A Functional Medicine Approach To Curing Crohn’s And Colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms and diagnoses, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Approximately 3 million Americans are impacted by this inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract and can greatly impact quality of life, disrupt daily routines, and carry very real emotional burdens. Symptoms of IBD include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, urgency, painful cramping, rectal bleeding, and more.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman talks to his UltraWellness Center colleague Dr. George Papanicolaou about the Functional Medicine approach to treating inflammatory bowel disease. They identify root causes and discuss why the health of your microbiome is vital when it comes to treating IBD. IBD is autoimmune in nature and may be helped by following autoimmune protocols also covered in this episode. George Papanicolaou is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine from Abington Memorial Hospital. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner.

Upon graduation from his residency he joined the Indian Health Service. He worked on the Navajo reservation for 4 years at the Chinle Comprehensive Medical Facility where he served as the Outpatient Department Coordinator. In 2000, he founded Cornerstone Family Practice in Rowley, MA. He practiced with a philosophy centered on personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just not the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”.

Over time as the healthcare system made it harder for patients to receive this kind of personal care Dr. Papanicolaou decided a change was needed. He began training in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. In 2015, he established Cornerstone Personal Health, a practice dedicated entirely to Functional Medicine. Dr. Papanicolaou joined The UltraWellness Center in 2017.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Papanicolaou discuss:

  • How highly-processed foods affect the gut
  • Causes of IBD, including a disordered microbiome, stress, and lack of exercise
  • Why toxins contribute to dis-ease in the body
  • What to investigate when treating inflammatory bowel disease
  • The importance of akkermansia in your gut microbiome
  • The use of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet to treat Crohn’s and colitis
  • Tools to modulate the immune system
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