Treating OCD From A Functional Medicine Perspective

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, affects approximately 2.2 million adults and 500,000 children in the US. Individuals with OCD often experience impulsive and intrusive thoughts that replay in the mind, in addition to behaviors such as excessive cleaning and repetitive counting. While conventional medicine approaches OCD as a chemical issue, Functional Medicine looks at genetic components, inflammation, gut health, and other lifestyle influences in its treatment of OCD.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman discusses OCD with Dr. George Papanicolaou. They discuss just how debilitating this condition can be and share case studies of how they have treated patients with this condition.

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:

  • What is OCD and who does it affect?
  • Common behaviors of someone with OCD
  • Conventional diagnosis and treatment of OCD
  • The genetic component to OCD
  • How the gut microbiome and lack of diversity may contribute to OCD
  • Identifying inflammation as a root cause
  • A case study of someone who has OCD
  • Functional Medicine approach to treatment of OCD
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