Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine in Rhode Island

Why Schedule a Functional Medicine Consultation? 

Functional Medicine treatment involves a whole person treatment approach. Functional medicine is both preventative and individualized.

Unsure of what Functional Medicine is? 

What is Functional Medicine?

  • Patient care is at the center
  • 60 minute consultations
  • Patient’s actively involved in wellness plans
  • Recognize the importance of dietary, emotional, lifestyle and social impacts on health & disease
  • Use compounded prescriptions

We hope the following case studies of real patients from our practice helps illustrate the Intellectual Medicine approach to wellness. 

View our case studies

Problem Scenario

Angela has extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, poor hair quality, and eyebrow thinning.

Functional Medicine

(During her one hour consultation with Dr. Petteruti) 

Angela was surprised to learn that all her symptoms were consistent with a functional low thyroid. A functional low thyroid does not show up in a blood panel, and makes it difficult for our bodies to break down fat AND it causes debilitating fatigue. 

The course of treatment is to replenish her micronutrients, which includes her T3 and T4 levels.  Natural supplements and IV Vitamin Infusions with B complex to help  decrease her fatigue. 

After 3 months, Angela’s energy levels have returned. Her skin is no longer flaking, and her hair is growing in thicker. Angela’s symptoms of depression have vanished, and she has lost 8 lbs.

Western Medicine

(During her 9 minutes with primary care physician)

Her PCP ran a standard blood panel and contacted Angela with the results which were all in the “normal” range. 

Angela’s PCP referred her to a Psychiatrist. 

The Psychiatrist explained to Angela that chronic pain and weight gain were common symptoms of depression. She prescribed Zoloft, 50mg.  

Although Angela’s mood initially improved, she continued to gain weight and feel fatigued.  

Her Psychiatrist increased her Zoloft to 100mg. Her Fatigue, Weight Gain and Depression continued. 

Problem Scenario

Tim just turned 40, and has had discomfort in his chest and a cough for 12 weeks.

He’s had fatigue and a low libedo for several years. Tim is concerned about his exposure to toxins at work, and can’t shake the feeling his current symptoms are related to his work environment.  

Functional Medicine

Tim sees Dr. Petteruti, who orders a provocative heavy metal test. 

Tim’s heavy metal test reveals high levels of Arsenic which is known to cause lung cancer and Gadolinium (used in contrast imaging) which accumulates in the brain, liver, skin and bone. Heavy metals interfere with the pituitary gonadal axis causing changes to hormone levels. 

Dr. Petteruti and Tim outline a path to wellness which includes infusion-based micronutrients with NAD to address chronic fatigue. Tim’s long-standing life stressors have depleted his mitochondrial NAD. Tim begins Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to address his low testosterone levels, and chelation therapy to remove the toxic heavy metals.

Over the next three months, Tim’s energy levels continue to increase along with his sex drive. His cough stops and does not return. His wife reports Tim is the happiest she’s seen him in years.

Western Medicine

He saw his primary care doctor, who spent 7 minutes with him and gave him a Covid swab.

The Covid test came back negative, and his PCP told him it was likely allergies. An OTC allergy medication was recommended. 

Tim did not improve, and after 5 weeks he returned to his PCP.  His PCP explained that all allergy medication is different and sometimes it’s trial and error. He switched his OTC medication, and ordered a standard blood panel. 

Tim’s blood panel was normal, but his blood pressure was elevated at both visits. Tim’s PCP called in a prescription for his high blood pressure, Prinivil, which made Tim’s cough worse. 

Over the next three months, Tim’s energy levels continued to decrease and his cough grew worse.  

Ready to schedule your consultation?

Get a clear picture of your health using FBCA

Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis (FBCA) is one of the most important tools to get a clear picture of the health of the body. FBCA uses standard blood tests to not only look for potential disease processes, but also about how all the systems of the are working.

Functional medicine doctors commonly use specific lab tests to gain a better understanding of what is going on in your body’s ecosystem. Your body is complex, so different root causes may show up as symptoms that seem typical or irregular for that particular ailment. When scheduling an intake appointment, we will order blood panels in advance of your functional medicine appointment.

