Functional Medicine: How To Create A Healthy Life

One of my newest personal training clients, Dr. Leila, has started an amazing functional medicine practice here in Rochester, NY.  I am happy to help Dr. Leila in her personal pursuit of achieving her fitness goals, while I learn more about the anatomy and physiology of the body from her.


What is  Functional Medicine, and what types of medical issues can be treated in this practice?   Functional medicine addresses underlying  causes to diseases.  Medical doctors that practice functional medicine “shift from traditional  western medicine practice to a  more patient -centered approach”, looking at the entire picture of the patient.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar about the effects of stress on the body, from three functional medicine physicians. The women presenters at ‘Reversing The Effects’ seminar were Dr. Leila Kirdani, on a discussion about stress and its effects, Dr. Alexa Schneider on the topic of Thyroid problems, and Dr. Zendi Moldenhauer on the topic of auto immunity.

At this special event, I was very interested in two of the categories, stress and auto immunity, mainly because I could relate personally to them.  However, I learned many interesting facts about our physiology during this seminar.  I learned that stress effects our adrenal gland, the adrenal gland produces a hormone called cortisol, which then effects our hormone production.  Think of the adrenal gland,  cortisol and other hormone production like a chain with links, each link ties another link together, creating a chain.

Another important discussion was about environmental toxins. Toxins are a large concern for our health problems, for example toxins such as pesticides.  Pesticides are sprayed onto our foods that effect our hormone development, and possibly causing negative medical symptoms related to the Thyroid gland or igniting autoimmune diseases.

I was shocked to learn the connection of my diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome II, was triggered  by my ulcerative colitis, and that that was directly related to the amount of stress I was experiencing in my life.  As explained in the above paragraph, it is the ‘chain effect’, one health issue connecting to another.

I feel that Dr. Leila and her practicing physicians investigate and connect to their patients’ which gives them hope, especially those who have been undiagnosed. I am also excited to learn from these knowledgeable and experienced women/physicians in the future.

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