Functional Medicine FAQs

Functional Medicine FAQs

Nikol Margiotta, N.D.

Can We Slow the Aging Process?

Yes! Even though you may not be showing any signs of illness, chances are you are not aging optimally. The majority of the Americans now realize that there is an immense gap between what is “normal for your age” and optimal health. The problem is that most doctors don’t have the time or the inclination to adopt new diagnostic tools and therapies to probe deeper into the biochemical mechanisms underlying age-related disorders. Many signs of aging can be reversed or slowed down with proper analysis and treatment. These include cardiovascular disease, inflammation, poor memory, decreased sex drive, fatigue, increased fat stores, poor digestion, brittle bones and decreased immunity to disease. Defenses against aging are the latest mechanisms to improve overall health and longevity.

If we can slow aging, we can eliminate more than 50% of all disease overnight. We can alter this dreadful course by preventing, delaying or reversing the diseases associated with aging. Both the National Institute of Aging and the AARP have recently recognized the significance of anti-aging medicine as the leading frontier of health care in the twenty-first century, because of its potential to reduce the burden of the degenerative diseases of aging in a rapidly growing population of older citizens.

What is Functional Medicine? (Adapted from the IFM website)

  • Functional Medicine is patient-centered health care that addresses the unique interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that may influence both health and chronic disease. Our goal is a balanced, wholistic life – body, mind and spirit – ensuring that one is energetic and productive all the days of their lives.

Functional medicine seeks to restore the clinical imbalances that arise:

  • Endocrine (hormonal) and neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Oxidation-reduction and mitochondrial imbalances
  • Detoxification imbalances
  • Immune imbalances
  • Inflammatory imbalances
  • Digestive, absorptive and microbiological imbalances
  • Structural imbalances

These imbalances are often the precursors to an underlying disease process, often yet to be diagnosed. Improving balance is the first step to restoring health and involves much more than treating the symptoms. Functional medicine is dedicated to improving the management of disease by looking at multiple systems to address and restore each patient’s functionality and health.

Is Functional Medicine a new kind of medicine?

No, functional medicine is not a unique and separate body of knowledge. Like ant-aging medicine, it is well grounded in standard scientific principles and information widely available in medicine today. The focus of functional medicine is on prevention. However, we typically use leading edge technology and knowledge that often has not yet found its way into mainstream medicine.
What kind of labs tests do you run?

Functional laboratory testing services include:

Gastrointestinal Assessments:

Digestive Function Stool Analysis including
Microbiology Analysis for yeast, bacteria and parasites


Urinary neurotransmitter testing

Metabolic Assessments:

VAP Lipid Profile
KRONOS CardioProfile

Functional Endocrinology Assessments:

Osteoporosis Risk Evaluation
Adrenal Stress Index Profile
Female Hormone Panel
Post-menopausal Hormone Panel
Male Hormone Panel
DHEA, IGF and Melatonin Hormone
Thyroid Hormone Panel
Vitamin D3

Food Sensitivity Assessments:

MRT Food and Chemical Testing from LEAP

Genovations (Genetic SNP) Testing:

Cardiovascular Assessment
Estrogen Metabolism
Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis
Detoxification (Cytochrome P-450 enzymes)
Immune System
Comprehensive Inflammation Profile

What are Dr Margiotta’s qualifications in Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine?

Dr. Margiotta is Fellowship trained in Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). It is a rigorous, in-depth two year program that covers such areas as endocrinology (hormones), hypertension, cardiovascular health, Metabolic Syndrome, gastroenterology, neurotransmitters, neurology and nutritional deficiencies

What is Anti-Aging Medicine?

Anti-aging medicine is the newest clinical medical specialty, the “optimum” of wellness and longevity and employs extensive therapies and treatment in the preventative health care field far beyond just cholesterol testing and mammograms. A profound paradigm shift in the way the medical community views aging and age-related disease is now underway. The science of anti-aging medicine is truly multi-disciplinary. Anti-aging medicine is evidence-based, clinically sound health care. Only those diagnostic and treatment elements which prove their validity through independent evaluations are used by our office.

What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?

Hormones decline as we age; bio-identical hormone therapy (bioHRT) replaces the hormones that your body needs to function optimally. We use only bio-identical or natural hormones versus bio-similar or synthetic hormones. Bio-identical hormones are molecule-by-molecule, exactly the same as the hormones present in the human body. This preventive medical approach helps put an end to the aggravating symptoms of and effects caused by stress induced adrenal fatigue, signs of early menopause, menopause, perimenopause and andropause (the male menopause). BioHRT is an individualized approach to hormone restoration and requires working closely with Dr. Margiotta on nutrition, appropriate supplementation and exercise to insure optimal results.

Who needs Bio-identical Hormone Therapy or HRT?

Certainly women suffering from early menopause symptoms looking to put an end to hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain and low libido are her typical patients. Dr. Margiotta also treats woman suffering from early menopause symptoms, perimenopause, severe PMS, migraines and cycle related issues.

Men also experience their version of menopause – andropause. They might want to get a grip on weight gain, lost libido, fatigue, stress, energy, loss of muscle mass and increased body fat.

How do you know I have a hormone imbalance?

Most women (and men) know they have “lost their edge” when they come to see Dr. Margiotta, but the symptoms can sometimes be confusing. So the best, most accurate way to begin any type of bioHRT is to test a patients’ level. We do that with a simple salivary hormone test, which accurately measures the important hormones in the body: progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol.

What are Bio-identical Hormones?

Bio-identical hormones are exactly the same hormones, molecule per molecule that your body produces. While they are made in a lab, they are still considered natural to your body because they are identical.

Synthetic hormones are also made in a lab, but most importantly are not identical to your body. We believe bio-identical hormones are superior to the synthetic hormones commonly prescribed. We may choose to prescribe estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol, DHEA, melatonin or use a growth hormone secretagogue, depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs.

What are the side effects of bio-identical hormones?

Because bio-identical hormones are just like the ones made in your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. Dr. Margiotta monitors and evaluates each patient closely to assure balanced dosage.

When will I begin to see results?

While it varies with each person and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, generally you can expect to see results within three to six months.

Will I need to take hormones forever?

No. If you decide to stop, your body will simply return to where it was before starting hormone therapy.

Page modified on 5/15/2011

Your Partner in Osteopathic Wellness Care