000 years ago. 80% of an individual’s immune system is found in the GI tract and up to 90% of serotonin is produced as well. For these reasons GI issues area rarely found alone and often complicate other medical diseases. A thorough GI evaluation includes a thorough health history beginning at birth.
Advanced testing may be used to help clarify GI dysfunction:
Digestive function testing
Bacterial DNA analysis
Due to the immense interactions of the GI tract, GI nervous system (ie- gastroenteric nervous system), food interactions/absorption/breakdown, GI immune system, most integrative evaluations include some sort of GI evaluation and treatment.
Low Stomach Acid
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Unfortunately, once neuron cells are lost they can not be recovered, but through neuroplasticity improved function can be achieved. At the time of this writing, there are three Alzheimer’s prevention clinics in the country, the first being started at Cornell. We use research from these institutes in combination with vascular biology and movement medicine to help slow and even prevent some of these neurodegenerative disorders. Nerve function is optimized through nutritional as well as nutraceutical support and all modalities from the Functional Medicine paradigm and Integrative literature and utilized. Proper nerve function is often disrupted by environmental toxicants and systemic toxins which must be addressed.
Migranes & other Headaches
Chronic Pain & Fatigue Syndromes
This heterogeneous group at first glance appears to be a small grouping of conditions but it interdigitates with multiple other disease states. Some chronic infections such as Chronic Lyme’s Disease are placed here due to their mix of symptoms and close association with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The group of conditions overlaps with mitochondrial disorders, digestive disorders, immune system disorders, and psychiatric illness.