In conventional medicine the doctors are only looking to see, if the patient’s test are outside the laboratory range. If so then the patient might have an obvious medical condition.

With FBCA we interpret the blood test with with greater scrutiny. We examine panels to see if part of the body isn’t functioning correctly and might be cause the of ill health or may later lead to disease. Conventional medicine uses a bell curve analysis of all the people who have blood tests at the lab— healthy or not. They use a wider range of acceptable lab values.

Panels we examine:

Thyroid Panel

Thyroid dysfunction has a wide array of symptoms and can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms might include weight gain, weight loss, dry skin, hair loss, depression, or fatigue. A lack of proper diagnosis can occur within conventional medicine because usually only TSH and T4 tests are run when thyroid dysfunction is suspected. A full thyroid panel will include testing for TSH, T4, free T4, T3 uptake, total T3, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. This blood panel provides a comprehensive view of your thyroid function to understand the full scope of your thyroid health and check for possible autoimmune thyroid problems.

Adrenal Stress

If you are experiencing brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, trouble sleeping, blood sugar imbalances, or unexplained weight gain, it is possible that you could have a cortisol imbalance as a result of adrenal gland dysfunction. Your adrenal glands release different hormones into your body, including cortisol, which is your body’s main stress hormone. Balanced hormones are an integral part of your overall health and having an imbalance in cortisol levels can lead to other hormone imbalances, as well. 

These hormones are released through a complex network of communication between your brain and adrenal glands known as the HPA-axis. If miscommunication happens within the HPA-axis, adrenal fatigue occurs and causes cortisol to be perpetually high, perpetually low, to be high when it should be low, or vice versa. An adrenal stress index test is a saliva test that tracks your cortisol levels over a 24-hour period to measure the health of your adrenal system in response to stress.

Hormone Panel

As mentioned, hormones play a massive role in our health. Most of the time, they go unnoticed if they are properly balanced. However, if levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone become unbalanced, symptoms can be severe. They may include acne, hair loss, weight gain, low sex drive, infertility, anxiety, depression, other mood disorders, or changes in the menstrual cycle. Doctors use saliva and blood tests to look at the ratios of these hormones to deduce whether or not they are at healthy levels or if treatment is needed.

Food Sensitivity Panels

A food sensitivity test will test anywhere from 30-200 foods that may be causing patients to have reactions. This test measures IgG antibodies which are associated with delayed food reactions—in other words, the reaction is not seen for up to 72 hours after you have ingested the food. This means that the test can help reveal food allergies you may not know about because the reaction does not happen immediately after you eat the food, making it difficult to attribute your reaction to the allergen. Surprisingly, food allergies may mean that what we traditionally view as “healthy” foods may not be healthy for your individual body. Testing for IgG reactions helps people discover the foods to avoid, often leading to a higher quality of life due to decreased symptoms and inflammation.

What to expect at an appointment?

It can be intimidating to start something new without knowing what you’re getting into. So, here’s what to expect at an appointment with a Dr. Petteruti.

01.

Functional Labs and Testing

These are ordered and completed before your scheduled visit. A functional medicine practitioner may examine several aspects of a patient’s overall wellness, such as:

02.

60-Minute Appointment

A food sensitivity test will test anywhere from 30-200 foods that may be causing patients to have reactions. This test measures IgG antibodies which are associated with delayed food reactions—in other words, the reaction is not seen for up to 72 hours after you have ingested the food. This means that the test can help reveal food allergies you may not know about because the reaction does not happen immediately after you eat the food, making it difficult to attribute your reaction to the allergen. Surprisingly, food allergies may mean that what we traditionally view as “healthy” foods may not be healthy for your individual body. Testing for IgG reactions helps people discover the foods to avoid, often leading to a higher quality of life due to decreased symptoms and inflammation.

03.

Supplement List and Wellness Plan
A lot of information will be covered in your consultation. Patients leave with a printed list of recommended supplements, along with notes from the visits that make up your wellness plan. 
What are compounded prescriptions?

In functional medicine we regularly use compounded prescriptions. Compounded medicine or Compounded Prescriptions is a term used in functional medicine to refer to a unique, personalized prescription treatment. 

Ready to schedule your consultation?