Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is personalized health care for the individual. A clinical model that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of just the symptoms associated with serious and life-altering chronic diseases. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.

It is a science- based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:

  • Patient-centered health care emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care.”
  • Extensive testing to find out which organ systems are involved in the disease process.
  • Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.

By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of health care to a more patient- centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. We tend to spend much more time with our patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. The treatment programs provided by Dr. Fahim introduce an individualized treatment plan for the specific causes of that unique individual’s disease.

Diabetes:

Diabetes is one of the most expensive diseases to treat medically yet often one of the cheapest conditions to treat naturally
Most people are not aware of many of the other possible side effects one can experience as a result of having diabetes. Not to mention the side effects from taking insulin, metformin or whatever medication they are prescribing at the time. Heart disease, damaged blood vessels, high blood pressure, dry cracked skin, stroke, neuropathy, and increased risk or prevalence of bacterial, fungal and yeast infections are common occurrences in those dealing with diabetes or pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome).

The way in which integrative and functional medicine approaches diabetes is to address the entire person and not just a single set of symptoms. High blood sugar is a symptom of insulin resistance or lack of insulin production. Our job is to determine the true cause of why your body is dysfunctional. We will dig deep into your history and exam and possibly send you for some lab testing. The lab testing will help us in rooting out the cause of your diabetes.
I often get patients in my office that are having some weird signs and symptoms and they “look” as if they are in perfectly health shape. But when we do some simple lab testing, they come back as being pre diabetic or diabetic and can’t really understand how they could have developed diabetes.

As a side note, almost 100% of the time diabetes is an entirely preventable disease or condition.

Thyroid issues:

According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, there are roughly 20 million Americans suffering from some type of thyroid disorder (mostly hypothyroidism and to a lesser extend hyperthyroidism). Surprisingly, more than half of those (60 percent) in the world suffering with thyroid issues are completely unaware this is the root of their problems, including weight gain or fatigue.
There are two main types of thyroid problems: hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). While there are other thyroid issues as well, the majority of cases fall into one of these two categories. Hypothyroidism is by far the more common type of thyroid problem. Most people with hypothyroidism are women, especially those who are of reproductive age or middle-aged.

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Persistent fatigue, lethargy, depression or low motivation to exercise
  • Moodiness and anxiety
  • Intolerance to cold and frequently feeling chilly
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Brain fog, trouble concentrating and forgetfulness
  • A horse voices
  • Unexplainable weight gain
  • Constipation, bloating and other digestive issues
  • Muscle weakness, sometimes aches or pains, and other discomforts

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism commonly include:

  • Nervousness or symptoms of anxiety
  • Insomnia and sleep troubles
  • Racing heart
  • Eyes that appear large and sometimes bulge
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • High amounts of perspiration
  • Muscle weakness
  • Multiple bowel movements
  • Thin, brittle hair

Functional and Integrative Medicine not only identify if the problem is thyroid itself (primary) or other body imbalances that can cause it (secondary, tertiary) but also determine the true cause of why the thyroid is dysfunctional. Some causes can be as simple as lack of certain nutrients (selenium, zinc, Vit A, B2, B3, B6, B12) or adrenal, intestinal (leaky gut, SIBO and many more) and immune system imbalance (autoimmunity).
We will dig deep into your history and exam and possibly send you for some lab testing. The lab testing will help us in rooting out the cause of your thyroid issue as well as making a very evidence based personalized natural treatment protocol for it.

Digestive Issues:

Digestive Diseases affect some 60-70 million Americans every year. There are over 48.3 million ER visits every year for digestive issues. The estimated cost of all these visits in 2004 was in excess of $141 billion. This is a very expensive, painful and chronic issue that many people deal with on a daily basis.

Some of the Most common Digestive Issues We address:

  1. Reflux
  2. Peptic Ulcers
  3. Gallstones
  4. Diverticulitis
  5. Ulcerative Colitis
  6. Crohns disease
  7. Inflammatory Bowel disease
  8. Celiac
  9. Irritable bowel disease
  10. Pancreatitis
  11. Unexplanable Digestive disease.

