Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect as many as three million Americans, most of whom are diagnosed before age 35. These chronic, life-long conditions can be treated but not cured, so as a result IBD can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life and may have a high financial load. Up until now, traditional medicine has taken a linear view of treatment options by focusing only on addressing and commonly suppressing symptoms, ignoring the impact of the whole person; their mind, body or lifestyle, causing many patients continuing the struggle.
In contrast, the Functional Medicine approach to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) is the most healing road to optimal health. It focuses on addressing the root cause of the imbalance that is generating the symptoms. To do this, functional medicine doctors rely on many tools and methods, including but not limited to: food plan and balanced nutrition, lifestyle modifications, acupuncture, homeopathy and mindfulness therapy.
Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, urgency, and painful cramping—these are just some of the many difficult symptoms that come along with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can become debilitating if left untreated, but an integrated functional medical approach can help restore the natural balance to a patient’s digestive system. The digestive system is one of the most important and sensitive biological systems in the body, critical to overall health and well-being. Also, we now know that the immune system is very reactive to the environment, so when we look at Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, there is a genetic component in some but the escalation of these diseases worldwide in the last twenty years is not genetically founded, so something about the environment (such as what we are exposed to or consume) plays a fundamental role.
Functional medicine’s approach is like building a house, starting by building a foundation which is a healthy lifestyle, a healthy environment, and a personalized food plan. We need to return to the roots and start to cultivate a healthy inner environment – a strong microbiome that supports the rest of the body. Treating inflammatory diseases of the bowel can be challenging: genes, food, gut microbes and disrupted immune function – all contribute. Functional medicine is really a paradigm shift, progressing from the medications that suppress symptoms or a reactive immune system to addressing the underlying cause of the problem.
In our functional medicine of Healthy Wealthy & Wise Medical PC along with Dr.Elena Klimenko, we address the underlying causes of IBD disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It’s really all about approaching these diseases by looking at the wholeness of the patients and identifying the root causes, which may vary for each patient.
There is so much we can do for patients with IBD, which can be done in parallel with conventional medicine. Healing takes time, but the functional medicine approach is the most certain road for optimal health. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.
As an experienced functional medicine expert with an integrated combination of Western medicine and traditional Eastern practice, Dr. Elena Klimeko can assess the numerous factors of you that can affect your immune system – potential environmental toxins, lifestyle, stress, diet, medication, allergies, and sleep habits – to uncover the root cause of your IBD diseases. If you would like to get more information or to schedule a consultation, please call her office at 212-696-4325.
When it comes to medicine and treatment in the western world conventional doctors have put themselves and their patients into a bubble. Examining the body in only specific areas can cause traditional doctors to miss the big picture in the disease process.
While conventional medicine is great for treating acute care and trauma it has trouble treating and preventing chronic diseases and persistent, undiagnosed symptoms.
Treatments which work for some might not work with others and this is where integrative medicine comes in. By using non-traditional medicine and natural therapies integrative medicine is also able to incorporate state-of-the-art conventional medical treatments and therapies – the best of both worlds!
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine which takes into account your whole person including mind, body, spirit, and community. It includes all aspects of your lifestyle habits and is patient-focused.
With conventional medicine, also known in today’s world as Western medicine, doctors are mainly focused on certain areas of the body. This traditional type of medicine treats the signs and symptoms of disease through medication and/or surgery.
This practice of medicine focuses on the bigger picture and incorporates an alternative approach as well as a conventional approach. This broad approach of integrative medicine aims to treat the full person – not just the signs and symptoms of the disease.
It is now being recognized as a successful approach to addressing the chronic disease epidemic in our nation.
Types of Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine uses individualized treatment plans which best suits your needs and wants. With integrative medicine, it gives you empowerment through your own decision making in your treatment and care plan.
