Dysfunction of the intestinal microenvironment is the primary therapeutic application of the lifestyle medicine movement. While diet and lifestyle are foundational, certain rare supplements can also support treatment efforts.
Elroy Vojdani, MD | August 8, 2022
On May 13-14, 2022 hosted healthcare practitioners at Mastering the Implementation of Personalized Lifestyle Medicine: Advances in Clinical Functional Immunity. Here are the highlights.
Elizabeth Strong, Olivia Morrissey | May 23, 2022
Bone tissue is largely considered an inert mineral reservoir that provides a framework for locomotion and physical strength. However, if we drill down into the origins of bone cells, we find that the interconnected bone and immune cells' crosstalk plays a key role in not only bone mineral metabolism and bone remodeling but inflammatory signaling that can contribute to bone loss. In this article, we will review osteoimmunological interactions and nutraceutical options that are emerging as novel bone health options.
Frank Bodnar, DC, MS | May 9, 2022
How many patients walk through your door with a chronic disease diagnosis? If you answered, "almost all of them," then you see mitochondrial disease daily.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | April 25, 2022
A 33-year-old male presented with a 20-year history of chronic eczema, chronic athlete’s foot, mild asthma and moderate seasonal allergies.
Elroy Vojdani, MD | April 18, 2022
Lyme is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, according to the CDC, and it’s primarily caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | April 11, 2022
In functional integrative medicine, as we work to understand the root causes of chronic disease, we often encounter a subset of patients who do not seem to respond to typical lifestyle and nutritional support therapies.
Kareem Kandil, MD, ND | March 30, 2022
Inflammation is a buzzword in health care. Most chronic diseases that afflict the Western world—heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease—are now known to be inflammatory in nature.1
Elroy Vojdani, MD | March 15, 2022
When looking at chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, it is quite clear that environment is a key factor in the initiation of these diseases. Some studies suggest that environmental factors account for up to 70% of all autoimmune diseases.1
Elroy Vojdani, MD | March 14, 2022
Supporting the immune system with supplements often includes stimulatory herbs such as echinacea, andrographis, and elderberry. And these herbs are often coupled with high-dose foundational nutrients like...
Katrina Wilhelm, ND | February 14, 2022
Is there anything that turmeric, that golden fairy dust, can't do?! It is a pleiotropic, multifaceted botanical that does so much to reduce inflammation in the body. So far, research has emphasized one turmeric component: curcumin. This ingredient is often touted as a star phytonutrient, with more than 3,000 preclinical studies highlighting its benefits. With all these trials, curcumin has gained a credible reputation of mitigating inflammation and preventing diseases. But one of the biggest conundrums of curcumin is bioavailability, and some delivery systems, like liposomes and phytosomes, intentionally move curcumin past the gut to increase its bioavailability.
Mia Iyer, DC | December 16, 2021
When confronted with the need to build immune system strength, we instinctively gravitate toward pills, injections and powders. For functional medicine clinicians, this pharmaceutical imprinting is very often translated into non-pharmacological immunomodulating agents (e.g., herbs, mushrooms etc.). But this approach is still often reactionary, and overlooks the fundamental physiological relationship between the immune system and the biological functions with which it interfaces.
Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD | August 16, 2021
If we look back to late 2019 and early 2020, the medical community was beginning to understand autoimmunity differently, as a growing epidemic with deep roots in environmental triggers. Much of the tremendous rise of the wellness industry can be attributed to the increasing number of Americans finding themselves chronically ill secondary to a dysfunctional immune system. My own research to that time was dedicated to uncovering how that dysfunction is specifically triggered by factors in the environment.
Elroy Vojdani, MD | May 16, 2021
The musculoskeletal (MSK) system is the focus of attention in many of our practices, with pain and function being the focal point of attention. I would love to broaden this scope of thinking to include the concept of immune health and inflammation, and how they are influenced by the MSK system. Part of the reason I'm shining a light on this topic is that in recent decades, the focus has narrowed on just pain and function, but there is so much more to these intricately linked systems.
Adrian den Boer, ND, DC, IFMCP | November 16, 2020
Fifty million Americans suffer from at least one autoimmune condition. Comparatively, only 12 million suffer from cancer and 25 million from heart disease. This statistic cannot be explained with genetics, as genes don't change or evolve that quickly. That points heavily to the idea that the environment in which we exist has changed drastically, and it is forcing us to live incongruently with what epigenetically creates health.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | September 16, 2020
Most of us in medicine are familiar with the popularized version of Paracelsus' well-known claim that dose is what determines whether a substance is a medicine or a poison. And while there is an undeniable truth to the phrase, it's only part of the story. Besides dose, what your body does with a particular substance, how it gets metabolized, and the biologic effect those metabolites exert are all critical factors in determining if that substance is truly friend or foe.
