We strive to create individualized treatment plans for each of our patients as each person has a unique history and unique needs. Some of our services include:
There are well over 100 types of adjustment techniques used by chiropractors throughout the world. Typically, chiropractors will focus on and utilize 8 to 10 different approaches in their practice. We do that here at Panther Functional Medicine and Chiropractic.
The common goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or to enhance joint function, with the general goals of resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. Some approaches use some force (spinal manipulation), while others are more gentle (spinal mobilization).
The original chiropractic adjustment approach is generally referred to as spinal manipulation, and may also be called the diversified technique or the high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. New chiropractic adjustment approaches typically evolve as a variation from an existing technique and are often named after the chiropractor who developed it.
In our practice we adapt treatment plans to meet the specific needs of each patient. Typically, chiropractic treatment plans involve some forceful and less forceful spinal adjustment techniques during the same visit or over the course of treatment (6 to 20 visits for a typical patient).
Varying the type of adjustment to the patient helps us to better serve you and to serve a larger segment of the population, from newborns to persons well over 100.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is devoted to discovering the underlying causes of chronic medical conditions.
Viewing your body as an integrated system, functional medicine uses a systems-oriented approach to a patient-centered care.
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Allergy & Food Sensitivity
- Autoimmune Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Asthma
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Depression & Anxiety
- Eating Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- High Cholesterol
- Weight Gain
How is Functional Medicine Different from Conventional Medicine?
Unlike conventional medicine, Functional Medicine addresses the patient as a whole – not as an isolated set of systems and symptoms. Functional Medicine is not satisfied with treating symptoms only; treatment is focused on finding the root cause of the disease process to promote healing and improved health.
Functional Medicine looks at both external (environmental) and internal (lifestyle) factors to determine the best course of patient care.
Natural Thyroid Management
How do Functional Medicine Doctors Manage Hypothyroidism
Of the 20 million Americans who have thyroid disease, most have hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally.
More common in women than men, hypothyroidism can have a number of genetic, nutritional, and immune-related underlying causes and contributing factors.
Functional medicine doctors have effective approaches for the treatment of hypothyroidism based on rigorous training in therapeutic nutrition and botanical medicine, and an emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of disease.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make hormones which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body make energy, metabolize, regulate temperature, and keeps the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. When the body isn’t making enough thyroid hormone, symptoms can include fatigue, weight gain, hair thinning, dry skin, and depression.
Experts believe that between 40 and 60 percent of people with thyroid disease do not know they have it.
Low thyroid hormone can also cause more serious symptoms like difficulty sleeping, changes in menstruation, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Because symptoms of hypothyroidism can resemble those of other diseases and vary widely from person to person, patients may not recognize them as a problem warranting exploration or treatment. Experts believe that between 40 and 60 percent of people with thyroid disease do not know they have it.
Typically, blood tests are used in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Three measurements are often considered: free thyroxine (T4) and free triiodothyronine (T3), both produced by the thyroid itself, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, also called thyrotropin), produced by the pituitary gland to regulate the thyroid. While many doctors follow the current TSH reference ranges for diagnosis (0.4 to 5.0mU/L), there is substantial controversy about what is diagnosable and treatable as hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hypothyroidism (when blood levels of free T3 and free T4 are normal, but the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone is high).
A blood test measuring thyroid antibodies, anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) is used to confirm or rule out autoimmune thyroid disease causing hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism: Underlying Causes
Functional medicine doctors treat hypothyroidism from the root of the problem. There are two main types of hypothyroidism, with numerous contributing factors:
Autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. This is a form of thyroid inflammation caused by the patient’s own immune system. Hashimoto’s is five to eight times more common in women than men. Elevated levels of anti-TPO antibodies are found in approximately five percent of adults and 15 percent of older women. Individuals with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis have a higher prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease.
Central or pituitary hypothyroidism, where the thyroid just isn’t making enough hormone, is often influenced by environmental and nutritional factors including gastrointestinal system inflammation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies or imbalances, high levels of cortisol (due to prolonged stress or oral steroid use), and/or elevated estrogen. Surgery on the thyroid gland (to remove a goiter or nodule) and/or radioactive iodine treatment (to treat a thyroid nodule, hyperactive thyroid, throat cancer, and cancer of nearby sites) can also cause hypothyroidism.