Andrew Weil, MD played a major role in codifying and establishing the emerging field of integrative medicine. His focus on treating and caring for the whole person integrates scientifically-validated therapies of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
The principles of integrative medicine include:
A strong partnership between patient and doctor through your healing process
The appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
The consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease including mind, spirit and community as well as body
A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative medicine uncritically
Recognition that good medicine be based in good science
Inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms
The use of natural, less invasive interventions whenever possible
The broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease.
Integrative Medicine Versus Functional Medicine
Integrative medicine and functional medicine have similarities which overlap each other, but they also have distinct differences in their approach to treatment and care for the patient. Both integrative and functional medicine focus on your whole body rather than just the signs and symptoms of certain diseases.
While integrative medicine is a holistic medicine approach with patient-centered care, it does take into account conventional health care practices to diagnose and treat patients. Integrative medicine looks at your overall health including mind, body, and soul to promote healing and wellbeing.
With functional medicine, it also focuses on your overall health with the patient as its core focal point. But functional medicine incorporates a system-oriented medical approach which aims to identify the underlying root cause of a disease. For this reason, functional medicine will conduct genetic and environmental research on patients to understand the root cause of your disease. And functional medicine does not use traditional medicine therapies with its approach.
These types of approaches can help prevent and reverse many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases through non-traditional and natural treatment. Integrative medicine and functional medicine are both at the forefront of healthcare of the 21st century.
What Are the Benefits of Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine offers a wide-range of benefits with its approach to medical conditions. The following are some of the benefits you can experience with integrative medicine:
Preventing and reversing chronic diseases
Saving money on long-term health expenses
Feeling empowerment through personal autonomy of care
Treating the whole-self not just the signs and symptoms
Receiving respectable care based on your values, beliefs, and preferences
Having the choice between more therapeutic options
Integrative Medicine Doctors in New York
Integrative medicine dives deeper than just the surface of conventional medicine. With the healthcare crisis we are dealing with in our economy today, integrative medicine is aimed to prevent disease and illness. I do this through integrative strategies which help you foster the development of healthy lifestyle habits to use throughout your life.
It also helps my patients get back to the basics of their health through alternative therapies while also having the ability to use conventional therapy when needed.
Through integrative medicine’s mind-body-spirit community philosophy you aren’t just another number to me as with traditional doctors – your personalized care is what I value.
I have over 15 years of experience in integrative and functional medicine. My main focus is helping you achieve health and wellness while working with your personal needs, values, and beliefs. If you’re looking for an integrative medicine doctor in the New York City area request an appointment today with Dr. Elena Klimenko or call (212) 696-4325.
I have specialized experience and expertise in complex and chronic conditions include:
While research results are mixed around flaxseed and its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, there are enough positive findings to support use of this nutrient-rich herb. For many women it has made the difference between comfort and discomfort when it comes to reduction of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings). Here are three nutrients unique to flaxseed, all of which play a role in supporting good health.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: beneficial for preventing or treating certain health conditions, including heart disease and depression.
2. Mucilage: refers to water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that can provide special support to the intestinal tract. This makes flaxseed an excellent support to digestion and relief of constipation.
3. Lignans: provides fiber-related polyphenols that have two important health benefits. They provide antioxidants, which help prevent damage to other cells in the body and are associated with preventing disease. Additionally, polyphenols in lignans influence hormone metabolism.
Purchasing and Storing Flax
Raw flaxseed ranges in color from amber/gold to tan/brown. White or green flaxseed has been harvested before full maturity; black flaxseeds were likely harvested after full maturity. To reap the full health benefits, select the amber or brown variety. If possible, purchase the whole seed in bulk, store in the freezer and grind only the amount needed for immediate use. Flaxseed can be ground, sprinkled on cereal, added to baking mixes and used as a thickening agent in many recipes.
Gluten-free Flaxseed Apple Muffins
Whether you’re serving breakfast on the deck or packing a picnic lunch, these muffins add a perfect combination of sweetness and nutrition to your meal. Enjoy them plain or topped with preserves.
2 medium apples
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 cups flaxseed meal
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole flaxseeds
Makes 6 muffins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a six-muffin tin with large paper cups and set aside. Peel and puree the apples in a blender or food processor. Set aside (mixture will turn brown).
