Fusion’s July Newsletter is Here!

Our Functional Medicine experts offer all the Integrative Medicine tools you need for a healthier New Jersey summer!

This month, Dr. Jessica Miller and her dedicated Fusion IFM team highlight essential practices for men to enhance prostate health, emphasizing the significant impact of diet, particularly refined sugar, on prostate function. By integrating these Functional Medicine strategies, men can take proactive steps to improve their overall well-being and reduce the risk of prostate-related diseases. Check out our July newsletter:

We also delve into the importance of making informed daily lifestyle choices, combining integrative treatments with traditional medicine for a holistic approach to health.

Our Certified Functional Health Nutritionist and Health Coach Brianna Manginelli is sharing a delicious Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe featuring a creamy tahini dressing that will be perfect for your summertime entertaining. This refreshing dish is perfect for summer gatherings and adds a nutritious boost to your diet.

Certified Health Coach Cortney Goodstadt provides valuable advice on reducing exposure to environmental toxins, a crucial aspect of maintaining long-term health. With a special promo code for discounts on Designs for Health products and a link to schedule a free Discovery Session, the newsletter is packed with resources and actionable steps to help you lead a healthier, fuller life. Dive into these expert tips and discover how Integrative and Functional Medicine can transform your health journey.

We’d love to meet you and learn more about your personal health challenges and goals. Call our practice manager, Mara Munoz, at 732-631-4410 or email us at info@fusionifm.com to learn more about Fusion’s holistic health services and review some of the conditions we treat here: https://fusionifm.com/services/

The Impact of Sugar on Prostate Health: What Every Man Should Know

By Jessica Miller, MDFounder & Medical Director

June is Men’s Health Month, a perfect time to re-focus on prostate health—a critical yet often overlooked aspect of men’s well-being. As an Integrative & Functional Medicine physician, I’ve seen firsthand how lifestyle choices, particularly diet, can protect or adversely affect the health of the prostate.

One major dietary risk factor is sugar. Below, I explain the connection between sugar and prostate health and explore strategies to optimize prostate function:

The Sugar-Prostate-Cancer Connection

Emerging research suggests a strong link between high sugar intake and prostate health issues, including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity—all factors that contribute to prostate problems.

A diet high in refined sugars can create an environment conducive to cancer cell growth because sugar fuels insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), both of which can promote cancer cell proliferation. High blood sugar levels can also suppress the immune system, making it harder for the body to combat cancer cells.

Four Simple Steps to Optimize Prostate Health

Integrative & Functional Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach, addressing the root causes of acute and chronic health issues, rather than merely treating symptoms. To offset prostate disease risk, I recommend the following action steps, which are simple, direct and achievable:

I. Reduce Foods with Processed Sugar: Limiting refined sugars and high-glycemic foods can help lower insulin levels and reduce inflammation. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. (You can quell sugar cravings within about 10 days of reducing intake.)

2. Keep Your Weight in Check: Obesity is a significant risk factor for prostate issues. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help manage weight effectively.

3. Anti-inflammatory Diet: Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties–berries, leafy greens, nuts and fatty fish. Aim to eat a rainbow of nutritious foods daily.

4. Prostate Screening: Early detection of prostate issues is crucial. Men over 50 or younger with a family history should discuss prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing with their healthcare provider. Learn more here: https://www.cdc.gov/prostate-cancer/screening/?CDC_AAref_Val=https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/basic_info/screening.htm

READ: “Five Reasons You Need a Functional Health Coach”

Functional Medicine Approach to Address Prostate Conditions

For men diagnosed with BPH or prostate cancer, functional medicine offers integrative treatments that complement conventional approaches:

  • Herbal Supplements: Saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol are known to support prostate health and alleviate symptoms of BPH. Mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail help to support the immune system and encourage the body to find/eliminate cancer cells.
  • Nutritional Therapy: Tailored dietary plans focusing on reducing inflammation and boosting immune function.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can exacerbate prostate issues. Techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can be beneficial.

Fusion IFM Specializes in Functional Health for Men

As an Integrative and Functional Medicine physician, I aim to empower men with ‘real-life’ education and best practices to take charge of their prostate health. By making informed lifestyle choices and seeking integrative treatments, men can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of prostate-related diseases.

Protect your prostate—and your overall health and wellness–by breaking the sugar habit once and for all. You’ll be amazed by how much better you look and feel every day. Feel free to schedule a consultation with me or a free Discovery Session with my team for personalized health guidance.

Jessica Miller, MD, is double Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Integrative Medicine. She is also a Certified Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner, located in Marlboro, NJ. Learn more about her approach and services here.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of an individualized healthcare visit.

Navigating GLP-1 Weight Loss Medication Treatment: Understanding Risks and Side Effects

By Brianna Manginelli, MS, CNS LDN, DSSFusion Functional Nutritionist

As we struggle to overcome the obesity epidemic in the US, the new FDA-approved weight loss medications are unquestionably front of mind. These medications offer promising results, but at what cost? Whether you are using GLP-1 medications or considering them, it is essential to be aware of the possible side effects and complications that go along with taking any medication.

Know the Risks!

GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic work by reducing hunger signals and delaying stomach emptying, ultimately leading to weight loss. The most common side effects reported to date have been malnourishment, due to a dramatic reduction in calorie intake, and significant gastrointestinal symptoms.

Several patients have also reported facial and body muscle mass loss. The term “Ozempic Face” refers to a hollowed appearance, changes in facial features or an increase in facial wrinkling as a result of rapid weight loss. Loss of muscle in the rest of the body can decrease balance, fracture risk and overall strength and coordination.

To overcome facial and body muscle loss, we recommend whole food nourishment with ample protein and incorporating light strength training a few times a week. Both can effectively preserve essential muscle mass, particularly in people over 40.