The current conventional medical treatment for hypothyroidism is daily thyroid hormone supplementation with synthetic levothyroxine (T4), liothyronine (T3), or natural desiccated thyroid (T4 and T3) to correct low levels. While this treatment can be very effective for some patients, for others with Hashimoto’s taking thyroid hormone alone does not fully address the underlying cause of dysfunction. For some, the medication can create a yo-yo-ing of symptoms while trying to find the correct dosage. Other individuals don’t tolerate or absorb thyroid hormone well.
Functional medicine doctors are trained in the pharmacological treatments commonly prescribed by conventionally trained MDs, and in drug supplement interactions. We will often work closely with your prescribing endocrinologist. Functional medicine doctors individualize hypothyroid treatment, often combining diet, supplementation and botanical medicine. We look at the body as a whole.
If autoimmune disease is the main cause of thyroid dysfunction, We work to help control the inflammation and eliminate autoimmune triggers. Working to reduce thyroid antibodies, if possible, is the main goal of treatment. If the thyroid is just not producing enough thyroid hormone, functional medicine doctors address lifestyle and environmental factors that may be contributing to low production. Although every hypothyroid treatment is carefully individualized, some common natural therapies for hypothyroidism include:
Diet and Microbiome
Many nutritional factors play a role in optimizing thyroid function, and the right diet is important to help prevent and manage conditions that can accompany thyroid disease. When it comes to Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions, research shows that one important factor in autoimmune response is chronic, persistent microbiome imbalance and inflammation in the gut.
Functional medicine doctors address microbiome dysfunction with nutritional therapies such as probiotics, cultured foods, and diets lower in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates, which help to decrease inflammation and balance immunity. Food allergy panels and/or an elimination diet can help identify food triggers to the autoimmune response for Hashimoto’s. Those with an autoimmune thyroid disorder should also be tested for celiac disease to determine if gluten elimination is needed.
Functional medicine doctors test for common nutrient deficiencies associated with hypothyroidism, and supplement as needed.
Vitamin B-12 is very important for thyroid production. It helps improve cellular response to thyroid hormone and boosts energy production in cells to help with fatigue and other symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
Selenium supports efficient thyroid synthesis and metabolism and has been found in studies to reduce thyroid antibody levels in patients with Hashimoto’s.
Zinc is beneficial in improving thyroid function and hormone levels and has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on thyroid function in overweight females.
There are several herbs that have been shown to benefit thyroid function, including adaptogens like Ashwagandha, which was shown to improve thyroid function for subclinical hypothyroid patients. Adaptogens are herbs that work on several body functions at once to help balance out dysfunction and regulate metabolic processes. They are used with caution, however, in those with autoimmune thyroid disease as some botanicals can stimulate the immune system response. Other herbs such as gum guggal can be used in all forms of hypothyroidism as they help to convert the inactive form of T4 to the more active form of T3. Any herbal treatment should be approved by a professional trained in herbal medicine to reduce side effects, prevent unwanted drug/herb interactions, and maximize treatment efficacy.
Regulation of thyroid function can be tricky and requires a whole-person approach. Functional medicine doctors lead with natural therapies that address underlying causes and support the body to restore healthy function.
9 Signs you may have Leaky Gut or SIBO
Seasonal allergies. Brain fog. Skin problems. Hormone imbalances. Digestive issues. Mood swings. Did you know the true source of all of these could be your gut? That’s because the gut truly is the gateway to health. It’s where nearly 80% of your immune system lives and where up to 95% of your serotonin (the primary neurotransmitter responsible for your mood) is produced. If your gut is healthy, chances are that you are in good health.
What is Leaky Gut?
Think of your gut as a drawbridge. Your gut is naturally semi-permeable to let teeny-tiny boats (micronutrients) pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream. It’s how you absorb your food. Certain external factors, including food, infections, toxins, and stress, can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal wall, leaving the drawbridge open. Once this happens, you have a leaky gut. When your gut is leaky, much larger boats that were never meant to get through (toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles) can escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them.
The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs you have a leaky gut, which are listed below.
9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Food allergies or food intolerances
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, ADD, or ADHD
- Mood imbalances such as depression and anxiety
- Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
- Hormonal imbalances such as irregular periods, PMS, or PCOS
- Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
What Causes Leaky Gut?
The main culprits are foods, infections, toxins, and stress. Gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Gluten causes the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal lining. Other inflammatory foods (such as dairy) or toxic foods (such as sugar and excessive alcohol) are suspect as well. The most common infectious causes are candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Toxins come in the form of medications including NSAIDS (Motrin and Advil), steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs, as well as environmental toxins including mercury, pesticides, and BPA from plastics. Stress can also contribute to a leaky gut.
The Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Connection
When your gut is leaky and more and more particles are able to escape into your bloodstream, your immune system reacts by sending out wave after wave of inflammation to attack the foreign invaders. This state of high alert causes your immune system to become overstressed and fire less accurately, sometimes leading your own tissues to get caught in the crosshairs. Eventually, this will develop into full-blown autoimmunity if your gut is not repaired.
In addition, your immune system starts making antibodies against the substances that have escaped into your bloodstream. Many of these foreign invaders—gluten and dairy in particular—look very similar to your own body’s cells, causing your immune system to get confused and accidentally attack your tissues. This process of mistaken identity is called molecular mimicry. It’s another way that leaky gut can trigger autoimmune disease.
We know from the research of Dr. Alessio Fasano that leaky gut is a necessary precondition for developing an autoimmune disease.1 And, once you have an autoimmune disease, leaving your leaky gut untreated can cause your condition to progress. This places you at higher risk of developing another autoimmune disease.
How Do You Repair a Leaky Gut?
The very first place everyone should begin is by following the 4R approach:
- Remove. Remove all inflammatory foods that can damage your gut such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs, as well as toxic foods, including sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. You’ll also want to eliminate any gut infections you have, whether caused by Candida overgrowth, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), or parasites.
- Replace. Replace the bad with the good. Adding digestive enzymes to your regimen will help support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as assist your body’s intestinal repair and inflammation responses.
- Reinoculate. Restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut with high-quality, high-potency probiotics to reestablish a healthy microbiome. I recommend 100 billion CFUs (colony forming units) while dealing with a leaky gut, and 30 billion CFUs as a maintenance dose.
- Repair. Provide your gut with the essential nutrients it needs to repair itself. My most comprehensive weapon against leaky gut is Leaky Gut Revive® powder, which contains powerful gut-repairing ingredients l-glutamine, aloe, licorice, arabinogalactan, slippery elm, and marshmallow root. With these ingredients, Leaky Gut Revive® nourishes and soothes your gut cells, restores your gut’s natural mucosal lining, and maximizes gut-mending fatty acid production. Another one of my favorite supplements is collagen which is rich in amino acids that quite literally, “seal the leaks” or perforations in your gut by repairing damaged cells and building new tissue.
Repairing your gut is the first step in restoring your health. By overcoming leaky gut, you can reverse your symptoms, reduce your risk for a number of chronic illnesses, and start living your best life!
Chronic Lyme Disease Manifests Many Ways
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Brain fog?
- Chronic fatigue?
- Digestive issues?
- Joint and muscle pains?
- Your doctor does not acknowledge your symptoms or concerns, or tells you it’s all in your head?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chrons Disease
- Tinitis or balance issues
More importantly, do you deep down inside know you have Lyme but nobody listens?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we may be able to help.
We look at what Lyme has done with your body as well as the other conditions that Lyme may have already caused in your body.
Sadly, there are millions of people that have Lyme disease that are being told that they either don’t have Lyme, are misdiagnosed with another disease, or that it is all in their head.
Call us for a pre-assessment and see if you are a candidate for Dr. Marra’s Lyme protocol.
Allergy Relief with the LZR7 Protocol
One of the most important functions of LZR7 is to strengthen your immune system. It does this based on principles of acupuncture, a procedure proven to regulate functions of the human body. In addition to its known ability to aleviate pain and help with infertility, acupuncture also delivers its efficacy through the innate immune system. The results of acupressure, the modality used in LZR7, has been clinically demonstrated at our office to accomplish the same thing.
As it turns out, most people have another type of food allergy, called a delayed-type sensitivity. That means the reaction to the food may not appear until later — sometimes 72 hours (three full days) after you have eaten the offending food. That makes it nearly impossible to determine the connection between the symptom and a food. Most of us are familiar with common allergens such as pollen, ragweed, dust, mold, some foods (such as dairy or wheat), or certain animals (such as a cat or dog). The symptoms we commonly think of as allergic reactions are sneezing, hives or a runny nose. In severe cases, an allergic reaction can be an asthma attack or a bout of gas, including cramping and diarrhea.
Do you experience any of these:
- Frequent abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation?
- Acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis, or Crohn`s disease?
- Joint pain, muscle aches, fibromyalgia or chronic, relentless fatigue?