In a large bowl, mix flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well, and slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring. When wet and dry ingredients are combined, add the apple puree; stir to combine.
Using a measuring cup or scoop, evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. (fill nearly all the way to the top; because these are gluten-free, they won’t rise very much.) Sprinkle flax seeds on top of each muffin. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 to 10 minutes.
Muffins will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)
WorldsHealthiestFoods.com “What’s New and Beneficial About Flaxseed?” Accessed on March 23, 2016. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. “Menopause” Accessed on March 23, 2016. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause
Goyal, A., et al., “Flax and Flaxseed Oil: An Ancient Medicine & Modern Functional Food.” Journal of Food Science and Technology 51.9 (2014): 1633–1653. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152533/
Peterson, J., et al., “Dietary Lignans: Physiology and Potential for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction.” Nutrition reviews 68.10 (2010): 571–603. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951311/
Poluzzi, E.,et al., “Phytoestrogens in Postmenopause: The State of the Art from a Chemical, Pharmacological and Regulatory Perspective.” Current Medicinal Chemistry 21.4 (2014): 417–436. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963458/
Ewies, AA. “Phytoestrogens in the Management of Menopause: up-to-date.” Obstet Gynecol Surv (2002, May). 57(5): pp 306-13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11997677
Dew, T.P., et al., “Controlled Flax Interventions for the Improvement of Menopausal Symptoms and Postmenopausal Bone Health.” Menopause. (2013) 20:11, pp. 1207-1215. Accessed on March 23, 2016.
Herbal supplements (botanicals; plant-based medicine) have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today they are widely recognized for having drug-like effects such as improving mood or controlling sugar level and blood pressure. However, being “natural” and having medicinal effects also carry risk, especially if taken with other medicines or supplements. Most over-the-counter herbal supplements are not subjected to the same scientific scrutiny and aren’t as strictly regulated as medications.
The makes of herbal supplements are not required to submit their products for FDA approval before going to market. Their only requirement is to demonstrate their products meet quality manufacturing standards. Studies have shown this is not enough: Many over-the-counter herbals are contaminated or substituted with alternative plant species and fillers that are not listed on the label. According to the World Health Organization, this adulteration of herbal products is a threat to consumer safety.
Before buying herbal supplements, do your homework and investigate potential benefits and side effects. Follow our tips below to help identify quality herbal supplements. Before taking an herbal supplement, talk your health practitioner–especially if you take other medications, have chronic health problems, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Quality Factors: Look for products that indicate standardized extracts; no fillers, preservatives/additives; naturally harvested; fair-trade/sustainable manufacturing practices.
Quality Control: Quality control (QC) refers to processes for maintaining the purity of a product. Without QC, there is no assurance that the herb contained in the bottle is the same as what is stated on the outside. One of the key solutions to the QC problem that exists in the United States is for manufacturers and suppliers to adhere to standardized manufacturing practices.
If you need an advice on a professional quality botanical/herbal product, don’t hesitate to contact our office for recommendations 212 696- HEAL(4325). We prescreen and study the quality product for you and we use only physician grade, high quality herbal product from reputable manufacturers that make their priority to provide pharmaceutical quality herbs. Unfortunately, those are hardly ever available on-line or over the counter.
Cleveland Clinic. “Herbal Supplements: Helpful or Harmful?” Reviewed December 2013. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/emotional-health/holistic-therapies/herbal-supplements
Mayo Clinic. “Herbal Supplements: What to Know Before You Buy.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/herbal-supplements/art-20046714
Newmaster, S., et al. “DNA Barcoding Detects Contamination and Substitution in North American Herbal Products.” BMC Medicine 11 (2013): 222. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/222
Pizzorno, J.E. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Fourth edition. St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Publishing: 2014.
U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. “USP & Dietary Supplement Manufacturers.” http://www.usp.org/usp-manufacturers/dietary-supplements