Infections – Many times an intestinal infection may be an occult assault on the body whose outwardly sign, and symptoms are pretty obvious. The most common infections that we see are either bacterial and viral in nature and include E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, H. Pylori, and a few other less common ones. While many of these bacteria and viruses can normally be found in a healthy individual, it is when an imbalance within the body occurs that theses opportunistic organisms take advantage and wreak havoc.

Intestinal Parasites – Again this is a lot more common that most people would think. A lot of people don’t like to think of the possibility of having an intestinal parasite, not very appetizing. The fact of the matter is that it is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans currently have an intestinal parasite. This type of problem is often one where symptoms tend to come and go depending on how healthy the person is and what they eat.

Food Sensitivities – This one is a biggie and can have a huge influence on a person’s overall health and not just their intestinal symptoms, although that is the most readably noticeable. Food sensitivities are different from food allergies. They are two different antibodies in the body that are causing the reactions. In a typical food allergy test that most people get sent for they are testing for IGE antibodies to food. Also known as immunoglobulins. These are the antibodies that cause an immediate allergic reaction. EX: you eat a peanut and swell up. – allergic reaction. The problem with this type of food testing is that most people already know what they are allergic to. They probably don’t know what they are sensitive to. A food sensitivity is a reaction that often happen 3 or more days later. In this type of test we are testing for IGG antibodies. Food sensitivities cause a breakdown in the intestinal lining of your gut and can lead to digestive disorders listed above. It can also lead to leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and an increased over all permeability.

Stress – Yes, stress can cause intestinal problems. We have all experienced emotional upset and gotten a stomach ache from it and the mind body connection is very strong in that way, but stress goes a lot deeper in causing digestive disease. Let me give you short explanation. When we are chronically stressed it can often lead to varying degrees of adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. depending on what stage you are in you will have different levels of cortisol and DHEA. In short DHEA assist the body in cell growth and repair. Without it our bodies will struggle to keep up with the repair process. Cortisol is needed in the body as well. most people are concerned with levels that are too high. Seems like every recent article on health is about cortisol being too high. I’ve got news for you. Too low is bad too. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Without it those two things go up.

Hormonal Fluctuations – As any woman that is out of balance hormonally can tell you, hormones play a vital role in your digestive health, for men too. One way that it affects digestion is the intestinal system is one of the primary ways the body detoxifies estrogen from the system. If the intestines are not working right the body can often build up excess estrogen and create a viscous cycle. The reverse of this is also true. If there is too much estrogen it will mess up digestion and cause intestinal upset. In a lot of patients this is often a common occurrence. What tend to happen is that during our normal daily lives we are exposed to a lot of exogenous (non-natural) estrogens. These estrogens build up in the body and we are not able to keep up. This will then initiate digestive dysbiosis, which sets the stage for intestinal infection by bacteria, viral or parasitic. Again, leading to a cycle.

Thyroid issues – Thyroid issues can often be tied to adrenal fatigue, but in and of themselves can cause problems with digestion. Again, this can set the stage for other intestinal issues from taking hold. Thyroid hormones are the primary hormones regulating metabolism. If our metabolism slows our entire body will slow down, including digestion. If digestion slows, excretion of toxins(estrogen) build up in the body = more digestion issues = more digestion issues.

Body Detoxification:

Environmental Chemical and Heavy Metal exposure has never been more pervasive with thousands of chemicals in use around the world. Many chemicals are integrated into our food supply, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and the fact is if you live in an industrialized nation you have been exposed to heavy metals. Every day, we ingest small amounts of many chemicals and our bodies cannot metabolize and clear all of them. We have internal toxins as well; the body produces ammonia, carbon dioxide, free radicals, etc., plus candidiasis can cause all kinds of internal toxic assaults. Chemicals and Heavy Metals not metabolized are stored in the fat cells throughout our bodies, where they continue to accumulate. As these toxins build up, they alter our metabolism, cause enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, create hormonal imbalances, damage brain chemistry and can cause cancer. Common problems of toxicity include: headaches, fatigue, general joint and muscle pain, skin disorders like rashes and eczema, and asthma and allergies.