- Asthma, ezcema, psoriasis, unknown rashes or limb swelling?
- Unexplained and uncontrollable fatigue after meals?
- Brain fog, forgetfulness, lack of focus, short attention span, ADD or ADHD?
- Headaches or irregular heart beats?
- Frequent colds, flus and infections?
All of these — and more — can be symptoms of unrecognized and untreated food or environmental allergies and a weakened immune system. Allergy relief at our office combines the techniques of Dr. Devi Nambudripad, Dr. Ellen Cutler, DC, MD and Dr. Carolyn Jaffe with our own unique “secret sauce”. Our allergy relief protocol is called M-LZR7. Dr. Danielle Marra has one of the best known and most successful natural allergy relief clinic`s in the U.S.
In fact, we`ve had patients from several states come to our clinic to go through this program.
How can LZR7 help my allergy symptoms?
The allergy treatment combines the best of the three medical sciences that most effectively evaluate and treat the energetic systems in the body: kinesiology, homeopathy and acupuncture. Kinesiology testing is used via computer biofeedback to determine which allergen you are sensitive to. For the best results, it is essential to eliminate the allergic response to allergens in a specific order. All M-LZR7 patients first complete the three treatments: 1) rebalance blood/organs; 2) phenolics; and 3) address the food particles – fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sugars. We refer to the first three treatments as the Foundation Treatments because they are important to complete before addressing specific allergens. When the Foundation Treatments are completed first, we have found that fewer total treatments are required (12 to 15 instead of 100s). In addition, after the first three treatments, it is possible to neutralize several allergens at one time during a single office visit.
What Does the Treatment Involve ?
While you are in contact with the allergen, a series of acupuncture points along the spinal are activated to open the energy channels connected to the central nervous system. A series of specific acupuncture points on the arms and legs are “activated” with a painless cold laser to open all the meridians flowing through the body. You will be asked to rest quietly sitting in a chair holding the allergen for approx 15 minutes as part of the treatment.
After your treatment you will be asked to maintain a strict avoidance of that allergen for 24 hours. In addition, you will be told to avoid all food and beverages for 3 hours after the treatment. Be sure to eat prior to each appointment.
The actual treatment is painless and seems simple. However, it is EXTREMELY powerful and effective. We are causing changes that will affect your entire physiology. Side effects may include headache, sweating, nausea, emotional releases, etc. However, these reactions are very uncommon.
How Long Will the Treatment Last?
Historically, it is reported that nearly 86% of our patients who complete the full program of 12-20 treatments are entirely relieved of all allergy-related problems. These are better odds than any other treatment available in medicine. Dr. Marra’s own patient survey data has indicated that 92% of respondents found significant to moderate health improvements. We’re very proud of our results and the health that has returned to our patients.
After the completion of the LZR7 program, we strongly encourage an annual or semi-annual checkup, referred to as a “box check.” A Box Check serves two purposes: 1) to keep your acupuncture systems “clear” of allergens and symptoms; 2) to be sure no new allergens are starting to accumulate in your energy systems and 3) locks in the time and finanical committment you have made.
Can LZR7 Help Me?
While no treatment works 100% of the time for 100% of patients, LZR7 has been very successful.
Bioflex Cold Laser System
These are just some of the conditions we have seen significant improvement with:
- Radicular pain from disc herniations
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Neuroma pain in feet
- Hairline fracture in foot
- Arthritis in cervicals
- Sprained ankle (healed with 2 treatments)
- Migraine headaches
- Chronic ankle inflexibilty due to old injures
- Cervicogenic headaches
- DJD knees
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Torn medial meniscus
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Low Intensity Laser Therapy improves and cures multiple pathologies in the shortest possible period of time while achieving the following goals:
- Absense of Pain.
- Eliminate the need for drugs.
- Restoration of mobility. (normal range of motion)
- Improve quality of life. (activity levels, sleep, etc.)
- Reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) is the use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity laser diode (250 miliwatts or less) or an array of high intensity Super Luminous Diodes (providing optical power in the 1000-2000 miliwatt range) to treat musculoskeletal injuries, chronic and degenerative conditions. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function and enhancement of the body’s healing processes. There is no discomfort while receiving the Bioflex Therapy. You will be fully clothed with the exception of the part of the body we are treating, seated comfortably or lying down. Many patients find their sessions relaxing enough to nap.
