SIBO – How to Avoid the Recovery Trap and Unlock Healing

Digestive complaints are common and can significantly impact quality of life. Not only that but they can also often be dismissed by conventional medical thinking or swept into the bucket of irritable bowel syndrome without much relief offered. In functional medicine, restoring gut health and balance is right at the core of what we do.…

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Harnessing the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis to Improve the Stress Response

New understandings of the intricate connections between gut and brain are revolutionizing medicine’s approach to mood, brain function and digestion, giving our “gut-wrenching experiences” or our “gut-feelings” a lot more meaning than they already have. The emerging evidence in this area is providing new tools to influence both gut and brain health.

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BPA Exposure During a Pandemic

According to a study released just last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Network Open), having high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in the body is associated with a 49% increased risk of death within 10 years.

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Short-Chain Fatty Acids: Strengthen the Gut-Brain Health Connection with Butyrate

All SCFAs have wide-ranging therapeutic benefits, but in this article we’ll focus on butyrate as a therapeutic agent for gut and brain health. Butyrate is the food for the colonocytes, the thin layer of cells that comprises the lining of the large intestine. Within the intestinal environment, it protects and supports the mucosa, gut motility, and the commensal bacteria of the colon. Although butyrate is largely present in the gut, it can also have effects on the brain via the gut-brain axis, as well as by lowering inflammation, stabilizing DNA structure, and sequestering harmful metabolic by-products like ammonia.

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Trauma, Biological Embedding, and the Prevention of PTSD

Living in Sandy Hook, practicing medicine in Sandy Hook, my life – and the lives of all of us here – continue to be influenced by the 12/14/12 mass shooting. The day it happened, despite not losing a child in the tragedy, I was gutted, locked in grief. I also remember thinking that it couldn’t…

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Acne, the Skin Microbiome and Salicylic Acid Treatment

There has been a lot of published research lately around the role of our skin’s microbiome on overall immune health as well as the impact bacterial dysbiosis has on different diseases. The bacteria Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) — one of the most abundant strains of bacteria in most people’s facial microbiome — has long been associated with acne lesions. But, how does acne occur and how does our microbiome impact it?

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The Journey to “Evidence-Based” for Functional Labs

In the Functional Medicine space, we all desire to be described under the banner of “Evidence-Based.” What does that mean, and how do we get there? In this article I will attempt to address the laboratory component of this question from the perspective of a company in the middle of this ongoing journey. The value of self-critique and continual self-examination: There is a pattern I have witnessed in the Functional Medicine Lab industry that needs to be challenged from within. We develop tests, leverage them as much as we can, and then wait for competitors or critics to raise objections or questions. If those objections never come, we may be tempted to push forward without continuing to pursue both analytical and clinical validation. Continuous self-critique is critical!

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Beyond Breath Testing: Using the GI-MAP to Uncover the Other Players in SIBO

SIBO is on the top of everyone’s mind these days. In this sponsored blog by Dr. Amy Rolfsen, ND at Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory, we review why SIBO breath testing by itself just isn’t enough. To design an effective treatment protocol the first time, we need the whole picture of gut health, including digestion, immunity, commensals, pathogens, opportunists, and more. There are many useful scientific tidbits in this well-referenced blog, and I hope you read, comment, and share! Enjoy!

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Navigating an Elimination Diet: Creative Solutions to Common Challenges

Callout to clinicians:  Yes, we still prescribe the tried-and-true elimination diet for many people, although we’re aware that increased hypersensitivity can occur in a small subset of individuals. Read on to see how we’re identifying and customizing an elimination plan for these vulnerable individuals. – DrKF Have you ever noticed that you feel bloated after…

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Iodine Deficiency, Breast Health, and Hormone Balance

