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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. 

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.

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 Birchenough 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.

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

OptimalSelf MD GI Track

Gut dysfunction is often at the root of compromised vitality. As the interface between your body and the food that nourishes you, it’s 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.

OptimalSelf MD Energy

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.

OptimalSelf MD Energy
OptimalSelf MD Hormones

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.

OptimalSelf MD Detox

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.

OptimalSelf MD Detox
OptimalSelf MD Immune

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.

OptimalSelf MD Cardiometabolic

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.

OptimalSelf MD Cardiometabolic