Treatments are usually scheduled 2-3 times a week or more frequently in acute cases, at least initially. Subsequent treatments are scheduled in accordance with the patient’s status. With regard to the number of treatment sessions, a minimum of 10-15 treatments is recommended. It is important to be aware that before treatment is initiated that the exact number of treatments cannot be predicted. In most cases we expect to see some change in symptomology after 3-5 sessions. There are however exceptions to this rule. Acute injuries generally respond more rapidly than chronic problems and each individual’s tissue response varies. Please do not forget that our objective is to minimize the length of treatment and the number of visits. However, on occasion even our best efforts require multiple treatments, patience and time.
Low Intensity Laser Therapy improves and cures multiple pathologies in the shortest possible period of time while achieving the following goals:
- Reduction of Pain.
- Reducing the need for drugs.
- Improved mobility. (normal range of motion)
- Improve quality of life. (activity levels, sleep, etc.)
- Reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Unfortunately all the major insurance companies have chosen to exclude Low Level Laser as a covered treatment at this time.
They are a number of years behind in reviewing research and earlier research was not designed to administer sufficient dosage for a biological effect. More recent research and clinical surveys (see Meditechs Clinical Analysis) has confirmed that when sufficient dosage parameters are used Laser Therapy promotes cell regeneration and speeds up healing.
We have purposely kept our fees below typical laser therapy fees in order to assist you in affording treatment. We also offer Care Credit plans. www.carecredit.com
The Journey: Star Wars is Here!
In November 2011 I followed my gut and traveled to Toronto, Canada to check out what appeared from a distance to be very promising. There, Dr Fred Kahn a trained Vascular Surgeon has spent the last 15+ years doing research, developing equipment and treating, by now, tens of thousands of patients with Low Intensity Laser therapy.
Dr Kahn, by combining a pretreatment of superluminous diodes with cold laser has substantially increased the absorbtion of photons in cells and therefore the healing potential of the laser. At the intercellular level the light from the diodes and laser is transformed into biochemical energy the body can utilize. Cells use this energy to repair and regenerate themselves, enhancing the body’s natural healing process. This is most helpful in chronic conditions where the affected area has been deprived of the resources it needs to heal by local congestion.
At our training we were impressed by everyone we met at Meditech. Unlike other companies who may aggressively market inferior equipment with insufficient follow up support, Dr Kahn has been more interested in research and developing effective protocols and he has attracted an equally dedicated team. As a result, the use of his equipment has grown organically from the base of operation out. His two Toronto clinics now see 800 patient visits a week and there are 40 some clinics using the Bioflex System in Ontario Province. Word of his work had just recently come to my attention here in the States.
In my years of practice I had not seen the kind of reversals of chronic degenerative musculoskeletal conditions that Dr Kahn’s protocols were acheiving. I was hooked but still nervous until we brought the system home and started treating. We didn’t have to wait long to see for ourselves.
One of the first clients we treated was a woman who has had a diabetic leg ulcer for months without healing. She knew that the last ulcer she had took over a year to completely heal. Within 12 treatments with the BioFlex system she had achieved 75% healing of the wound. She was delighted as well to find that these treatments are non-invasive and comfortable.
Another patient in her 50’s with chronic degenerative arthritis in her knee as well as 7 knee surgeries has reported after 10 treatments her pain level has decreased to almost 0/10 and she has increased ROM. She now has full range of motion and no pain for the first time in many years!
We have continued to add to our list of successes, at times with patients who had given up on the medical system. Sports injuries respond so quickly we are currently in the process of making contact with local school coaches and gyms to spread the word and are offering convenient treatment times for athletes. For more information call 724-387-1014 or click on www.bioflexlaser.com. This will bring you to the Meditech website’s most informative page.
These days I can’t help but jokingly tell my patients that Star Wars is here, seeing the similarities between their futuristic instruments for healing and the Bioflex laser system.What Conditions are Lasers Helpful with?
At Panther Functional Medicine and Chiropractic we recognize the importance of getting to the root of our patients problems. It’s not enough to just treat symptoms. We treat the root of the issue.
It’s incredibly important for us to use advanced lab testing to help uncover the root of your issue. Whether it be a digestive issue, or a chronic pain, our advanced lab testing helps us identify what’s going on and guides our treatment.
Here are the tests we conduct on a regular basis:
- Heavy Metals Toxicity
- Serum IgG Food Allergy Panel
- Organic Acids Urine Test
- Saliva Hormone Panel
- Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology
- Comprehensive Blood Chemistry Panel