How is Functional Medicine different from what MD’s provide?
Functional medicine is a science-based system and approach looking at the fundamental underlying causes of clinical symptoms. I am at looking for not what is wrong with this person, but why this person has an issue. Functional medicine should not be labeled as alternative medicine or medicine; it’s not either. It is system biology and how all kinds of different influences can impact a person’s health. When I understand the causes of the conditions versus just diagnosis of the disease itself, I can have expanded options on how to treat underlying imbalances and mechanisms that lead disease. Knock legs right from underneath the disease.
Are patients symptoms vital to you?
Yes. So many other practitioners are looking where the symptoms are coming from and what they can quickly do to treat those symptoms with medications and surgeries. I’m much more interested in what happened and what created that problem, to begin with. For many patients, this is when the light bulb comes on! They can appreciate the idea that I’m looking at them as an individual.
Is your approach based on the same ways in how medicine doctor diagnosis?
Yes, I incorporate that information. For 10+ years of experience working side by side with Internal medicine doctors within a medical group. Through this practice, I learned the importance of co-managing your care with your MD. I believe keeping an open dialogue with your primary care provider or your specialist is the best way to ensure you receive the treatment that best benefits you. Internists, pain management specialists, neurologists, Gastroenterology, and other types of MDs regularly refer their patients.
Is acupuncture part of your protocol with functional medicine?
Every case is different. Acupuncture can boost the response to functional medicine care. Acupuncture treatments many times save money for the patient with quicker results and more significant results. Not many know that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) boasts the oldest medical text in the world and many consider TCM the foundation of functional medicine.
What is meant by cause approach?
We are looking at the way the body works in systems versus focusing on diseases. We are looking at genetics, toxicology, nutrition, trauma, and using advanced lab testings of body functions, mechanisms, and balances between systems for the whole big picture. Then we can identify the root cause. Hence, this gives us a system biology map that we can use to work with.
Does this approach work on chronic conditions?
I work with patients in a very systematic way when they’ve got a chronic problem. We will unravel the root cause of that problem and then address those underlying causes. I am going to give them the roadmap why they have a health problem and devise a plan on how to address it. Our patients actively participate, look and feel better. Love it. Functional medicine is here and now.
About Acupuncturist Dr. Stefanie M. Bennett, LAc, Ph.D. – Holds both a master and one of the few in the area with a doctorate in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, plus two diplomats. She has completed additional training in functional medicine, fertility, herbal medicine, and applied clinical nutrition. She has been practicing in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach for over 13 years. Dr. Bennett also serves many people from Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Tustin and Orange County. She can be reached at 714-962-5031 and new patients are welcome.
Feel tired all the time? Your body may have difficulty meeting the demands of everyday stress because of adrenal fatigue, Adrenal fatigue often comes about because of too much stress from a busy lifestyle and too little sleep, but other factors can also be associated.
Do you have these signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Tired, even when you got a good night sleep
Stress headaches, especially in the afternoon
Frequent colds and flu, catching everything everyone else has
Allergies seasonal or random allergy attacks
Slow to get started in the morning
Craving sweets and coffee, tea or soda especially first thing in the morning or afternoon
Feeling lightheaded, shaky, or irritable between meals
Needing to eat to relieve fatigue
Difficulty sleeping, waking up at 3 or 4 a.m.
Dizziness or lightheadedness when moving from sitting to standing
Low blood pressure
Besides chronic stress and lack of sleep, these factors can lead to adrenal fatigue.
1. Too much sugar and processed carbohydrates. When we eat something sweet or very starchy our blood sugar shoots up, then crashes. The adrenal glands all called on to release stress hormone to raise the blood sugar level. When blood sugar levels swing up and down repeatedly, the adrenals get tired out. People with adrenal fatigue often have low blood sugar, or reactive hypoglycemia. Aim for a whole foods lower glycemic diet that does not spike your blood sugar, and also includes healthy fats, protein, and plenty of fiber.
2. Caffeine and other stimulants. Stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, cigarettes, and diet pills cause extra release of stress hormones and can fatigue the adrenal system.
3. Overtraining. Exercise is vital to good health, but over-exercising can cause inflammation and deplete the body, taxing the adrenal glands. If your workout performance is slipping, and you feel tired, you may be overdoing it.
4. Food intolerance. Eating foods that trigger an immune reaction taxes adrenal function. Many people have a food intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Dairy, eggs, soy, corn, and yeast can also cause inflammation and fatigue the adrenal glands. To find out which foods you are sensitive to you can try an elimination/provocation diet or a lab test.
5. Gut infections. Many people have overgrowths of yeast, fungus, and bacteria due to poor diets. These infections lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body and in the gut, which contribute to adrenal fatigue.
6. Unmanaged autoimmune disease. You may be surprised to learn that more people have autoimmune disease than cancer and heart disease combined. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys a part of the body, such as the thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism), the pancreas (Type I diabetes), or the nervous system (multiple sclerosis). An autoimmune reaction can also cause symptoms that are not yet identified as a disease because not enough tissue has been destroyed. Unmanaged autoimmunity keeps the immune system on red alert, and over time, this state fatigues the adrenals. Lab testing can screen for autoimmune reactions.
7. Brain inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body from poor diet, chronic stress, autoimmunity, and other problems can inflame the brain. Common symptoms of brain inflammation include brain fog, low brain endurance and slow mental speed. Ask my office about nutritional compounds and strategies that can calm brain inflammation.
As you can see, managing adrenal fatigue is about more than just taking adrenal supplements, although that may be helpful. Adrenal fatigue is always due to something else, and we have to find and address that “something” before adrenal fatigue can be properly addressed. By doing highly sensitive lab work, Bennett Functional Medicine program we can help restore function in many cases. Dr. Bennett along with Kalish Functional Medicine approach can help adrenals work better and turn you feel better.