Iodine was discovered in 1811 by French chemist Bernard Courtois while processing ingredients for gunpowder. In extracting sodium salts from seaweed by treating it with sulfuric acid, he observed a purple vapor rising from the seaweed. This substance was eventually named iodine, from the Greek word for the color violet, ioeides. Iodine is an essential trace element necessary for the production of all hormones in the body and proper function in the immune system.[2] It plays a vital role in several aspects of health, including:

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Why We Need to Evolve the Evidence Base for Personalized Nutrition and Functional Medicine

I deeply appreciate this important topic brought to us by Dr. Michelle Barrow as she answers questions put to her by our Nutrition Programs Director, Romilly Hodges. This exchange was prompted by Dr. Barrow’s recent peer-reviewed publication – Transforming Personalized Nutrition Practice – a worthwhile read which came across Romilly’s desk earlier this year. After all, personalized nutrition is a core component of the Functional Medicine toolkit. As a profession (of both functional medicine and personalized nutrition practitioners), we need take steps to bridge the gap between currently-accepted evidence models and what is actually needed to support our practice. We need to ask the hard questions; and take the steps to build a better model. It’s something I have proposed before, and I am absolutely delighted to continue to champion. – DrKF

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Uterine Fibroids: Mechanisms, Treatment Challenges and the Power of Embracing a Functional Approach

Uterine fibroids are a huge, underappreciated issue. They are the most common gynecological disorder, affecting nearly half of women younger than 40 years old, and far more (~80%) for those older. Frankly, I don’t think we are doing enough to help these patients. Fibroids are the leading indication for hysterectomy in the US, accounting for 39% of all hysterectomies each year, and while some are asymptomatic, symptoms include heavy and prolonged periods, difficulty with intercourse, bowel dysfunction, non-cyclic pelvic pain, low back pain, urinary frequency and urgency, and constipation. Because not all fibroids cause heavy bleeding, their impact can be missed, think: refractory constipation or incontinence. Conventional treatments include pharmacotherapy, surgical interventions, and uterine artery embolization, however, these treatments leave much to be desired. Oral contraceptives are used to manage bleeding, and even after myomectomy, fibroids often recur and 10% of women will undergo hysterectomy within 5 – 10 years.

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Navigating Obesity in Immune Dysfunction

Everyone’s awareness about comorbidities, especially overweight and obesity, is heightened due to COVID-19. And in two recent WebMD polls, up to 47% of women and 55% of men report gaining weight during the lockdown – no surprise there – but this may imply patients may be more interested in achieving weight loss goals as part of their overall health care than in previous times. Except we know conventional weight loss programs that lead to a calorie deficit are woefully inadequate (even counterproductive), leading to poor resistance to infection and malnutrition, as Corey Schuler from Integrative Therapeutics explains in this blog below. Read on to learn about the immunometabolic changes brought about in obesity, how to counter them, and I for one, am super grateful Corey relays this encouraging fact: losing just 5% of body mass leads to significant benefits.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Using Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy as a Part of a FxMed Approach to Treatment

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition affecting up to 22 million Americans and close to 1 billion people worldwide.

This condition can have serious impacts on overall health and has been shown to be a contributing factor to:

heart disease
diabetes
stroke
cognitive decline
weight gain
daytime fatigue
anxiety
depression
chronic pain
teeth grinding
and chronic headaches

There are a variety of treatment options available to manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea including Positive Airway Pressure devices (the most common being CPAP), dental mandibular advancement appliances, and various surgeries, but there are also functional treatment approaches that can target the underlying causes of the disease.  

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Premier Sponsors
I am eternally grateful to our sponsors who, by advertising with us, enable me and my team to devote energy and time to writing and publication. All the companies who sponsor us are companies that I trust for myself and my patients and use regularly in my clinical practice. Please check out their websites! – Dr. KF

Biocidin
Doctor’s Data
Dutch Test
Biotics Research Corporation
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Real Mushrooms (NAMMEX)
Metabolic Maintenance
Nutridyn
Integrative Therapeutics
Rupa Health