Katrina Wilhelm, ND | May 16, 2020
In 2020, the medical discussion was dominated by the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, and rightfully so-this has been an unprecedented health challenge and crisis. With the first year behind us and vaccines now available, many want to put the pandemic in the past, and resume health care and life the way it was before. I've been guilty of this myself at times, but unfortunately, we are only just beginning our battle with COVID-19.
Elroy Vojdani, MD | May 16, 2019
Let's start by stating the obvious here: COVID-19 has brought forth a cocktail of health issues! Apart from the blatant immune system problems, we also have a rise in metabolic dysfunction-think "Quarantine 15." To add more, while most people are cocooned in their homes and spending a lot more time indoors, there is an increased amount of exposure to indoor antigenic materials. So, it should be no surprise when you see patients with histamine-associated symptoms outside of the usual spring season.
Mia Iyer, DC | February 16, 2019
A few weeks back I spoke at the Microbiome 2.0 Symposium, part of the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute's Mastering the Implementation of Personalized Lifestyle Medicine series. This was one of the first live events that I have attended since March of 2020! I was tasked with teaching on a variety of topics, but my first lecture focused on the gut-immune interface. As part of this lecture, I included a few slides designed to remind the clinician audience how the immune system interprets self from non-self, or more specifically, harmful vs. non-harmful encounters.
Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD | August 16, 2018
We all know what it feels like to feel under the weather: drained energy, lethargy, full-body aches, drowsiness, brain fog-sound familiar? They're the results of the immune system at work fighting off illness, and it goes without saying that the immune system demands a lot of energy to do its job. Mitochondria, the main metabolic engine, are abundant in immune cells to help meet those energy demands.
Mia Iyer, DC | December 16, 2016
Antioxidants and detoxification are more than just marketing buzzwords. With health care professionals talking more and more about the importance of detoxification, almost everyone understands that antioxidants play a crucial role in this process and in optimizing overall health. There is significant clinical data that indicates a good detoxification protocol is a must for individuals with chronic illnesses. This patient type in particular needs to reduce their toxic burden as a first step in their healing process.
Mia Iyer, DC | March 16, 2016
The second-most common human infection is one that people barely speak about. Urinary tract infections, also known as bladder infections, impact 10-20% of women at least once a year, and the typical treatment intervention is prescription antibiotics. Middle-aged women presenting with chronic conditions like autoimmunity, dysbiosis and hormone dysfunction are common patients in functional medicine, so taking antibiotics regularly could pose an issue for them. When optimizing microbiome health, immune tolerance and hormone production, it is crucial that bacteria are given the opportunity to thrive, and antibiotic use poses a threat to that opportunity. With that said, if urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections physicians see, and we are attempting to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use, what functional medicine approaches do we have?
Angela Lucterhand, DC | January 16, 2015
In the world of functional medicine, testing has come a long way. Not only do we have more types of tests that can be performed, but the analysis has evolved, too.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | March 16, 2014
It's no secret that so many Americans suffer from chronic disease, especially autoimmunity. We have done a great job making the connection to leaky gut; however, sometimes healing leaky gut can be a conundrum, and new evidence supports the idea of endotoxins playing a role in patients that seem to stall in their treatment.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | September 16, 2013
Fifty million Americans suffer from at least one autoimmune condition. Comparatively, 12 million suffer from cancer and 25 million from heart disease. This statistic cannot be explained with genetics, as genes don't change or evolve that quickly.
Angela Lucterhand, DC | November 16, 2012
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary-meaning no antibiotic was needed at all. With that, would it shock you to know that five out of six people are prescribed an antibiotic in outpatient care? Read more
Angela Lucterhand, DC | January 16, 2012
Dr. Alessio Fasano catapulted the understanding of GI involvement in immune diseases to center stage with his seminal research on zonulin and intestinal permeability. Notably, his 2008 Scientific American piece got the attention of almost every clinician I know. When his concepts were introduced at the Institute of Functional Medicine's Annual International Conference that year, we were collectively awestruck that a scientist finally, solidly, put on the map what we, as integrative and functional clinicians, have observed clinically for years. Read more
Kara Fitzgerald, ND | June 16, 2011
Kara Fitzgerald, ND | December 16, 2010
Newborns have an immature immune system and are vulnerable to infectious agents. The immune system begins to mature with appropriate interaction with antigens and is enhanced by the changing microflora of the gut throughout adolescence and adulthood. Of course, aging affects all the systems of the body, and the immune system is no exception. The changes in immune system function that result from aging have been well characterized and are known as immunosenescence. Read more
Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD | September 16, 2010