Functional medicine can help you heal and most importantly, it helps you learn how to stay well. In a sense, the way we practice the ancient medicine called acupuncture IS functional medicine.
This functional medicine tree exemplifies the way I think when you come in and tell me about what is bothering you. This tree is the basic concepts outline of the training through the Institute of Functional Medicine.
“Functional medicine is about causes, not symptoms. It is getting to the root of the problem.”
– Mark Hyman, MD
After years of practicing acupuncture, I wanted to help more of my patients. The use of diagnostic laboratory tests such as saliva, urine, hair and blood can tell me more information about what is off in your body and how I can help you in your healing journey.
What can functional medicine do?
A few years ago I noticed how even though I wasn’t really sick, I wasn’t 100% well either. All the annual blood work came back normal, yet I wasn’t feeling as well as I wanted. It was the beginning of my journey with learning functional medicine and I gradually discovered what was at the root of my few little nagging symptoms. Those subtle symptoms were warning signs that I needed to do something.
“He who cures a disease may be the skillfullest, but he that prevents it is the safest physician.”
My Chinese medicine practitioner kept telling me, just by checking my pulse and looking at my tongue, that I had some sort of virus or bacteria that was constantly stressing my system. Sure thing, later on, I found out that I had a very high H. pylori infection (a virus that can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer). I also had a fairly high parasite infection, even though I had none of the symptoms that typically show up with that infection.
My job is to figure out what is it that causes you sleep issues or whatever is that is bothering you. Having treated so many insomniacs, I have learned where to look to find the root cause.
Whether you are not sleeping well because of your hormonal imbalance, your gut issues, your neurotransmitter depletion, or a disorder such as Pyrrole (a disorder that leads to low zinc and B6 levels), I am here to help you identify that and help you heal.
Functional medicine consults in Boulder, CO and long distance through telemedicine
Functional medicine takes a very detailed look at all aspects of your health. I look at the physical body and observe things such as the color of your skin and the health of your nails. I look at your tongue and take your pulse, as part of both functional medicine and Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Then we look at various laboratory tests that are best suited for you. I offer a variety of labs and I can work with your MD or other healthcare providers for concurrent care, if needed. I also work closely with a few medical providers in the Boulder and Denver area, if medication protocol is appropriate.
Some of the laboratory testing commonly used in my practice:
- Saliva and urine hormone testing
- Stool testing – offers detailed information on beneficial and abnormal bacteria, parasites, worms, digestion and absorption, gluten sensitivity, inflammation in the gut, and intestinal permeability
- Organic Acid Test (OAT), which gives a great snapshot of your overall functioning of your body
- Cortisol and adrenal testing
- Neurotransmitter testing
- Assessing iron and ferritin levels
- Genetic testing
- Pyrrole testing, important for sleep and mental emotional disorders
- Food sensitivities
- Thyroid panels
- Heavy metals
Above all, food is (indeed) medicine. The nutritional counseling world has become more and more complex over the years. Partially this may be due to the increased chemical and food sensitivities that affect the gut health. That in itself asks for more personalized nutritional needs.
“No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.”
My first line of action is figuring how can we can make the most change with what you do every day. Since we eat every day, there is great power in that. With most of my patients I start with a short (1 month) therapeutic plan, then we adjust based on what happens during that month.
Herbs and Supplements
I choose the best quality herbs and supplements and I aim for simple and effective. None of us wants a pharmacy in our kitchen cabinets, I get it. That’s why it’s important to avoid chasing symptoms and instead find the root issue of what the problem.