Functional Medicine

Electrodermal Testing: What It Can and Cannot Tell

By Cathy Creger Rosenbaum, PharmD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 9, No. 1. Spring, 2008

Based on the idea that organ system functions are reflected in galvanic currents on the skin surface, electrodermal testing has become a very popular "alternative" diagnostic technique. Available data suggest that there are electrical currents on the skin, and one study shows that ET can, indeed, detect internal problems. But data are scant, and there's no evidence this controversial technique can identify specific causes of internal problems, as ET practitioners often claim it can.

Hair Analysis, Antioxidant Testing: Popular with Patients, But Are They Clinically Valid?

By Cathy Creger Rosenbaum, PharmD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 8, No. 4. Winter, 2007

In their effort to get a grip on their health, many people are utilizing "alternative" diagnostic tests that claim to identify nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins, and disease risk factors. Some of these tests are backed good science, others are not, but even the legitimate ones may not be able to provide the type of guidance that patients are seeking. In Part One of this series, Cathy Creger Rosenbaum looks at hair analysis and antioxidant testing.

Is Acupuncture Useful in Treating Hypertension?

By John C. Longhurst, MD, PhD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 8, No. 4. Winter, 2007

By reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, acupuncture can be a valuable tool in treating mild-to-moderate hypertension. In some cases, it can obviate the need for antihypertensive drugs which often have a lot of side effects. Researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, are learning how acupuncture works at the neuronal level.

Inflammation, Autoimmune Reactions Underlie Many Common Thyroid Problems

By Janet Gulland | Staff Writer - Vol. 7, No. 3. Fall, 2006

Effective management of thyroid problems requires an approach that goes beyond simply manipulating thyroid hormones. Many thyroid problems are related to underlying inflammatory processes, environmental toxin exposure and dietary factors. A guide to assessing and treating thyroid disorders from a holistic viewpoint.

Functional Medicine: Nutrition's Info Revolution

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 3, No. 1. April, 2002

The core tenet of the emerging discipline of functional medicine is that nutrition is the major determinant of gene expression, and therefore of health and disease. Functional medicine pioneer Jeff Bland, PhD, explains how, in a sense, food is information that tells the genes what to do. Depending on the signals we send our genes, they can produce health and happiness or depression and disease.

Holistic Genetics: "Genovations" Brings Predictive Genomics to Primary Care Practice

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 3, No. 2. June, 2002

The Genovations series of tests, developed by Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories, allows primary care physicians to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms---small genetic changes in central metabolic processes---that can increase an individual's risk for many common disorders including osteoporosis heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. Information from the Genovations tests can help doctors develop nutritional interventions tailored to each person's genomic profile.

Whole Grains Mean a Whole Lot Less Diabetes

By Staff Writer - Vol. 7, No. 4. Winter, 2006

Daily consumption of magnesium-rich whole grains took a 30% bite out of the risk of diabetes among a cohort of more than 40,000 Black women, according to a recently published transatlantic study.

Basic Supplements for Reversing Metabolic Syndrome

By Staff Writer - Vol. 7, No. 4. Winter, 2006

Lipoic Acid, Green Tea Extract, and Fish Oils are among the cornerstone supplements for helping people improve their glucose metabolism and preventing diabetes.

Connexins: Optimizing Health by Improving Intercellular Communication

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 8, No. 1. Spring, 2007

Connexins are the molecules that connect cells together and regulate passage of biochemical signals through our tissues. Their degree of openness, and consequently, the level of intercellular information flow, is greatly affected by nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors-especially the relative acidity of one's diet. Neurophysiologist Darrell Tanelian, MD, PhD, has developed a comprehensive, user-friendly diet and lifestyle program aimed at improving health by improving connexin function at the cellular level.

When Doing the Right Thing Means Choosing the Lesser of a Few Evils

By Janet Brown - Vol. 8, No. 4. Winter, 2007

Greater eco-consciousness means making better choices about the materials we use. But sometimes, there are no clear-cut "good" substitutes for toxic materials, and the choice comes down to selecting the least impactful of available options. Case in point: compact fluorescent lightbulbs which save energy but contain mercury.