Functional Approach

Healing Begins with the Patient


Dr. Eric Hassid, right, tests the strength of Tim Farley of Yuba City. Farley is trying to avoid a liver transplant by making diet and lifestyle changes.

Functional Medicine physician Eric Hassid, M.D., leaves no stone unturned as he strives to restore his patients’ health while improving their underlying medical problems. It has brought him a loyal following of long-term patients as well as enthusiastic new patients after his move to Vacaville from Davis last year.

“I like to look under the hood,” says Dr. Hassid of this thorough approach to medicine. “It’s a challenge to find the underlying cause of a patient’s condition. I strive to bring hope to patients who have had limited success with their previous treatments.”

“Dr. Hassid has a practical, empirical approach to medicine,” says retired attorney Romaine Nelson, who began seeing Dr. Hassid for chronic pain in 2005. He also has fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome and insomnia.

“He keeps me functioning,” adds the 77-year-old Davis resident. “I have the luxury of seeing him once a week and he tinkers with my treatment depending on how I feel.”

Functional medicine addresses the factors that are the underlying cause of many diseases, including diet, activity level, sleep quality, stress, hormonal stability and environmental exposures.

In retirement, Romaine has taken up woodworking along with other projects around his home. He’s very active and plans to stay that way. A few years ago he injured himself cleaning a large backyard fountain, adding the pain of sciatica to his list of ills.

“Dr. Hassid referred me for acupuncture, we tried a nerve block, and I’ve been helped by Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM),” he explains. “If a treatment will do no harm, he’ll give it a try.”

Romaine’s wife of 30 years, Pamela, has lupus and she is a patient of Dr. Hassid’s as well. They agree that Dr. Hassid never gives up on a patient.

“My many years of practicing medicine have taught me that true healing occurs from the patient more so than from the doctor,” Dr. Hassid explains. “Functional medicine addresses the factors that are the underlying cause of many diseases, including diet, activity level, sleep quality, stress, hormonal stability and environmental exposures.”

Yuba City resident Tim Farley came to Dr. Hassid with a multitude of health problems in April 2013. Frustrated when his local ER diagnosed his grossly swollen leg as a possible spider bite or allergy, his wife, Roanna, took him to her own physician—Dr. Hassid.

The 58-year-old welding inspector had long suffered with Type 2 diabetes as well as Hepatitis C, which had progressed to cirrhosis—a scarring of the liver that can’t be reversed. By the time he met Dr. Hassid, he was on the non-active liver transplant list, resigned to waiting for his liver to fail so it could be replaced. His swollen leg was caused by his diseased liver.

The liver carries out several essential functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in your body, cleaning your blood and making vital nutrients.

Candidates for liver transplants are prioritized using a complicated mathematical calculation called a MELD score. A score of 20 is needed to be eligible for a liver, and Tim had a score of 11 when he met Dr. Hassid.

“Dr. Hassid brought a fresh outlook to my liver disease,” Tim explains. “He said ‘let’s make your liver healthy enough that you don’t need a transplant.’”

Dr. Hassid referred Tim to a liver specialist for tests. Then, Dr. Hassid prescribed a series of IV infusions and a regime of supplements. His Nurse Practitioner, Karin Grumstrup, helped Tim with his diet to get his diabetes under control. Now he is on a strict, low-salt, low-glycemic load diet, and is getting more sleep; all of which has helped his overall health and energy level improve. And, to the delight of the entire functional medicine staff, Tim’s MELD score was dropping. Furthermore, a recent scope of his esophagus showed that his esophageal varices (varicose veins in the esophagus usually resulting from liver failure) had disappeared.

“Today, I sleep better and I have more energy,” Tim reports. “And best of all, I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”

Dr. Hassid is a board-certified neurologist who has studied functional medicine for more than 10 years. He is also certified by the American Board of Anti-aging Medicine.

“I firmly believe in the body’s inherent ability to be restored to good health,” he says. His goal is to work in concert with the patient’s primary care doctor to work on the core issues of health. He has cared for patients with complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and migraine headaches. With an emphasis on natural healing agents, he helps patients with a wide variety of disorders, including insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, fatigue, mood disorders and aging concerns. He provides a patient-centered team approach to his clients with a goal of helping them attain optimal health and function.

Functional Medicine, a NorthBay affiliate, is located in VacaValley Health Plaza in Vacaville. For more information, call (707) 624-8530.

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