Integrative medicine is now an established medical specialty. The goal of Integrative medicine is the maintenance of good health, which also includes helping patients reach their optimal level of health. Optimal health includes physical vitality and an inner state of well-being.
The integrative approach is based on science, medical research and current medical literature. The American Board of Integrative/Holistic Health requires that information presented at conferences are based on randomized, placebo controlled studies and the results of these studies substantiate the treatments results of the medical study.
Integrative Medicine differs from traditional medicine in that it requires the patient to be an engaged, motivated, and active participant in their journey of reaching maximum health. The doctor-patient relationship is an important factor in the healing process for Integrative medicine.
Initially, baseline laboratory studies and medical history are established based on symptoms and personal genetic history such as food and environmental “triggers.” A diagnostic lab panel may be recommended. The approach is not “one size fits all.”
Second, Integrative medicine is primarily a preventative or proactive approach to the core cause of illness or unpleasant symptoms. Nutrition, diet, and lifestyle are at the forefront of the treatment recommendations for cure or improvement. These actions continue to evolve as the research evolves and establishes a solid scientific basis that is substantiated by medical research.
Finally, the Integrative doctor may recommend some therapies or treatments that were previously considered “unconventional.” Many of these treatments are now readily available, such as acupuncture, meditation for stress management, massage, yoga, and an anti-inflammatory diet.
Currently, we believe that regular exercise is the most important variable in a person’s health. The overall approach to achieving better health involves four basic steps:
1. Correcting any dysbiosis of the gut. This involves a balance of healthy Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacterium. Dysbiosis is when this balance has been affected by overgrowth of unsuitable bacteria or yeast. Medical literature is now packed with the importance of the microbial genome of the gastrointestinal tract. Overgrowth of certain bad bacteria can over produce methane, which leads to gas and bloating. Overgrowth of yeast or candida effect the absorption of essential nutrients and can lead to leaky gut syndrome. A dysbiotic GI system cannot absorb what the body may need.
It is not what you eat but what you absorb that is essential to good nutrition.
There are now accurate tests such as the OAT (Organic Acid Test) test that can evaluate the presence of yeast, pathological bacteria, nutritional markers, and mitochondrial function by the break down of products present in a simple urine test. *OAT test unfortunately may not be covered by insurance.
2. Learning to eat a healthy diet, which may need to be individualized for different people. An anti-inflammatory diet is based on food sensitivities. A healthy diet includes stabilizing insulin levels and limiting sugar, which leads to glycation, free radicals, and inflammation. Glycation is an unhealthy reaction in which sugar and protein attach without a proper enzymatic reaction. Glycation is known to accelerate skin aging, cellular aging, and even cause cellulite. A food sensitivity panel can be done by a simple blood test that shows which foods and individual reacts to. The food sensitivity panel tests for over 100 foods. *This test is unfortunately not covered by insurance.
3. Balancing any hormone instabilities. This includes thyroid, sex hormones, and adrenal glands. It is essential to have a baseline lab study performed to find any such instability.
4. Detoxification from environmental toxins and pollutants. Saunas are thought to be a great means of detoxification and should be done on an ongoing basis. Other helpful means of detoxification are aerobic exercises that involve sweating and rehydration, steam baths, hot Epsom salt baths, and dry brushing exfoliation of the skin. Detoxification from our everyday exposure to pesticides, gasoline, cigarette smoke, adhesives, organophosphates, BPA’s, Plastics, Styrofoam and cleaning fluids can lead to free radicals that potentially cause DNA damage is also essential. Antioxidants “scavenge” and neutralize these damaging free radicals. Another important factor is protecting our mitochondrial DNA which leads to structural damage of the mitochondrial cell membrane and which is referred to as cellular aging.
Most importantly, integrative medicine empowers the patient to participate in their care and preservation of health and anti-aging behaviors.
The skin and the anti-aging life style and interventions are a large part of Integrative Dermatology. Dr. Critelli developed an interest in this specialty and was Board Certified in 2014. She remains active in ongoing education in this field as well as cutting edge Dermatology. Dr. Critelli’s skin care products were inspired by Integrative Dermatology and are gluten free, organic, without added fragrance, and loaded with antioxidants.
This is a brief overview. Dietary supplements can be recommended in addition to avoidance of inflammatory foods.
The information given in this discussion is evidence based on current scientific studies by the Board of Integrative Medicine.
Please watch for Dr. Critelli’s E-Book on Integrative Medicine and Dermatology which discusses cell membranes and why fish oils are important, the appropriate use of probiotics in maintaining a healthy gut, use of supplements beneficial to the skin, and the role of preservation of cellular aging in the bodies’ mitochondria. In addition the book will also discuss Preventing Vitamin D deficiency, anti-inflammation diet, healthy cooking and on-going detoxification of everyday exposure to environmental toxins in more detail.
Dr. Critelli has been exploring options and research of how to bring Integrative Medicine knowledge into her Dermatology Practice and offer some of the benefits of lab testing and treatments as it relates to her dermatology practice. Many skin diseases, rashes and hair loss may benefit from Integrative investigation and treatments. Crystal Cove Dermatology is working to integrate many wellness treatments into its aesthetic and anti-aging practice. As Dr. Critelli is scientific based and cautious when recommending treatment, she is currently researching the literature so that she can confidently pass this knowledge on to our patients.
Dr. Critelli’s E-Book will cover an overview from researched scientific based knowledge such as:
- Food Sensitivities
- Gut Dysbiosis
- Nutrition for the skin
- The role of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in healthy cell membranes
- Advance Glycation and its role in cellular aging
- Insulin regulation
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Toxins that are detrimental on a cellular level
- Antioxidants for skin and collagen stimulators
Please watch the video of talk done at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch above on “An Introduction to Dermatology and Integrative Medicine 2016” for Body Design Fitness Retreat.
As always, Crystal Cove Dermatology’s mission is to discover the “trigger” of the underlying cause of skin conditions, such as acne, and manage the underlying cause, not just the symptoms whenever possible.