As a child and teenager I had my heart set on becoming a classical pianist and pop star. Music was something I naturally excelled at and my teachers had encouraged me to pursue my musical education at the local music college. However, at the same time my attention was undeniably drawn to the wonders of the medical field. My mom, Dr. Minna Teytelbaum MD, was an extremely passionate physician, the head of the cardiology department and associate professor for Riga Medical School. Her amazing stories and patient cases from within the medical field captivated my attention for as long as I can remember. Every story was full of mystery, awe, danger, suffering, brilliant discoveries and most importantly, hope. The hope that my mom, a medical superhero, would make the right diagnosis and that there would be a happy ending. It was unbelievably exciting and intriguing to me, the way my mom was able to weave a diagnosis out of the symptoms and would come up with a conclusion that would, if not save the patient's life, at least make the difference in the quality of it. So when it came down to making a career choice, it was clear that despite my love for music, the contagious excitement of saving lives the way my mom did had more of an impact on me and eventually inspired both my brother and I to make the decision to follow in our mother's foot steps and become physicians.
I graduated from Riga Medical School in 1983 and during the time of the Cold War, came to the United States. After completing my residency in Family Practice at the University Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, I came to Florida and joined a large Family Practice group at Mease, Dunedin Hospital.
Although most of the time it felt professionally rewarding, there was a place in my conscience that was leaving me restless and concerned. I felt that I was not able to help a great deal of patients in the conventional model, or the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional medicine.
There were those few patients that in spite of all the tests and all prescriptions given, wouldn't get better. They had a lot of fatigue, vague GI symptoms, pain, anxiety, mental fog, etc., and a lot of them had underlying autoimmune conditions.
In 2002, I attended my first A4M conference and the door was opened to a new medical field - full of hope and answers - the field of Integrative Holistic Functional Medicine.
I started attending conferences and workshops where I met remarkably brilliant researchers and scientists, likeminded physicians who believed that there are other options in finding answers to patients’ ailments, rather than using a “pharmaceuticals for every symptom” approach.
It was going back to the beginning in understanding physiology of the cell and the intricacy of human biochemistry, immunology and genetics , that opened the door. This door held many opportunities to find answers and the road to recovery for those patients I couldn’t help before.
It has become my quest since then, to educate as many patients as possible about nutrition, environment, stress,gut- brain connection and its role in building optimal health.
I have been treating hundreds of patients with chronic fatigue and adrenal hypo function, fibromyalgia, thyroid gland disorders including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’, hypothyroidism, various conditions of gastrointestinal tract that included but were not limited to IBS, leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, Crohn’s, Celiac disease, and various GI infections.
I help men and women with hormonal imbalance and various conditions associated with obesity including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Understanding the principle behind neurotransmitter imbalances allowed me to improve the health of many patients with neurodegenerative and other conditions associated with imbalances, including depression, anxiety, OCD, triptothilomania, TBI, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease and more. Through an integrative medical approach that makes the patient an active participant in their health, my patients start feeling better, develop more energy and most of all, gain back control of their lives.