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In this section, we’ve gathered and organized additional and curate content modules for you by topic.
While you can access our Topic Library whenever you need to, we also highlight individual sections sequentially in our Spotlight Content email series. If you track along with our Spotlight Content, you will move through all these materials in about 12 months.
We also know time is precious. That’s why we’ve delineated CORE versus EXTRA content within each of the modules so that if your time is limited you know where to focus your attention.
Functional Medicine Foundations
Core Tenets and Tools of Functional Medicine
Ground yourself in the core tenets of Functional Medicine and the IFM Matrix and Timeline which you will see us use in clinic over and over again. Hear from Mark Hyman, Patrick Hanaway, Bob Rountree, Kristi Hughes, and Tom Sult.
Introduction to Our Clinic
Have a look at our chart and plan templates where we’ve built them right in in a format that works for us. Review how patients can engage with our clinic.
Recommended Reading List
Several texts are referred to throughout the Topic Library modules, including for recommended reading assignments. You’ll find those listed here, as well as other favorite reference texts. If you have any other favorite references, let us know and we will add them here!
Applied Nutrition Track
Content in the Applied Nutrition Track is featured as Spotlight Content starting in September of each year, and running through to February of the following year.
The impact of environmental exposures is an important factor that we consider in any patient’s history and workup and reducing exposure is part of our foundational work with every patient. Positioning the toxin problem is key: yes, environmental toxins do impact health – but there is a lot we can do to reduce our total toxic exposures (exposome) and to support detoxification.
Weight Loss and Cardiometabolic Support – Part 1
The severity of weight status and insulin/glycemic control dictates what level of diet intensity we choose. Start here for introductory level diet options – low glycemic diet, low carbohydrate diet, and Paleo diet. Review the IFM’s relevant food plans and resources. Hear from experts in the field such as Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Stephen Sinatra.
Weight Loss and Cardiometabolic Support – Part 2
What should you do when basic-level metabolic diets aren’t enough? Here we consider ketogenic diets for weight loss and metabolic optimization. As you dial up the intensity, you’ll need to consider contraindications, monitoring options, and troubleshooting. Worried about high-fat diets? Find out from researchers and experts, including Dr. Mark Hyman, why we shouldn’t fear fat, and how to eat fat the ‘right’ way.
Elimination diets are a cornerstone of therapeutic nutrition plans. Elimination diets can also be considered diagnostic or investigative, meaning that we take out a food or food group for a period of time to see if that helps to improve symptoms, and then we follow that with a period of food challenges. In this module, we review several different food categories that you may consider for elimination as well as our process for food challenges.
Autoimmune Diets build on foundational Elimination Diets, with special consideration for this group of conditions. This module revisits gluten and dairy in the context of autoimmune disease, the role of the Paleo Diet, and introduces the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet, Wahls Protocol, and Specific Carbohydrate Diet. You’ll also review the potential use of an Elemental Diet in autoimmune conditions. Hear from Dr. David Brady on Fibromyalgia.
Dr. Lise Alschuler, integrative oncologist, shares clinical pearls based on her experience and advice. In our practice, we also support individuals who are looking to implement a Restricted Ketogenic Diet (RKD), based on the important work of Thomas Seyfried PhD. Hear from Dr. Seyfried himself as well as other leading researchers in this field. Find out what changes when we apply a ketogenic diet to this level of intensity and in this context.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Normally, the bulk of our gut microbiome resides in the large intestine. In SIBO, we see an overgrowth of bacteria (even otherwise-healthy bacteria) in the small intestine, where they are not usually present to such a high degree. Those bacteria are then able to act on poorly-digested, fermentable carbohydrates, producing uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation.
Methylation Diet & Lifestyle
Since methylation deficits have wide-ranging implications and associations with disorders like autism, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, insomnia, infertility, and more, many are rightly seeking ways to help patients mitigate the risk of diseases associated with under-methylation. But why might we want to be cautious about blindly pushing methyl donors such as high-dose folate? What is a safer, more nuanced, and ultimately more comprehensive approach?
Clinical Tools Part 1 (Assessment)
In this module, Michael Stone reviews Nutrition Evaluation in the context of the overall Functional Medicine GATHER step in the IFM’s GOTOIT heuristic. You’ll see further explanation of how our nutrition team uses evaluation tools such as Diet Records and Nutrient Intake Analyses, as well as a general template for the structure of our nutrition consultations.
