What is the Difference Between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine?
Functional medicine differs somewhat from a conventional medicine standard of practice. People who are ill look to medical providers to help them to get better and cure whatever is wrong with them. A patient’s quality of life can be severely affected when they experience either physical or mental health issues.
In a conventional model of medicine, doctors are trained to treat illnesses and injuries by things like prescribing medication or performing surgery. Conventional medicine is important since it’s necessary in many cases to manage disease, illness, or injury. MeRT treatment is a conventional medicine approach to treat brain dysregulation regardless of cause however, because there are other things that can contribute to the way the brain functions, it’s also a good idea to evaluate other factors that can influence brain health.
A functional medicine approach can also use medications as needed, but its philosphy is more about looking at the root causes of disease and chronic illness, and looking for other underlying issues that may be contributing to unhealthy conditions.
We treat patients suffering from brain disorders such as depression, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress, autism, after-effects of stroke, sleep disorders and more. MeRT is a conventional method of treatment which generally has a very high success rate to help with these kinds of conditions. However, it is often helpful to also look at any underlying issues that can also affect brain health such as nutritional deficiencies, poor sleep hygiene, genetic mutations, toxins, hormonal imbalances, etc., so as to fully restore our patients to the best possible long-term, overall health.
MeRT and Whole Body/Whole Brain Health
The Brain Treatment Center in Dallas utilizes MeRT, which is a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment for several conditions including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Post-traumatic stress
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- After-effects of stroke
- Parkinson’s disease
MeRT treatment is used for these conditions, regardless of the cause. It is currently FDA-cleared for treatment of Depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and is used off-label for all other conditions at this time.
Dr. Miller is a Board-Certified Neurologist who has years of experience helping those who have suffered acute injuries along with others who have chronic brain conditions. He utilizes both conventional and functional medicine approaches because he understands that the body can affect the brain, and the brain can affect the body. They are not two separate entities, but rather one all-encompassing system that is interconnected. Think of your body as a symphony – if the horns section is out of tune, the whole concert is going to be thrown off.
There are many conditions that can affect brain health such as:
- Injury such as a blow to the head
- Concussion caused by other mechanisms of injury
- Traumatic events (Post-traumatic stress)
- Autism (unknown origin)
- Insult to the brain which may be caused by a stroke, hemmorage, or aneurism
- Mental illness with unknown ideology
- Depression and Anxiety
- Age-related cognitive decline/dementia
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Learning or developmental disabilities
- Down Syndrome, which is a chromozomal defect
- Other genetic conditions
Illnesses that can affect the brain are often the result of many different causes, some of which are chronic. These can include things such as:
- Lack of proper nutrition/poor diet
- Not getting enough exercise
- Poor sleep hygiene/sleep deprivation
- Inability to manage stress effectively
- Environmental toxins
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Chemicals in food
- Gut dysbiosis
- Stress (physical, mental, and emotional)
MeRT can help restore health for patients with disorders of the brain but often, it is also necessary to look for any underlying causes which can also contribute to chronic health issues.
Over the past several years, more and more research has shown how much influence the state of gut health has over the entire body which of course, includes the brain. In fact, over 70% of the body’s immune system is regulated by the gut.
The gut is often referred to as your body’s “second brain,” and studies have shown its effects on the central nervous system. It communicates directly to the brain via the vagus nerve. This connection as referred to as the gut/brain axis. The vast majority of the population follows the Standard American Diet, which includes high levels of sugars, starches, and unhealthy fats, and is the biggest contributor to dysbiosis, which can cause conditions such as:
- Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and other mental illnesses or developmental disorders
- Chronic inflammation throughout the body and brain
- Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Illness
- Compromised immune system
- Decreased ability to cope with stress
- Sleep disorders
- Auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc.
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Heart Disease
- Premature aging
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Compromised intestinal wall permeability, also known as “Leaky Gut”
The number of children with autism has increased in the United States by 154% from 2000 to 2018. Despite so much research, the cause of autism is still not known. However, commonalities of children with autism have been found to include gluten-intolerance and lactose-intolerance. Celiac disease is also common. Some studies have shown that autistic kids are more prone to having “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which occurs when the intestinal barrier is compromised and thus substances in the gut leak into the blood stream.
Functional Medicine Services for Brain Treatment of Dallas Patients
MeRT treatment is a process that uses a qEEG to locate exactly where dysregulation is occurring in the brain, regardless of the condition. Once identified, an individualized treatment plan is prescribed, and therapy is administered using TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). This is an effective treatment for many disorders associated with the brain, however, it is also important to address other issues which affect both overall health and brain health.
Ashlee Baragrey, RD/LD, IFNCP, owns and operates Functional Foods, PLLC. She works with Dr. Miller’s patients in order to address the root causes that contribute to an unhealthy brain. She is certified by The Institute for Functional Medicine and is a registered, licensed dietician.
We know that nutrition is one of the most important factors that influences health. Additionally, there are other things such as genetics, sleep, exercise, and stress management that play a big role as well. Many people with brain dysregulation can also experience problems with:
- GI Disturbances/Gut Dysbiosis
- Gut Infections
- Food intolerances
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Malabsorption of vital nutrients
- Genetic mutations
- Compromised immune systems
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Heavy metal toxicities
Ashlee offers a Functional Medicine Program that identifies the root causes of these types of health issues. Once the causes are discovered, a treatment plan can then be implemented to accompany your treatment at The Brain Treatment Center in order to optimally restore your health.
The one-year Functional Wellness Program includes:
- In-depth lab testing to include CBC, CMP, Hormones, and a complete thyroid panel
- Food intolerance/sensitivity testing of 210 foods
- Gut Microbiome and GI health evaluation and restoration
- Micronutrient and cellular nutrition testing
- Nutrigenomic testing through MaxGen Labs
- Individualized meal planning and education
- Individualized supplement recommendations
- 10% program discount on Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements
- Multiple visits with dietitian
- Initial intake visit for 1-hour
- 4 follow-up visits at 4-6 weeks that are 30-minutes each
- 2 follow-up visits at 8-weeks which are 30-minutes each
- 1 Discharge appointment for 1-hour
- Optional meal preparation assistance
- Individualized lifestyle, accountability, and weight management plan if needed
- Environmental toxin, mycotoxin, heavy metal testing and detoxification support and plan if indicated
- Biomedical nutrition for childhood developmental disorders
- Comprehensive autoimmune/connective tissue disorder testing and support if indicated
Ashlee offers both a one-year program, or ala carte consultations to meet individual healthcare needs and budgets. Her pricing for lab testing, interpretation of results, and consultations are very competitive and less than what many other providers charge.
Additionally, Functional Foods, PLLC, provides some of the best manufacturers of nutraceutical supplements at a discounted cost, delivered straight to your door. These include products made by:
- Designs for Health
- Garden of Life
- Nordic Naturals
- Pure Encapsulations
- Seeking Health
The Brain Treatment Center Dallas strives to do everything possible to restore your or your child’s health and we are confident in Ashlee’s ability to help us help you!
Office Phone: 405-726-8500
Consultation options: In Office, Telephone, or Video Consult