Written by: Dr. Fred Harvey, MD
We are living in some toxic times! Functional medicine is especially equipped to deal with toxicity. The concept of total toxic burden guides our diagnostic and therapeutic plans. The total toxic burden is the effect of all the internal and external burdens on our bodies, minds, and spirits. Nutritional excesses and deficiencies, food sensitivities, allergies, infections, endogenous metabolic toxins, environmental toxins, electromagnetic energies (like microwaves and radiation), psychospiritual stresses and physical traumas all create burden that impairs optimal function.
To operate at optimal capacity, our bodies, minds, and spirits need to be free of interfering energies and physical/chemical toxins. The individual can provide the most important insights into what toxins might be involved. Lifestyle, employment, and hobbies can give valuable clues. For example, a stained-glass fabricator is exposed to lead in solder the same way a bullet maker is exposed to lead in the smelting pot. Symptoms and signs can also be an excellent guide. Mental cognitive changes can indicate metal toxicity or mycotoxin (mold) exposure. Therefore, it is important to get extensive patient history in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Once we have direction, lab testing for these substances will help focus on the culprit toxins.
Once we discover the toxin or toxins, we first eliminate the exposure. For something like lead exposure, the individual would naturally give up lead soldering. If mercury is in the mix, eliminating high mercury seafood would be advisable. If pesticides are present, stop using them in the home and yard. After eliminating the sources, we then treat the issue at hand. Each toxin has specific properties, so each requires a unique approach. Functional Medicine is the specialty that understands these toxins, how to remove them effectively, and how to help the client recover from the damage caused by these agents. We use any method available that has evidence for optimizing human function. If you believe that you might be lost within a toxic space, contact The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine for medical guidance.
For more information or to schedule your consultation, please call The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine, 3982 Bee Ridge Rd, Suite J, Sarasota, FL. Ph 941-929-9355. Telehealth and second opinion consultations are available upon request.