Posts for tag: functional medicine
Here’s a quote I found several years ago: “At 20, beauty is a given; at 30, it is a decision; at 40, it is a commitment, and at 50, it is an investment”. Hmmm. I guess I have reached the investment years. :)
I had printed out this particular piece of wisdom awhile ago, but ran across it again on a recent Saturday, while organizing some files in my office. I thought about all the years I had invested in learning about cosmetic procedures. I have long had an interest in cosmetic dermatology; the combination of science and artistry to help people look better and feel better about themselves has held an enormous appeal for me.
But, five years ago, I discovered a new passion. After a difficult personal experience led me to become disillusioned with traditional, “Western” medicine and its heavy reliance on pharmaceuticals, I discovered a movement called functional medicine. I attended my first meeting here in Austin in 2011 and I was hooked. Here was a way of practicing medicine in a personalized fashion. Practitioners of functional medicine look at the whole person, not just the organ system they happen to specialize in. Over the past 5 years, I have attended functional medicine seminars on subjects across the spectrum of health: gastrointestinal, cardiometabolic, hormones, detox, genomics and energy.
It has been a process, but I am trying to apply functional medicine principles into my daily practice of dermatology. I’ll admit; some people are more receptive to these ideas than others. :)
That is why I now educate patients about optimal gut function and its relationship to chronic inflammation, which can contribute to skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. And how a good diet, avoidance of sugars and refined carbs can help prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to inflammatory states, heart disease, hormonal dysfunction, etc. I hope to continue learning more of this fascinating, and more fulfilling way of practicing medicine.
So, how does functional medicine mesh with cosmetic dermatology? That’s a question I have been grappling with for a few years. I love both and want to continue practicing both. The quotation I shared above has helped me see that beauty and wellness are closely related; after all, if you’re not healthy on the inside, you’re not likely to look good on the outside. It’s all about self care. The best investment we can make is in ourselves, and that encompasses looking our best, and keeping our bodies healthy with good nutrition and exercise. Keeping our brains sharp by maintaining an open and inquisitive mind, giving 100% to whatever it is we do for a living, and nurturing our relationships with family, friends, and co-workers are also lifestyle choices that add to our overall wellbeing. And that is what aging gracefully is all about.
I hope, in future blogs, to share more of what I’ve learned through the functional medicine model, along with cosmetic and general dermatology updates. Thank you for evolving with me!