Dr. Katherine Birchenough was one of the first physicians in South Carolina to be certified in functional medicine. She is also an expert in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, certified in peptide therapy, and is board-certified in emergency medicine. Dr. Shawn Birchenough is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery and aesthetics. We are Greenville’s premier physician-run medical Wellness and Aesthetic center. 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 certified functional medicine doctor who works with men and women.
Functional medicine is a specialty that embraces uncertainty. It deals with the human condition in all its glory and shame, and sees you as who you are: a whole person, influenced by genetics, environment, and the pressures of life, taking all of that into consideration in the discovery and healing process. It is not simple, as it endeavors to understand you as the patient in all of your complexity, and seek root-cause resolution of what is creating distress in your life. It requires time, exploration, and creative therapy and requires freedom of thought and removal of pre-conceived bias.
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. 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
Spent years battling a chronic disease or vague, unexplained symptoms?
Tired of not getting any answers, and looking for relief?
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.
Fill out our Wellness Consultation Form and get on the road to better health!
Functional Medicine Can Help With:
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.