What’s New at Functional Medicine SF

Support Articles, Featured News

Save 20% on Our New Three Visit Follow-Up Bundle

We are now offering a new three visit follow-up bundle. You get three 45-minute follow-up visits with Dr. Daniel to be used within a six-month period and you will save 20% on the cost. Our patient’s who commit to following a regular schedule of follow-up visits, stay on track and move faster through their protocols. In short, they feel better faster. The three-visit bundle costs $900 ($1125 value), saving you $225. If you don’t complete the three visits within six months the unused credit you will be converted toward the regular single appointment rate of $375.

Important Insurance Information:

If you have an insurance plan that reimburses for out of network doctor visits, you have a better chance of being reimbursed if you schedule a virtual video visit instead of a phone call. Insurance rarely reimburses for phone calls.

A Great Deal on a Great Resource for Parents

When we find a resource we find helpful, we want to share it. Dr. Elisa Song, a holistic pediatrician, is currently offering her comprehensive video course, Pediatrician-Approved Natural Remedies for Your Child’s Everyday Problem, at a special discounted price of $97. The course is available at this price through March 11 and is a savings of $100.

In the 10-module course, Dr. Song discusses when and how to safely and effectively use natural remedies with sick children including acupressure, herbals, essential oils, healing foods and when to call the doctor. If you have kids, and you are interested in using natural remedies to treat them, this is a valuable resource for your toolbox. More information and course details are available at https://healthykidshappykids.com/everyday-holistic-pediatrics

What’s your GUT got to do with it?

by Jessica Marcus

If you’re “going” on a daily basis, you’re good, right? Not necessarily. Gut health extends far beyond your daily ritual and can mean the difference between feeling just okay versus truly feeling your best.

Our digestive tract does more than break down our foods to provide us with nutrients and energy – it is home to an entire ecosystem of microbes that outnumber the cells in our bodies.

We now know that the bacteria we house make our lives possible. Put bluntly, without bacteria, humans would not be alive. Bacteria synthesize vitamins like K and B12, breakdown and excrete toxins, regulate hormones, metabolize medications, regulate fat storage and produce healing components. In fact, over two-thirds of our immune system is in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Infants are given their mother’s microbial flora during vaginal childbirth and brought into the world with a customized veil of microbes to face their new environment. Breastfeeding and skin-on-skin contact also contribute to the passing of the mother’s microbial community. Babies born by cesarean section tend to have different dominating species.

As we grow and are exposed to different foods, medications, illnesses, and environments, our microbiome can undergo subtle and dramatic changes. And while many of us harbor similar bugs, research shows correlations between certain species strains and disease states, and more obvious issues can arise during a state of dysbiosis.

Gut dysbiosis is defined as an imbalance of microbes in the GI tract – either too many bad bacteria compared with the good or an overgrowth of other species like yeast or parasites. Dysbiosis has been linked with numerous symptoms and is likely a main cause of many of the chronic diseases we’re plagued with today, such as:

Acne
Allergies
Autoimmune conditions
Autism
Asthma
Certain cancers
Eczema
Irritable bowel disease (IBD); Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Cystic fibrosis
Mental disorders (depression, cognitive decline)
Obesity
Type II diabetes

Research continues to reveal the interconnectedness of our gut to the rest of our entire body – most notably, the brain. The majority of our neurotransmitters are made not in the brain but in the gut! In fact, 90% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel joyful, is made in our digestive tract. It’s no surprise scientists are now finding links between depression and gut dysbiosis.

When our GI tract is inflamed, it sends chemical messengers and inflammatory cytokines to the brain and body, which affects our mood, cognition, and overall wellbeing. This is why it’s so important to feed the gut what it needs and remove what it doesn’t.

The causes of dysbiosis are many and include poor diet, medications (NSAIDs like Tylenol, proton pump inhibitors, and others), toxins (like molds, heavy metals, food additives), inadequate sleep, lack of exercise and stress.

So what can you do? In integrative and functional nutrition, we talk about the “5R Protocol” for treating gut dysbiosis:
Remove the offending foods and other causes of dysbiosis
Replace nutrients and enzymes that may be lacking
Reinoculate with fermented foods and pre- and probiotics
Repair with targeted foods and supplements as necessary
Rebalance your lifestyle

At Functional Medicine SF, we’re focused not just on treating disease, but on creating health. We have numerous tools available to walk you through a personalized protocol and help you achieve your optimal state of health.

Probiotic supplements and fermented foods like kimchi, miso, and kefir are not hard to find, and you can even make your own fermented foods at home. Try this simple lacto-fermented sauerkraut recipe, which provides beneficial lactobacillus bacteria.


Homemade Sauerkraut (Fermented Cabbage)

Ingredients
1 head cabbage (2.5 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Equipment
1 2-quart mason jar
1 fermentation weight (smaller jar filled and sealed with clean pebbles or marbles or you can use an outside leaf of cabbage)
1 piece cheesecloth
1 rubber band

Clean the cabbage and slice into thin ribbons. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt and massage with your fingers for several minutes until enough liquid is released to cover the cabbage. Add contents of bowl to the mason jar. Add caraway seeds. If necessary, add water until cabbage is fully covered. Place fermentation weight on top so cabbage is fully submerged in liquid or tuck a cabbage leaf into the top of the jar. Cover entire jar opening with cheesecloth and secure with rubber band. Let it ferment about 2-3 weeks on the kitchen counter. It's done when it reaches your desired taste! Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

You can play with different combinations of vegetables and herbs for different flavors. If you are feeling adventurous give it a try with carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, fennel, beets, onion, dill, garlic, horseradish, or cilantro.  You can even add some apple, pear or other fruit. The possibilities are endless.

Jessica Marcus is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified health coach with a master’s in dietetics and over 10 years of experience working in clinical, academic and food industry nutrition. She enjoys researching and sharing the ways food and the principles of functional medicine can help us discover the best version of our selves.