Pharmacists in Functional Medicine – Dr. Izabella Wentz

by health and nutrition advice journalist

I often have people reaching out to me, asking for recommendations for someone who does what I do for the thyroid, but for another condition. So in honor of Pharmacists Month, I thought I would put together a list of colleagues —pharmacists who specialize in a functional medicine approach, to various conditions. I hope this will be a great resource for you, or someone you love.

In a broken healthcare system that is centered around disease, functional medicine seeks to address the root cause of illness and restore health to the patient. It is often defined as healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person, including all aspects of their lifestyle. The field is growing rapidly, with approximately 100,000 functional medicine practitioners in current practice.

Pharmacists who practice functional medicine combine their knowledge of health conditions with a therapeutic mindset and a root cause approach that allows them to look at a patient’s health history, lifestyle, and triggers —and offer solutions from a holistic point of view. While most people think pharmacists just want to “drug” their patients (and perhaps some do!), I personally studied lifestyle medicine in pharmacy school. We would often recommend lifestyle interventions for mild cases of many conditions, and reserve medications for the times when they were really needed. Additionally, we were taught to always recommend lifestyle changes in conjunction with medication. It was my training as a pharmacist that led me to question the standard medical paradigm that only recommended thyroid hormones for Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, and didn’t have any consideration for lifestyle interventions! Thanks to this very training, I began to research lifestyle changes and started writing .

Everyone’s root causes of Hashimoto’s will be different, as we all have our own unique genetics and lifestyles. My mission as your Thyroid Pharmacist has been to help you uncover your own root causes and assist you on your healing journey. I am excited that there are many others in my field who are using their own knowledge and specialties to help people find healing from a variety of different conditions.

Pharmacists are trained in optimizing treatment options, and I love how many are looking past medications as treatment modalities. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the pharmacists with unique specialties, whom I respect and recommend. My hope is that those who really need this information will find a helping hand on their journey toward healing.

Izabella Wentz. PharmD, FASCP

Dr. Izabella Wentz is a passionate, innovative and solution-focused clinical pharmacist. Fascinated by science and the impact of substances on the human body, Izabella decided to pursue a degree in pharmacy with a dream of one day finding a cure for a disease. An avid learner and goal-oriented student, she received the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (PharmD) from the Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy at the age of 23. She is trained in functional medicine, is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and holds certifications in Medication Therapy Management as well as Advanced Diabetes Care.

After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2009, she was surprised at the lack of knowledge about lifestyle interventions for Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune conditions. She decided to take on lifestyle interventions as a personal mission, in an effort to help herself and others with Hashimoto’s. After two years of researching Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, she decided to combine emerging knowledge with her quality improvement expertise, to run rapid tests of change on herself. That led her to discover the root cause of her condition. She has since summarized her years of research and testing in her New York Times bestselling books: , , and .

In addition to her books and the wealth of information on her website, Dr. Wentz offers several programs designed to help people with Hashimoto’s discover their root cause and feel better.

Learn more by visiting her website at .

Kent MacLeod, B.Sc. Pharmacy, RPh.

Kent MacLeod founded the NutriChem Compounding Pharmacy and Clinic nearly 40 years ago. As an international thought leader and award-winning pharmacist, Kent has over 30 years of clinical experience in delivering patient-centered, personalized, evidence-based healthcare.

He has become an internationally recognized expert in women’s health issues, ortho-nutrition, mental health, and the digestive microbiome. He has a special interest in medication deprescribing, addictions, and mental health.

Kent is the author of the book Down Syndrome and Vitamin Therapy: Unlocking the Secrets of Health, Behaviour, and Intelligence. When I used to work as a consultant pharmacist (before I was the Thyroid Pharmacist), I worked as part of a team to optimize health outcomes for around 6000 people with developmental disabilities. One of the things we were very aware of was that people with Down syndrome very frequently have thyroid issues as well. I highlighted the work of Dr. Erika Peirson, who helps children develop optimally, regardless of their genetics, in the Thyroid Secret, as well as shared a wonderful , a beautiful little girl highlighting the connection between Down Syndrome and Hashimoto’s. Kent’s work is another valuable resource. His book was one of the first I came across when researching nutrient therapies for Hashimoto’s.

Kent has also lectured throughout North America and Europe on Down syndrome, children’s health, women’s health, pain management, and pharmacology. More recently, Kent has written a new book on the gut-brain connection, called Biology of the Brain: How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Brain. This highly-anticipated book will be available in the fall of 2019. Go to to pre-order your copy today.

Kent’s pharmacy can be reached at .

Inna Lukyanovsky, PharmD

Dr. Inna Lukyanovsky is a Doctor of Pharmacy, Functional Medicine Practitioner, an expert in gut and hormone health, and a bestselling author of two books: Crohn’s and Colitis Fix and Digestive Reset. In her practice, she incorporates lifestyle interventions, gut healing expertise, clinical knowledge, and experience as a Crohn’s disease patient who is in full remission, to help clients heal from chronic digestive illness.

