Functional Medicine

Functional medicine addresses the root causes of autoimmune disease, helping us minimize our symptoms and maximize our health. For more resources, see the entire Integrative Medicine Archives.

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Episode 200: The Gut-Skin Connection with Dr. Shayna Peter

When we think of skin, we usually think of the outside of the body, but our skin reflects what’s happening inside our body as well. It’s rare for problems to be isolated to the skin alone. Anyone with a skin-related autoimmune disease knows this. But it’s also true for any skin problem, including acne, rashes, eczema, rosacea, and others. They’re all signals from the skin that something is unbalanced within the body. We’ve talked about the importance of gut health many times on this podcast. It won’t surprise you to know that it has a major impact on skin health as well. We’re doing a deep dive into the gut-skin connection today. My guest is Dr. Shayna Peter, a holistic dermatologist who uses a root cause approach to heal skin from the inside out. She is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, specializing in dermatology and functional medicine.

Episode 190: Best Of – Blood Sugar & Autoimmunity with Dr. Jeff Horacek

This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Autoimmune health depends on blood sugar balance. When our blood sugar gets too high, drops too low, or swings wildly between these extremes, it increases inflammation in our body. If this happens regularly, it leads to chronic inflammation. In today’s episode, we’ll be sharing diet, lifestyle, and functional medicine tips for achieving and maintaining blood sugar balance. My guest is Dr. Jeff Horacek, a functional medicine physician with over 20 years of experience. Blood sugar is one of his medical specialties.

Episode 137: Best Of – MTHFR with Dr. Ben Lynch

This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Once you start researching alternative approaches to treating autoimmune disease, it isn’t long before you hear of a gene mutation that can be a root cause for chronic illness and also a healing stumbling block. It’s called MTHFR. This is a very complex topic, and it’s easy to misunderstand and make mistakes trying to treat it. Our goal today is to explain MTHFR clearly in layman’s terms, talk about how you can tell if this mutation is indeed impacting your own health, and help you find a qualified practitioner to guide treatment. My guest is Dr. Ben Lynch, a world-renowned expert on this topic. He’s the expert consulted by other experts.

Episode 103: Fasting with Dr. Amy Nett

There are lots of different types of fasts: juice fasts, water fasts, bone broth fasts, detox cleanses, intermittent fasting, etc. When is fasting helpful vs. harmful? Why does one person feel better after fasting and someone else feel significantly worse? Can we predict this in advance? For people with autoimmune disease, is this something we should try or something we should avoid? My guest, Dr. Amy Nett, will be answering these questions and more. She’s a functional medicine physician and will be sharing the latest research.

Episode 101: Heavy Metals with Dr. Christopher Shade

When you start researching alternative health protocols, you quickly run across information on heavy metal toxicity. In this podcast, we delve into this topic in detail. What are heavy metals anyway, and how can they impact autoimmune disease? Is treatment always a good idea, or can it sometimes harm instead of help? I have a wonderful guest to answer these questions and more. Dr. Christopher Shade has a PhD in Environmental Metals Chemistry, and he has trained doctors worldwide on the subject of heavy metals and the human detoxification system.

Episode 86: Best Of – Autoimmune Q&A with Dr. Datis Kharrazian

This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Dr. Kharrazian is one of the leading functional medicine practitioners in the field of autoimmune disease. In this information-packed episode, we cover a huge range of topics: (1) The 3 Stages of Autoimmunity, (2) The Role of Blood Sugar in Autoimmune Disease, (3) The Power of Stress and Our Emotional Demons, (4) How to Support our Regulatory Immune Cells and Suppress our Inflammatory Ones, (5) The Connection Between Leaky Gut and a Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier, (6) Harnessing the Power of the Vagus Nerve, (7) Chemical Intolerance and the Dangers of Chelation,  (8) How to Heal Food Sensitivities, and (9) His Top Recommended Tests and Supplements. 

