Dr. Katherine Birchenough was the fourth physician in South Carolina to be board-certified in functional medicine in 2014. She is also an expert in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, certified in peptide therapy, and has board certifications in emergency medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Shawn Birchenough is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery and aesthetics. At OptimalSelf MD, we offer functional medicine services for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the surrounding communities in South Carolina.
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Functional medicine seeks to restore balance in the body and remove roadblocks to achieving wellness. Nutrition, digestion and absorption, immune regulation, inflammation, detoxification, energy metabolism, hormone balance, and a calm mind are all important facets of health. Dr. Katherine is a board-certified functional medicine doctor who works with men and women.
HOW MUCH DOES FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE COST?
At OptimalSelf MD, we understand that you want to feel good about yourself, yet cost may be a primary consideration. We recommend that you schedule a consultation as a first step. Phone consultations are complimentary, and we charge a fee for an in-office consultation. As part of the consultation, we explain the price of your functional medicine therapies, and payment can be made by cash, check, and credit card. We also work with CareCredit® and Alphaeon® to offer our patients financing options.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Maybe you’ve spent years battling a chronic disease or vague, unexplained symptoms. Maybe you’re tired of not getting any answers, and you’re looking for relief. Dr. Katherine has a high rate of success with patients who are as committed to their customized plan as she is. Sometimes it’s not an easy road, but she will be there to empower and guide you along the way.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
By looking deep into the body’s complex network of systems, Dr. Katherine can identify patterns of dysfunction and return you to your personal best. She has seen many patients in the ER with serious symptoms not explained by conventional testing or diagnostic studies. Many patients may have felt unwell for years but have never been offered treatment because there was no diagnosis, or even worse, dismissed after being told it was psychosomatic or just part of the normal aging process. Dr. Katherine uses advanced diagnostic testing to identify the imbalances that may be at the root of your symptoms.
HOW IS A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE TREATMENT PLAN DEVELOPED?
You may be wondering how these individualized health plans are created. Dr. Katherine is dedicated to a thorough analysis of each patient, using comprehensive questionnaires, longer appointments, and laboratory testing to identify and verify where your problems lie. With this knowledge of your individual issues, she is able to personalize your treatment protocol and explain it in detail, so there is a true doctor-patient partnership.
“After 15 years as an emergency medicine physician, I realized the origins of illness lurk undetected by most patients and their physicians for years before recognizable symptoms occur. Many patients may feel unwell for years but have never been offered treatment because there was no ‘diagnosis.’ … I treat the person, not the diagnosis.”
—Dr. Katherine Birchenough
Gut dysfunction is often at the root of compromised vitality. As the interface between your body and the food that nourishes you, its function is of utmost importance in maintaining an optimal state of health. Analyzing digestive capability, intestinal permeability, and presence of unwelcome parasites or bacteria is often the first step to restoring your overall wellness.
Who doesn’t want more energy? Mitochondrial function is a hot topic these days. From concentration and focus to how well you age, the state of your cellular mitochondria is intimately involved. Investigation into genetic and epigenetic influences, environmental toxicity, and nutrient depletion is essential in determining the cause of mental and physical fatigue.
Most people just think of testosterone or estrogen, but did you know there are over 50 hormones made by the human body? All of them work in synchrony and must be in balance for your system to function optimally. Addressing hormone production and facilitating the action of hormones at the cellular level is the modern equivalent of hormone replacement therapy. As we age, hormone production decreases, but nutritional deficiencies as well as toxic exposures can interfere with hormone production and function even in a younger person. When given the right corrective factors, some hormone-related conditions like hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, low testosterone, and PCOS can be treated without hormone replacement. However, when hormone replacement is indicated, it needs to be done with care.
We live in an increasingly toxic world. Never has the impact of our environment been more important to our health. From the quality of our air, water, and food to exposure to chemicals, artificial light, constant noise, radiation, and dirty electricity, our body must defend itself from a daily onslaught of potential disease triggers. Cleaning up the environment both internally and externally is essential. The smarter way to detox is by increasing the body’s ability to fight oxidative stress while removing as many of the sources as possible. “Detoxification” involves much more than just a juice cleanse. It’s a lifestyle.
There’s no question that autoimmune disease is on the rise. Either you have it, or you know someone that does. Over 100 disease processes have been classified as autoimmune in nature. Immune dysregulation is an emerging subject of intense research, and we now know that genetics, chemicals, infectious agents, stress, hormones, drugs, diet, behavior, and more have all been cited as contributing factors. Chronic inflammation needs to be identified and addressed before an irreversible decline in health occurs.
It’s no longer about cholesterol, salt and fat content! There are safer and more effective early interventions to prevent and reverse heart disease and metabolic syndrome. By measuring advanced lipid assays and markers of oxidative stress, and finding and eliminating causes of inflammation and blood sugar dysregulation, we can take control of our own health destiny and avoid a lifetime of prescription medications and waiting rooms.
Can I Schedule a Consultation for Functional Medicine?
Dr. Katherine would love to speak with you about our functional medicine services. You can schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation with her or pay a fee for a consultation in our wellness center.
OptimalSelf MD is the first center in South Carolina to offer plastic surgery, aesthetics, and wellness for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the nearby areas of South Carolina. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your functional medicine treatment plan.