The Wonderment of Our Essential Minerals

When Dr. Richard Lord and our team were authoring the textbook Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine (LEIFM) in 2008, a major focus of mine was on the Elements Chapter. As I drilled down into the literature around minerals, I became enamored with each of them and their unique roles. Since I’ve been blogging,…

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Introduction to Tongue Nutrient Diagnosis in Functional Medicine

“Red, raw tongue; red, raw gut.” —Jeghers, New England Journal of Medicine, 1942. In 1942 it was understood that what was happening in the gut was often reflected in the tongue. A red, irritated tongue was thought to mirror a red, irritated gut. This was seen in B-vitamin deficiencies, glossitis and ileitis. Simply correcting the B deficiency…

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The Mouth: A Mirror of Health or Disease

Cass Nelson-Dooley and I had a great time exploring the oral microbiome in our recent podcast. It got such a great response, I asked Cass to do a follow-up blog on the topic this month. I am convinced that as research emerges, we will be addressing the oral microbiome as carefully as we do the…

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Nutrition Physical Exam: Tongue & Nails Suggest Gut Health

Two of the most useful — and often overlooked — components of the nutrition physical exam are the tongue and fingernails. Together, abnormal findings can often be sourced to gut. In this blog, I’m presenting a case where tongue and nails were extremely useful in providing clear treatment direction. Next month, I’ll give some additional…

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The Rash That Wouldn’t Quit

Clinicians, if you read anything today, read this: A case of total body contact dermatitis of unknown etiology, hives and dermatographism. Ellen found my practice after listening to a podcast I did on allergic disease with Dr. Amy Meyers for her Autoimmune Summit. It’s at times like these that I’m glad I do outreach of…

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Potassium-The REAL Special K+

Did you know that LESS THAN 8% of the US population actually achieve adequate potassium intake? So outrageous. And on average, ALL ADULTS ingest a full 200% of our daily sodium requirement. We SHOULD be ingesting way more potassium than sodium, about three times as much. And we don’t. Not even close. We are the…

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Are You a Hospitable Host to Your Microbial Partners?

Are you enriching their lives with good, healthy food choices and lifestyle habits or are you angering your trillions of guests, pushing them towards causing disease? I wrote my thesis in medical school on stealth infections, where I concluded that health had much to do with how well we tended our microbial garden… I was…

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Age-Specific Phenotypic Expression of Food Allergies

We in functional medicine have long been aware that children can start out with a clearly identified food allergy. As the child ages, the primary allergic symptoms fade and some other clinically relevant presentation appears in its place. For example: we’ll see a classic milk allergy in infancy — often as milk colitis.

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SIBO and Chapped Lips: A Connection?

It’s winter. Chances are that if you live anywhere cold and dry, your lips have been chapped at least once this season. For most of us, we slather on the lip balm and all is well. But for some folks, the chapped lip experience is an entirely different animal: A relentless cycle of peeling and healing, peeling and healing that no amount of lip balm resolves. Lips are fissured and inflamed, making…

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The 2014 flu epidemic: Let’s do what works!

The flu is here. Very early in the season, it’s already at epidemic proportions, hitting those most vulnerable to its ravages — kids and the elderly — as it does each year. The virus mutated early, greatly limiting the efficacy potential of the flu vaccine. That said, the vaccine has had limited efficacy for years now. And we’ve known this. Influenza-like activity has been on a steady incline for the…

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Death, Taxes and … Presbyopia?

So here I am, comfortably into my 40s. In many ways, this is a grand time of life: satisfying career, happy home, a greater sense of well-being and contentment. But over the last couple of years, spectacles sit on the bridge of my nose more often than not, for any close-up activity. It started in my 30s: +1 “readers” when I was using the computer a lot. Not a big deal.

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