Proper Detoxification can be the key to unlocking your health. Detoxification is one of the most overlooked aspects of health. There is often a lot of talk about cleanses, detoxes, flushes, etc., but a true detox takes time and work. Unless toxic levels are measured before and after doing a detox you cannot know if it’s working. A true detox cannot be done in a couple days or weeks and a cleanse is more of a means of flushing or temporarily “cleaning” the intestines. A properly designed and safe detoxification can often be the cornerstone to restoring one’s health.

How Does the Body Get Rid of Toxins?
All of these toxins enter the body and overwhelm what it usually an already overburdened liver (along with other detox pathways), increasing the need to cleanse and support the removal process. To remove toxins from their place of storage (fat tissue) we must: Mobilize, Bind and Remove.

Mobilize: To release toxins from the fatty tissue, we reduce the caloric load, meaning simply that we eat less. When total calories are reduced, the fat cells are mobilized, and the toxins stored in the fat cells are mobilized with them into the circulation.

Bind: Once toxins are mobilized, they must be bound so that the body can easily eliminate them. The liver has a sophisticated process (two phases of detoxification) to prepare the exit of toxins from the body. In Phase I, the liver utilizes nutrients, mostly antioxidants, to prepare the toxin for entry into Phase II. In Phase II, the liver then utilizes nutritional elements, mostly glutathione (a nutrient consisting of three amino acids) and sulfur to bind to the toxin and prepare for removal.

Remove: Toxins are removed from the body by several different pathways. Although the colon is a major detox organ, other important detox organs include the liver, skin, lymph, blood, kidneys, and lungs. The body utilizes many nutrients to remove toxins. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. can all help to mobilize, to bind, and to remove toxicity.

We designed a unique and comprehensive detoxification protocol for each patient to improve 3 steps of detoxification above. Our protocol is designed to support Phase 1 and 2 of liver detoxification to drive toxins from the body, promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin (foot bath), improving circulation of the blood; and refueling the body with healthy nutrients.

Auto Immune Disease:

An autoimmune disease develops when your body’s immune system malfunctions and decides that the healthy cells of your body are foreign and starts to attack itself. Different types of autoimmune disorders can occur based on which tissues of the body are being affected. Whether it’s the nerves of Multiple sclerosis or the thyroid in Hashimoto thyroiditis. The mechanism is similar.

There are over 100 different autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common are Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Celiac Sprue, Pernicious anemia, Vitiligo, scleroderma, Psoriasis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Addisons disease, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s, Type 1 diabetes, and the list goes on.

A common phrase that many Functional Medicine Physicians use is “Genetics load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger.” What this essentially means is that we are all predisposed to certain things based on what genes we have. However, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get that disease.

Some of the most common triggers involved in the development of Autoimmune disease include viruses, bacteria, medications (which are toxins), pollutants, hormones and stress.
One of the most common treatments include Immune suppressants. The problem with this route is fairly obvious. You are basically killing the immune system, so you don’t have symptoms. This leads to an increased risk of developing severe or life-threatening infections and an increased risk of developing cancer.

Our job is to determine the true cause of your Autoimmune disease. We will dig deep into your history and exam and possibly send you for some lab testing. The lab testing will help us in rooting out the cause of your issue, as well as making a very evidence based unique natural treatment for it.

Weight Loss:

It goes without saying that being overweight increases your risk of health conditions such as heart problem, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Our weight loss protocols are individualized and comprehensive plans which are designed based on patients’ goal and more importantly their medical background. These diets including, Very Low Calorie, Fasting, Intermittent Fasting and KETOGENIC diet. We also combined these diets with body contouring tools, the state-of-the-art technology of BODY LIGHT LIPOLASER and ULTRASOUND LIPOCAVITATION that help you to get rid of stubborn body fats.