Dr. Inna was a certified geriatric consultant pharmacist from 2002 until 2012. During that time, she worked in a nursing home setting as part of an interdisciplinary team. She consulted on thousands of chronic, autoimmune, and other complicated cases that mainly incorporated pharmaceutical medications. After a short period of time, Dr. Inna was able to advise and influence the use of vitamin, mineral, and micronutrient supplementation for the nursing home residents. She became an expert in clinical pharmacology, and became familiar with identifying drug-related problems.

In 2010, she was certified in functional medicine clinical training with Dr. Daniel Kalish. In December of 2017, she earned her PharmD from one of the top pharmacy schools in the U.S., University of Florida, graduating cum laude, to broaden her clinical knowledge and incorporate that into her functional medicine practice.

After fourteen years of researching Crohn’s disease, colitis, and other digestive disorders, she is combining the newest clinical information along with her expertise and personal experience, to launch a program to help digestive disease sufferers. While completing her PharmD degree, she wrote her paper on the clinical effectiveness of probiotics in Crohn’s and colitis. Dr. Inna is also working on root cause and analysis-based protocols for her clients.

Since opening her practice, Real Health Solutions, she has helped hundreds of clients with their IBDs, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, and other chronic conditions that could not have been resolved by traditional medicine alone. Dr. Inna successfully incorporates her extensive knowledge of functional medicine into every case that comes into her practice. She is the creator of the Digestive Reset® program, which has helped numerous clients virtually and in person. She is truly passionate in helping people regain their health, vibrancy, and joy for life.

For more information, visit: .

Grace Liu, PharmD, AFMCP

Dr. Grace Liu is an IFM-trained functional medicine practitioner and founder of The Gut Institute. She is a clinical pharmacist with a doctorate in practice for 20+ years, and specializes in complex disease management. Dr. Liu consults and helps clients gain optimal performance through rebuilding the microbiome after damage from modern living. She uses nutrigenomic tools (studying the impact of diet on genetics) and other advanced functional lab testing to give the solutions, strategies and treatments that reverse modern gut dysbiosis and disease.

Her international integrative medicine practice includes group classes, private consultations, functional laboratory analysis, and personalized gut protocols. Her popular book, , has recently been published.

Currently, she is training functional medicine leaders to approach gut protocols with her expertise. Clients include Paleo movement leaders and a UFC MMA fighter in the top 10.

For more information on Grace’s programs, you can visit .

Michelle Tam, PharmD

Dr. Michelle Tam is the respected food nerd and working mom behind Nom Nom Paleo, a leading food blog and one of the bestselling and highest-rated iOS cooking apps of all time. The Kitchn has heralded Michelle’s recipes as “often Asian-influenced, often California-inspired, and always popping with flavor.”

Michelle moved to San Francisco to earn a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

After seeing the positive effects it had on her husband, Michelle made the decision to go Paleo in the summer of 2010 — and committed all the way. She immediately cut out all grains, legumes, sugar, and processed foods from her diet, and read everything she could about the science behind the Paleo diet. She quit doing extreme cardio workouts and instead, started doing CrossFit… and felt great!

Paleo was the only approach that managed to improve her body composition and fuel her with enough energy to wrangle two small boys, hold down a full-time night shift job, cook for a houseful of hungry cavepeople, lift heavy(ish) stuff in the gym, and maintain a food blog.

A half-year after switching to a Paleo approach to nutrition, Michelle started her blog, Nom Nom Paleo, to chronicle her culinary adventures. Her site has grown from a personal food blog to an award winning food site that has been recognized with awards, including a Best Food Blog Award by Saveur Magazine. Nom Nom Paleo is now also a Webby Award winning cooking app and a Best of Paleo Award winning podcast. It has produced James Beard Award nominated and New York Times bestselling cookbooks, and .

For delicious and easy Paleo recipes, visit Michelle at: .

James LaValle R.Ph., C.C.N.M.T., ND (trad)

James LaValle is an internationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board certified clinical nutritionist, and expert and educator in integrative and precision health. James is probably best known for his expertise in personalized integrative therapies, uncovering the underlying metabolic issues that keep people from feeling healthy and vital. A thought leader in drug/nutrient depletion issues, he has published four books and three databases in this area alone. He has over 30 years of experience in integrating natural therapies into various medical and business models.

James has served thousands of patients, using his metabolic model for health in his personal integrative health practices — currently at Metabolix in Orange County, CA, and formerly at LaValle Metabolic Institute, an interdisciplinary medicine facility which he founded in Cincinnati in 2001. His experience spans from the super athlete, to individuals struggling with chronic health complaints.

He is the founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc., which has launched the Metabolic Code point of care system, a cloud-based program that helps practitioners implement effective integrative medicine programs, while also tracking patient outcomes. He also founded Integrative Health Resources, a natural products industry consulting company. As a practitioner, James has been recognized as an industry leader, receiving the prestigious Natural Products Association Clinician of the Year Award in 2011.

