Functional medicine doctors are licensed physicians who specialize in treating chronic conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. They complete medical school, residency, and board certifications just like regular doctors – but at some point, most functional medicine doctors become intrigued by complex diseases and choose to pursue further studies to find answers to questions that will create better outcomes for patients.
Our Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Radawi, is a great example. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and he spent a decade practicing emergency medicine in a hospital setting before switching gears. He saw that while traditional medicine was great for acute problems – such as broken bones and heart attacks – it lacked solutions for people experiencing symptoms of chronic disease. Dr. Radawi knew there had to be a better way to serve these patients.
Dr. Radawi completed advanced clinical training through the Institute for Functional Medicine in 2017 and uses his knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat the root cause of people’s health issues. He prioritizes natural treatments, prescribing medication only when it’s absolutely necessary, and helps his patients return to optimal health to prevent any future health challenges from arising.
Now that you know a little bit about our background, let’s dive into the conditions we treat.
Want to dive straight in? Watch one of our free on-demand webinars.
Functional Medicine Doctors Treat a Wide Range of Symptoms
Our goal isn’t just to apply band-aid solutions that temporarily mask uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing. We’re here to help you push the reset button so that your body can function like it should. The truth is that many chronic diseases occur as a result of lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, sleep, and stress. Functional medicine harnesses these to help your body heal.
During your consultation with Dr. Radawi, he will take the time to actually get to know you. Who are you? What’s your lifestyle like? What’s troubling you? What are your health goals? Are you the sort of person who will do what it takes to feel better? Once you’re committed to making the necessary changes, you will complete a very detailed health and lifestyle history and Dr. Radawi will conduct a physical exam and order in-depth bloodwork and any specialized testing you require.
This approach can be used to effectively treat many different issues. Here are some common symptoms our members come to see us with:
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Migraines or chronic headaches
- Joint pain, muscle pain, back pain, or nerve pain
- Mental health issues such as brain fog, depression, anxiety, and mood swings
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, reflux, diarrhea, and constipation
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, redness, or chronic dryness
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Suddenly feeling very hot or very cold
- Inflammation or swelling
- And many more
You can find a list of our specialties here, but the four we want to focus on are autoimmune diseases, chronic pain and inflammation, hormone imbalances, and thyroid and adrenal issues.
Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body starts mistakenly attacking healthy cells. This can explain a series of seemingly unlinked symptoms, but we’re here to help you find answers.
Here are some of the autoimmune diseases that we regularly treat:
- Vasculitis: This affects blood vessels, cutting supply to vital organs
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: This involves chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland
- Crohn’s disease: This occurs in the bowel and can cause severe complications
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an inflammatory disorder that affects joints
- Ulcerative colitis: This is an inflammatory reaction in the colon and rectum
- Psoriasis: This is a skin disease that causes itchy, scaly, red patches on the body
- Alopecia: This occurs when the body starts attacking hair follicles
Is your condition not on the list? Call our team to discuss your symptoms.
Holistic Treatment for Inflammation, Chronic Pain, and Stress
Inflammation, chronic pain, and stress can last for years after the original illness or injury has resolved. Your body gets used to operating as if something is wrong, so it continues to display potentially debilitating symptoms that can affect different areas of the body for long period of time. Traditional doctors typically prescribe pain medication, which lets you regain some normal function for short periods of time but doesn’t figure out how to treat the root causes of your pain.
We’re here to help you live a happy and healthy life. Here are some issues we treat:
- Back pain: Your aching or stiffness could be the result of a medical condition
- Arthritis: There are actually many different types of arthritis which can affect different joints
- Headaches: Pain, pressure, or tension could indicate an underlying issue
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: If you’re experiencing extreme fatigue that you can’t attribute to exertion or a lack of sleep, it could indicate an underlying medical condition
- Fibromyalgia: This describes generalized pain and stiffness around the body
- Unexplained weight loss or gain: This can be related to hormonal imbalances cause from things such as stress or untreated inflammation rather than caloric intake
- Nerve damage: Injury can make your nerves misfire, causing significant pain
- Reflux: If your esophagus stops working, stomach acids can cause heartburn
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): pain and swelling in the bowel can significantly decrease your quality of life
- Endometriosis: This is a disorder in which uterine tissue grows outside the organ, which can cause significant pain and fertility issues in women
Any of these issues sound familiar? Find out what’s causing your symptoms.
Get Your Hormone Balance Back on Track
Hormones are the chemicals that tell your body what to do so it can function as it should. However, if your body starts producing too much or too little of the hormones you need, it can throw things into chaos. Hormone imbalances can explain a lot of seemingly unrelated symptoms and the good news is that in many cases they can be treated using natural remedies.
Common hormonal imbalances we treat include:
- Type 2 diabetes: This happens when your body no longer uses insulin properly to fuel your cells, which typically occurs later in life when people are adults
- Hashimoto’s disease: This is related to hyperthyroidism, which is when your thyroid gland is too active and speeds up all your normal bodily functions and can result in the presence of thyroid antibodies, which can indicate conditions such as autoimmunity
- Graves’ disease: This is related to hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid gland is underactive and unnecessarily slows your body down. Antibodies will alco become present, which can indicate autoimmunity
- Menopause: This is a major hormonal change that occurs to all women when they stop menstruating, which can significantly disrupt your body
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): This is a serious condition that can cause things like irregular periods, weight gain, acne, and fertility issues
- Low testosterone (Low T): This occurs in some men and can cause issues such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and unexplained fatigue
Hormonal imbalances can also cause bone density issues, sleep difficulties, weight gain or loss, mood disorders, and many more problems. They are complex and require a holistic approach.
Want your body to operate at an optimal level? Watch our webinar.
Functional Medicine Can Tackle Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders
Are you tired of taking medication? Have you seen multiple doctors without getting the answers you need? Do you want to get to the bottom of the issues that are really causing your symptoms? There are many reasons why we recommend scheduling an appointment with a functional medicine doctor – particularly if you suspect you have a thyroid or adrenal disorder. These often fly under the radar and can cause a range of symptoms that most people describe as generally not feeling well.
- Hashimoto’s disease (discussed above)
- Grave’s disease (also discussed above)
- Adrenal insufficiency: This can cause a range of issues that affect well-being, including chronic fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and abdominal pain
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH): This refers to a group of genetic disorders that affect the adrenal gland and your energy levels
- Sleep issues: Hormones play a key part in your natural sleep cycles
- Mood disorders: They can also explain issues such as depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and more – meaning you may not have a psychological issue at all
- Stress: Stress triggers hormonal responses such as the release of cortisol, which can make your body work harder than it should, making you feel unwell
We’re here to help. Learn more in our free online webinar.
Functional Medicine Can Help You Find Answers
We’re going to ask this question again, because it’s an important one: Are you tired of applying band-aid solutions to complex and chronic health issues? Are you ready to find and treat the root cause of the issues that are troubling you and make changes to restore your health?
If this sounds like you, we’re here to help. Schedule a free discovery call today.
Tri-Cities Functional Medicine is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, and serves patients throughout East Tennessee and into Virginia and North Carolina. These areas include but are not limited to: Washington County, TN, Sullivan County, TN, Carter County, TN, Greene County, TN, Knox County, TN, Bristol, TN, Holston Valley, TN, Tri-Cities, TN, Walnut Hill, TN, Elizabethton, TN, Greeneville, TN, Morristown, TN, Blountville, TN, Bluff City, TN, Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN, Colonial Heights, TN, Limestone, TN, Knoxville, TN, Bristol, VA, and Abingdon, VA.