Today, the biggest unknown is the long-term health ramifications of using weight loss medications for the short-term and long-term. Nonetheless, the FDA has required pharmaceutical companies to add patient warning messages to the product packaging.

Potential Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and Zepbound side effects

To date, researchers have reported these possible health complications GLP-1 medication users should watch for:

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastroparesis, where the movement of food out of the stomach is slowed or stalled, has been identified by clinicians as a potential danger.

  • Bowel and bile duct blockage, both painful and dangerous conditions where the flow of food in the intestines is blocked, sometimes requiring emergency surgery.
  • More common short-term discomforts include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These side effects are usually mild and temporary; although they sometimes require discontinued use.

Gallstone Attacks (gallbladder attack)

The National Institute of Health reported this year that GLP-1 RAs may be associated with an increased risk of gallbladder or biliary diseases since GLP-1 inhibits gallbladder motility and delays gallbladder emptying by suppressing the secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

GLP-1 medications help your body produce more insulin, which can lead to blood sugar levels dropping too low. This is more likely if you take GLP-1 medications with other diabetes medications like sulfonylureas or insulin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, shakiness, and dizziness.

Increased Risk of Thyroid and Other Cancers

The FDA now requires a black box warning about this potential risk on these medications. People with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer (medullary thyroid carcinoma), in particular, are advised against using GLP-1 medications.

Pancreatitis

Although less common, some studies have shown an increased risk of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, in patients using GLP-1 medications. This risk appears to be higher in people with a history of pancreatitis or risk factors for it, such as heavy alcohol use or gallstones.

In the event you experience discomfort or a negative change in health that lasts more than a few days, contact your healthcare provider for a prompt appointment to discuss your symptoms.

Consider alternative forms of weight management

It is important to consider low to no-risk alternatives such as nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Working with a trusted and knowledgeable integrative health practitioner can help you achieve your health and fitness goals with a personalized approach utilizing various tools, nutritional supplements and functional and/or genetic testing when appropriate.

In addition to achieving healthy weight loss while preventing potential serious side-effects associated with medications; opting for this approach can further enhance your immune system, reduce inflammation, improve energy, and help you feel your best!

If you prefer to pursue a drug-free route to weight loss or weight management, contact us at Fusion Integrative & Functional Medicine to set up a prompt appointment to discuss your goals.

About Functional Nutritionist Brianna Manginelli

Brianna is a certified functional nutritionist at Fusion Integrative & Functional Medicine in Marlboro, NJ. She specializes in working with people managing medical conditions or seeking to optimize their health using whole foods, nutraceuticals and other integrative modalities. To learn more or speak with Brianna, call 732-631-4410 or email her directly at brianna@fusionifm.com.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of an individualized healthcare visit.

Jaclyn’s Journey to Better Gut Health with Nurse Practitioner Dr. Alexandra Davidson

Alexandra Davidson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Jaclyn Ross, a 41-year-old teacher, battled years of chronic gut problems that not only affected her physical health but also took a toll on her mental well-being. The relentless nature of her symptoms left her feeling frustrated and trapped in a negative mindset. After failed treatment courses with traditional doctors, she was referred to Alexandra Davidson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, at Fusion Integrative & Functional Medicine in Marlboro, NJ.

Reflecting on her initial consultation, Jaclyn recalls Dr. Alex’s proactive approach to her health struggles: “After studying my New Patient Questionnaire and lab test results, Dr. Alex had a treatment plan ready at my first visit with her,” Jaclyn recalls.

Transitioning to a tailored functional medicine treatment plan

Dr. Alex’s integrative treatment plan encompassed a holistic approach, combining targeted supplements with dietary adjustments tailored to her specific needs. “She prescribed a number of supplements and helped me change my diet,” Jaclyn shares, highlighting the comprehensive nature of her treatment plan.

But her health journey didn’t stop there. Recognizing the importance of nutrition in healing her gut, Dr. Alex recommended Jacklyn see Fusion Functional Nutritionist Brianna Manginelli, MS, CNS, LDN, DSS, to use food as another gut-healing mechanism. With Brianna’s expertise, she gained invaluable insights into optimizing her nutrition plan to support digestive health and her body’s health ecosystem. (She also lost 10 pounds in the process.)

“Brianna introduced me to a wider menu of foods and meals that also keep my gut health in check, which is invaluable to me. No one wants to eat the same thing all the time.”

Personalized care for improved gut and holistic health

“Until I met Alexandra and Brianna, I felt more like a number than a person in the traditional medicine arena,” Jaclyn notes. “It’s very meaningful to receive a health treatment plan developed with your unique medical history in mind.”

Through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Alexandra Davidson and Nutritionist Brianna Manganielli, she experienced a remarkable improvement in her health. By addressing the root causes of her gut problems and implementing personalized interventions, Jaclyn regained control over her mental and physical health and vitality.

Resolving chronic GI issues and improving mental outlook

Jaclyn’s story serves as a real-life testament to the transformative power of functional medicine in overcoming chronic health challenges. It underscores the importance of individualized treatment with an integrated approach that supports the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit.

This patient’s journey exemplifies how embracing alternative approaches, such as functional medicine, can lead to profound healing, renewed vitality and a return to a thriving quality of life.

“From my perspective as a patient, working with functional medicine healthcare providers has taught me invaluable tools that I will use for the rest of my life, particularly how I look at the actual purpose of food,” Jaclyn notes. “I never realized that food can be used for healing and offsetting symptoms—no prescription medications required!”


To meet with our Integrative and Functional Health experts to improve your overall health or manage a chronic health condition, call our team at 732-631-4410 or email us at info@fusionifm.com for a prompt appointment.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of an individualized healthcare visit.