James is the author of 16 eBooks and 20 books, including the most recently released, , as well as his best seller, , along with , and .

To learn more, visit and .

Suzy Cohen, RPh

Suzy Cohen (also known as America’s Pharmacist) graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy in 1989. Back then, she thought medication was “the” answer to curing everyone. Today, 25 years later, she has come to understand that our body’s metabolic processes actually run on vitamins and minerals.

As an author and syndicated columnist, she has spent years researching disorders and making people feel better. She has made many television appearances, including The Dr. Oz Show — 6 times within 3 years. She is also a mom to 3 adult children, a wife, and a health blogger.

Suzy’s journey as a Functional Medicine practitioner and “human,” as well as a supplement formulator, has been a personal one. She values paying forward everything she has learned through caring for her loved ones over the years, with newsletters, eBooks, videos, lectures, books, and custom formulas.

As a now healthy thyroid thriver, she specializes in dietary supplements to improve energy, weight, metabolism, immune function, and hair and nail growth — all regulated by the thyroid gland.

For more information, visit: .

James DiNicolantonio, PharmD

Dr. James DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and author of The Salt Fix, Superfuel, and The Longevity Solution. A well-respected and internationally known scientist and expert on health and nutrition, he has contributed extensively to health policy and has even testified in front of the Canadian Senate regarding the harms of added sugars. He is the author or coauthor of approximately 200 publications in the medical literature, and has shared his expertise on The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and international news media outlets.

James’ book, , explains how to incorporate time-honored wellness traditions while doing away with fads, unnecessary supplements, and unsubstantiated wellness practices. It investigates the dietary habits and other practices of the healthiest, longest-lived humans on the planet, who live in regions known as Blue Zones, as a model for what and how we should eat.

creates a fascinating new understanding of salt’s essential role in your health, and what happens when you aren’t getting enough — with far-reaching, even heart-stopping, implications. The Salt Fix shows how eating the right amount of this essential mineral will help you beat sugar cravings, achieve weight loss, improve athletic performance, increase fertility, and thrive with a healthy heart.

Anna Garrett, PharmD

Dr. Anna Garrett is a certified coach and Doctor of Pharmacy, helping busy professional women who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, get their hormones in balance so they can live happy, healthy, productive lives.

Her mission is to guide her clients through managing the changes they experience in body, mind, and life during menopause. She uses her health-care expertise and coach training to teach women how to maximize their mojo and escape from hormone hell.

Through her own experience in menopause, Anna discovered many non-hormonal options to help manage imbalances (in her case, low progesterone and adrenal fatigue). She has found that up to 85 percent of women can be helped without hormone replacement!

Anna’s personalized Hormone Harmony Plan is unlike any other approach to hormone balancing. She uses advanced testing (such as DUTCH), along with a client’s genetic makeup, to create a personalized plan. She works together with clients for six months to address detox, nutrition, sleep, stress, supplementation, and movement… all based on their specific genetics. She will also work with a client’s doctor to make recommendations for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), if appropriate.

Anna is also the author of .

Erika Gray, PharmD

Dr. Erika Gray, PharmD, Co-Founder of ToolBox Genomics, has a PharmD from University of California at San Francisco, and worked as a pharmacist at a Level I trauma center in both the inpatient pharmacy and emergency room. Her experiences in the emergency room of seeing the terrible manifestation of chronic diseases, and in helping patients understand their biomarkers in relationship to their health, paved the way for co-founding ToolBox Genomics.

After being diagnosed with endometriosis as a young woman, she reversed the illness through diet, lifestyle and supplements. She became fascinated by the nuances of biochemistry and genetics, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Chapman University.

Through her personal health journey, she found alternative medicine and conventional medicine seemed to be at odds with each other, but a compounding pharmacist with whom she worked always found a way to explain and reconcile both modalities. Over the past 10 years, she has followed in her mentor’s footsteps, making clinical recommendations and helping patients translate their biomarkers into actionable items, by utilizing a variety of means: supplements, diet, lifestyle and medications. Erika has been featured on many media outlets, including “Ask Dr. Nandi.”

Erika is on a mission to bring genetic testing to one million practitioners in an accessible and understandable way, to help their patients truly understand health… one double helix at a time.

Erika can be found at and on Instagram as @thegenewhisperer.

If one of these pharmacists resonated with you, I encourage you to reach out to them for additional support and resources. Another great resource to find more information on this topic is the You can even search their database to find a pharmacist near you.

As pharmacists, we are here to support you in finding the interventions that will help you live your healthiest life possible. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who could use this information — would you consider sharing this article with them, or posting it on social media so that more people who may be looking for support can find it?

As always, I wish you well on your journey toward better health!

P.S. Be sure to sign up for my to get a free book chapter, recipes, Thyroid Diet Starter Guide, and notifications about upcoming events and my latest research. You can follow me on , too, for more updates!

This content was originally published here.

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