Vida’s Functional Medicine Specialists combine the perfect blend of conventional and naturopathic medicine. This unique approach combines the diagnostic skills of a primary care physician with a philosophy and treatment rooted in the healing power of nature. Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
Functional medicine is a science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease. This is a whole systems approach which looks at the underlying causes of clinical signs and symptoms and addresses the root cause of the symptoms. In Functional medicine, there is an emphasis on gastrointestinal health, endocrine system, and the complex interplay between genes and the environment.
Functional medicine incorporates cutting edge research, science, and diagnostic modalities to understand how environmental and lifestyle influences play a role in development and progression of disease. Many of the philosophies of Functional Medicine, including treating the root cause of disease, were born out of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicine, in essence uses traditional modalities to assess and treat disease and emphasizes the healing power of nature as a foundational concept.
Gut and Immune Health
70% of our immune system is within our gastrointestinal system. Addressing gut dysfunction is one of the first treatments for any chronic illness and immune/autoimmune disease. Anything from IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac’s, to thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s, Multiple Sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis, and many more benefit from proper gut healing and optimizing digestion.
Vida Integrated Health provides tools and education to help you return to a path of extended health through lifestyle and diet changes. As a patient you, will learn to manage, reduce the risk of, and even reverse chronic illness through healthy nutrition, nutritional protocols, exercise, and stress management.
MS is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that affects over 1 million people in the US. Many individuals with MS may have increased “leaky gut”, formally known as intestinal permeability. In fact, a 2017 article found 73% of MS relapsing-remitting patients had IP vs 28% of healthy control subjects. If we can help support these leaky guts, we may be able to improve lives of people living with MS.
Hormones are human body messenger molecules that communicate between systems to help our bodies perform as they are designed. When thinking of ways to optimize hormones, a Functional Medicine practitioner often considers the endocrine axis termed Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Thyroid-Gonadal (HPATG). While this acronym and its associated terms may seem a bit intimidating at first, it’s important to understand how these seemingly separate systems rely on each other for optimal function. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands both are located in the brain and communicate with organ systems such as the adrenal glands, thyroid, and gonads (ovaries and testes) which stimulate release of other hormones such as thyroid hormone, cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone and estrogen among others. If one component of this complex system is imbalanced, it can lead to inequities in the others. In women, the balancing of hormones may provide an individual with a greatly improved quality of life.
Cardiometabolic disorders are conditions that affect the heart, vasculature system and metabolic function. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all conditions that can be improved using Functional Lifestyle Medicine. Functional medicine evaluates the patient’s medical history and their lifestyle choices to design a comprehensive program which improves vascular health and works towards healthy weight-management. Two examples of common conditions that Functional Medicine is well poised to serve are pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. These conditions arise when the hormone that removes blood sugar from the blood (insulin) is required in higher amounts to do the same job. Over time, insulin becomes less effective and blood sugar starts to accumulate in our blood vessels creating inflammation and potential complications. As insulin levels decrease to optimal levels, the body’s ability to manage a healthy weight becomes easier.
Fertility and optimizing one’s personal reproductive health is a deeply intimate experience for most prospective parents. Understanding how supporting egg and sperm quality can lead to improved pregnancy outcomes can be empowering, even for those who have had prior challenges with conception. Functional approaches to fertility looks at hormonal balance in relationship to metabolic function, diet, and stress in addition to more conventional labs of reproductive assessment. For those who have an existing relationship with a fertility specialist, our non-interventional approach is complementary and supportive of existing treatment for IVF, IUI, or other assisted-reproductive technologies. Functional medicine offers an personalized care plan for those just starting their pre-conception conversation through those with historical obstacles to achieving a healthy pregnancy.