Episode 82: Healing Mistakes to Avoid with Chris Kresser

Mistakes: We’re human, and we all make them; it’s one of the ways we learn. But sometimes – if we’re lucky – we can learn from each other’s mistakes without having to make them ourselves. That’s our goal with this podcast. My guest, Chris Kresser, is one of the most respected voices in the paleo community. A functional medicine practitioner, world-class educator, and bestselling author, Chris highlights common autoimmune healing mistakes made by both patients and practitioners.

Episode 75: Paleo Neurologist Q&A with Dr. Ken Sharlin | Phoenix Helix

Episode 75: Paleo Neurologist Q&A with Dr. Ken Sharlin

When you find a medical doctor that treats their patients holistically, it’s like a dream come true. Dr. Ken Sharlin believes in the power of a nutrient-dense paleo diet and lifestyle. He’s also the first functional medicine neurologist in the USA. And he understands the pros and cons of medication – when they might be needed, and when they can safely be reduced or eliminated. In this podcast, he shares his treatment tips for neurological autoimmune disease

Episode 70: Functional Blood Test Analysis with Andrea Nakayama

When we think of functional medicine testing, we often think of expensive tests not covered by insurance. But there’s actually a lot we can learn from the regular bloodwork commonly ordered through our conventional doctor’s office. Andrea Nakayama is a world-renowned Functional Nutritionist, educator and speaker, whose mission is to change the way we do healthcare by empowering patients to reclaim ownership over their own health. In this podcast episode, she walks us through two blood tests that are very common: a CBC with Differential and a Complete Metabolic Panel, and tells us how she interprets these from a functional perspective.

Is a Healing Crisis Really Healing?

In theory, a “healing crisis” is when your symptoms get worse before they get better, and this is a sign that you are healing. But what if the opposite is true, and pushing through causes an autoimmune flare? In this article, I explain how to tell the difference between a healing crisis and a harmful one.

Is DNA Testing Worthwhile?

When it comes to genetic testing, is knowledge power, or is ignorance bliss? It’s not an easy answer. In this article, I go into the pros and cons in detail and also share my personal experience. If you decide you do want to take a DNA test, I walk you through the process step-by-step, including making sense of the raw data you receive.

How to Find a Good Functional Medicine Practitioner

When it comes to reducing autoimmune symptoms, diet and lifestyle are the foundation, but when you hit a plateau it makes sense to seek help. The problem is that not all practitioners are created equal. So how do you find a good one? When you’re about to make a large investment of your money and time in trying to heal, you want to find a guide who can truly help. In this article, I share my best advice for finding the right person to add to your healthcare team.

Why Food Intolerance Testing Doesn’t Work

Let’s face it: the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is hard to do. If we could just take a test to identify our food intolerances, it would be so much easier! So, why don’t we? Unfortunately, food intolerance testing is unreliable, giving both false positive and false negative results. An elimination diet (like the AIP) is the only accurate way to test for food intolerance. It’s called the Gold Standard. This is actually one area where conventional doctors and paleo doctors agree. I realize that this can be very frustrating to hear if you’ve spent a lot of money on these tests already. Click through to read the scientific evidence.

a spiky desert plant covered in thready tangles

Navigating Setbacks

You’ve embraced the paleo diet and lifestyle, noticed a reduction in your autoimmune symptoms, and overall you’ve been feeling great and grateful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your autoimmune symptoms flare and remind you of where you started. What’s happening, and how can you return to feeling better? Today, I share my best 10 tips for overcoming a healing setback.

Paleo Functional Medicine Practitioner Directories

Finding a healthcare team that understands “food is medicine” can be as hard as finding Waldo in the famous children’s book series. Thankfully, there are a growing number of directories to help, and I’ve linked to them in this blog post. If you aren’t getting better independently on a healing diet and lifestyle, troubleshooting with an expert can make a world of difference! Many of these practitioners work with patients around the world, so you aren’t limited to local offices. And if you’re interested in becoming a healthcare practitioner yourself, I share my favorite training programs in this article as well. 

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