Clinical Tools Part 2 (Intervention)
In these materials, you’ll find the IFM’s guidance for implementing dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as out our customized and customizable Food Plan templates, resource guides and instruction templates, and the motivational tools we use to support implementation. This is really where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in terms of supporting change and can make a huge difference to your and your patient’s success.
Advanced Assessment Track
Content in the Advanced Assessment Track is featured as Spotlight Content starting in March each year, and running through to June of the same year.
“When in doubt, start with the gut.” A phrase you’ll hear many times in Functional Medicine, and a vitally important area to familiarize yourself with. Dr. Dan Lukazer gives us a foundational review of GI issues, Dr. Richard Lord provides an advanced pattern analysis lecture, and Dr. William Salt covers Gastroenteropathy, SIBO and SIFO. You’ll also find interpretive materials for those labs we use most commonly in clinic for GI assessment.
Organic and Amino Acid Testing
Urinary organic acids are a second fundamental Functional Medicine testing tool, providing insight into GI health, metabolism and mitochondrial function, detox, neurotransmitters, and nutrient status. Dr. Fitzgerald presents cases using Organic and Amino Acids. You’ll also find foundational and advanced reviews of Organic Acid interpretation from Dr. Andrea Gruszecki and Dr. Richard Lord.
Nutrient and Cardiometabolic Status
Advanced cardiometabolic biomarkers can help us better understand heart disease risk and are regularly used in our clinic. In this module, we also review assessment for amino acid status, micronutrients, and fatty acids. Some of this occurs with labs specifically organized to indicate nutrient status, but you will also gather clues to nutrient deficiencies from other labs, patient history, dietary intake, and physical exam. You’ll also find drug-nutrient interaction (both depletions and metabolic interference) resources here.
Take a tour around adrenal, thyroid and steroid/sex hormones. You’ll find case studies presented by Dr. Kara Fitzgerald focused on the HPA axis and a deeper dive into testing including the Cortisol Awakening Response. Dr. Dan Lukaczer covers foundational concepts in assessing and treating thyroid dysfunction. Dr. Marion Owen and Dr. Carrie Jones review sex hormone assessment options. Dr. Anna Cabeca, Dr. Sara Gottfried, and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald share thoughts and clinical pearls on functional hormone interventions.
Find out our go-to labs for IgG and IgE assessment, including IgE component testing when that extra detail is helpful. Dr. Fitzgerald reviews immune-related cases including Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We take a dive into assessing and treating Lyme disease and its coinfections with Dr. Tom Sult, Dr. Darin Ingels, Mary-Beth Charno and Dr. Armin Schwarzbach. Prevention is also key – don’t miss our recommended tick repellents (weighing effectiveness against toxicity), and our guide to tick bite care (what to do if you or your patient gets a bite).
Environmental Toxicant Assessment
Environmental toxicity is an unavoidable component of modern-day living and its effects can be an important piece of the puzzle, especially in predisposed patients. We’ll review the assessment of toxic elements and organotoxins, as well as measures of their physiological effects in practical didactic and case-related materials. Dr. David Quig and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald contribute laboratory insights and case examples.
Nutrition Physical Exam
In collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine, we share their practitioner training for the Nutrition Physical Exam. These skills will enrich your ability to uncover important clues about your patient’s health and nutrient status, and track progress over time. Click through to hear from Dr. Michael Stone, Dr. Mary Ellen Chalmers, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, and Dr. Elizabeth Boham and stock your library with in-depth reference guides.
Focus Topics are featured as Spotlight Content in July and August of each year.
Neurodegeneration, Depression, and TBI
By implementing a full Functional Medicine approach, working with the matrix, personalizing diet and supporting nutrients as needed, we are doing a LOT to support any issues of the central nervous system. That said, there are some specifics surrounding these conditions that we share here, including pearls from Functional Medicine psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hedaya.
Functional Medicine has a great deal to offer children on the Autism Spectrum and with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, IFM faculty, shares her clinical wisdom based on years working in pediatrics. Dr. Fitzgerald also shares case studies in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Sidney Baker himself distills his decades-long work in the Autism field and reviews intervention options ranging from S. boulardii, to essential oils to helminth therapy.
By some population estimates, the prevalence of chronic pain can reach up to 60%. Chronic pain has a significant impact on daily activities, social and working lives. Dr. Fitzgerald’s background working in a pain center shines here as we explore options for pain management and reversal.
*An exception is any curated content from our Teach-Ins or other live clinic events, which will expire if your membership is no longer active.