The skeleton is a metabolically active organ that is continually being remodeled throughout our lives. This remodeling occurs thanks to two cells: Osteoblasts are cells that instruct the body to build bones. Osteoclasts are cells that instruct the body to break down bone and release the stored minerals (like calcium) into the bloodstream. When these two signaling molecules are coordinated, bones are healthy and strong.
When these two signaling molecules become uncoordinated—a process that is fueled by dysfunctions in other systems in the body—osteoclast production outpaces osteoblast production: bone is broken down faster than it is being built. This is osteoporosis.
- Optimize vitamin D.
- Optimize vitamin K. Studies suggest that for full osteocalcin carboxylation, a person needs between 200 and 500 micrograms of K2. It’s important not to over supplement with K2, however, because over-carboxylation of osteocalcin may interfere with testosterone production and pancreatic function
- Optimize alpha lipoic acid
- Supplement with berberine. Research suggests that berberine may lower osteoclast activity and boost osteoblast activity.
- Increase good fats in the diet.Increase Omega 3’s and use coconut oil for MCTs.
- Don’t avoid protein. Many patients have read that too much protein can make osteoporosis worse, but protein is the basis for bone and collagen, so patients shouldn’t avoid this critical macronutrient.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Functional medicine incorporates gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, endocrine, neurological, and psychological treatments to support the entire body’s healing capacity. Our approach for arthritis recognizes that our gut comprises 70-80% of our immune system. Correcting leaky gut and improving digestion are high priorities for a functional medicine approach to both types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because all arthritis is caused by chronic inflammation throughout the body. Though each category is slightly different, they both have the same functional medicine treatments focused on the gut and diet. Increasing antioxidants, gut healing and anti-inflammatory foods are ways to get ahead of the inflammation and balance the immune system.
Our treatment plan for arthritis will include nutrition therapy, supplementation, functional neurology to improve brain function, and other alternative therapies to improve cell function, especially immune system function. A functional approach recognizes that the immune system is in charge of both inflammation and anti-inflammation. Inflammation is needed in the body to allow the immune system to do its job and clean up the ‘bad guys’. The problem of auto-immunity and metabolic syndrome is not that there is inflammation, it is that there is something confusing the body to attack itself and cause chronic inflammation. Functional medicine exposes the root cause of the confused immune system and when we treat this, the body can realign the natural immune response.
Your body has the ability to heal itself and it all starts with an initial examination. During this we will have a comprehensive consultation, cover a comprehensive neurologic and metabolic exam. Then we will want to identify any key areas that need support and give necessary labs to show what needs to be done uniquely for your case.