Dr. David Morcom and Chelsee Albo are practitioners of Functional Medicine where they combine the best of diet, lifestyle, and natural medicine with advanced diagnostics to uniquely support the optimization of patient health.
We see patients from around the world by offering virtual consultations.
We offer these areas of specialty:
- Advanced Diagnostics
- Intestinal Permeability or “Leaky Gut Syndrome”
- Small Intestinal Bacterial (SIBO) Overgrowth or Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO/Candida)
- Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Intolerances
- Brain Health, Mood, Addiction, and Sleep
- Adrenal Fatigue and Thyroid Dysfunction
- Genetic Testing, MTHFR, and Beyond
- Hormone Balancing
- Detoxification from Mold Illness
- Customized Supplement Regimen, Nutrition and Lifestyle Plans and Education
Dr. David Morcom has always been interested in natural medicine, but it was only after a serious personal injury that it became his life’s path and passion. For more than a decade, he has been helping patients by utilizing his academic background in pharmacology to understand how herbs, nutrients, and natural medicine act medicinally on the body at a scientific level. By using a unique blend of advanced diagnostics and intuition, Dr. Morcom is able to unravel the cascade of variables that have led to disease, design an individualized treatment plan to get people better, and empower his patients through diet/lifestyle education to be able to maintain their own health going forward.
Chelsee had a background practicing as a Registered Nurse in Canada for over ten years before moving to Texas. Her areas of expertise include trauma/burns/plastics, post-operative care, mental health and addictions, and palliative care. After her own journey in healing digestive symptoms, mold toxicity, and adrenal fatigue, Chelsee found a discipline that feels aligned with her values. Functional Medicine includes taking personal responsibility for health, employing the wisdom of the natural world, and tapping into the inner physician.
Using advanced botanicals and nutriceuticals, specific food plans, and lifestyle modifications, Chelsee will work with you to tailor a customized plan for healing. It takes commitment and discipline, but choose to follow through, and there will be lasting results mitigating current symptoms and preventing future illness. Chelsee has completed all modules of the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Certification Program, and is scheduled to complete the exam April 2021.
Why Functional Medicine Works
Functional Medicine is a patient-centered approach which aims to address the root of disease by optimizing foundational systems of the body such as digestion, detoxification, immune function, energy regulation, and hormonal balance. Chronic disease is where functional medicine truly shines. It works in unison with the body’s innate intelligence to restore homeostasis and health. Success isn’t determined by the prescription of a single drug or miracle cure, but instead, the synergism invoked by an array of medicinal herbs, nutrients, and changes in diet, lifestyle, and awareness.
Functional Medicine is a patient-centered approach which aims to address the root of disease by optimizing bodily processes such as digestion, detoxification, immune function, energy regulation, and hormonal balance. Chronic disease is where functional medicine truly shines. It works in unison with the body’s innateintelligence to restore homeostasis and health. Success isn’t determined by the prescription of a single drug or miracle cure, but instead, the synergism invoked by an array of medicinal herbs, nutrients, and changes in diet, lifestyle, and awareness.
Our clinic utilizes in-depth diagnostics to establish a detailed baseline:
Utilizing silicon micro-array chip technology allows us to test a comprehensive array of advanced markers for the same price. This baseline includes a full Hormone panel, Thyroid testing with antibodies,Cardiometabolics, Cholesterol, Sugar Metabolism, Inflammation, Anemia, Immunity, Blood Chemistry, and Vitamin D.
Advanced Nutritional, Metabolic, and Gut Analysis:
Our clinic uses this as a standard for most cases to discover what the main sources of inflammation and deficiency are in the body so they can be addressed intelligently without guessing. This test measures all nutrients/minerals/vitamins, bacterial/fungal overgrowth, malabsorption, energy production and metabolism, toxicity, heavy metals, and MTHFR.
Other Cutting-Edge Diagnostics Utilized:
Genetic Analysis, Food Sensitivity, Intestinal Permeability, GI Stool Analysis, Environmental/Mycotoxin/Heavy Metal Toxicity, Lyme/Coinfections, Brain Autoimmunity, Organic Acids, or Advanced Hormone, and Neurotransmitters testing.
Every case is its own unique puzzle. Your practitioner will choose the labs that are most fit for you based on your symptoms and presentation to unravel the mystery of your condition.
Areas of Specialization
Intestinal Permeability or “Leaky Gut Syndrome”
In Functional Medicine, we recognize that digestion is the foundational system of the body and also the main source of inflammation. So if we can reset this root system, all the other systems on top — hormones, immunity, mental health, cardiovascular health, etc. — will be strengthened and will fall back into balance with ease. Intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome, is a condition that occurs when inflammation causes the tight junctions between the cells that line your G.I. membrane to widen, allowing substances to come into the body that shouldn’t. The damage occurs from inflammatory foods, gluten sensitivity, infectious agents, dysbiosis, trauma, chemicals like glyphosate, heavy metals, drugs like NSAIDs, etc. Once the delicate G.I. lining is damaged, larger food particles, toxins, pathogens, and other harmful substances can enter the bloodstream. Luckily, they have to go through our immune defenses first — this is where 80% of the immune system resides. When the immune system is bombarded continuously because of Leaky Gut, there are large amounts of inflammation created, which affects all the other systems of the body. Eventually, the immune system becomes so hyper-reactive, it creates antibodies against innocuous foods and your own body!
Over time, this leads to numerous chronic illnesses and symptoms:
- Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities
- Autoimmunity like Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
- Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity
- Mood Imbalances, Brain Fog, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia
- Skin disorders like Eczema and Psoriasis
- Chronic allergic rhinitis or sinusitis
- Compromised liver function
Small Intestinal Bacterial (SIBO) Overgrowth or Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO/Candida):
One of the main causes of Leaky Gut and digestive dysfunction in general is when the robust microbial populations of the gastrointestinal tract — the microbiome — falls out of balance. Did you know that we have ten times the amount of bacteria in our guts than we have human cells in our bodies? Did you know that 99% of the DNA in the organism we call ourselves is actually foreign, microbial DNA? The microbiome is involved in an astounding number of physiological processes, and when this microbial system is out of balance, disease is just around the corner. Pathogenic bacteria and fungi like Candida start to take over as the beneficial populations start to decline or disappear. With the loss of beneficial strains, we lose key functions of our body, like the ability to create/absorb certain nutrients and break down certain toxic substances. On the flipside, the overgrowth of pathogenic microbes creates a variety of toxins that damage the gut lining, leading to intestinal permeability, food sensitivities, and an entire inflammatory cascade leading to chronic illness. For example, did you know that Candida creates and secretes over 72 different toxins into the body?
Often, the allopathic approach will prescribe an antibiotic to “kill” the infection. Unfortunately, things are not this simple, and this is ultimately an ineffective and potentially disastrous strategy that often does more harm than good by further imbalancing the microbiome. Typically a patient will have relief for a short period of time before symptoms return full force or worse. Killing pathogenic microbes is just one single pillar of holistic treatment that needs to be combined with lifestyle, diet, and medicinal protocols to repair, reinoculate, and reset the entire digestive tract. Why many people fail at fixing these issues over the long term is the inability to address the “biofilms” of microbes that have developed over time. These biofilms are mucilaginous layers of microbes designed to shield themselves from your immune system and antimicrobials, making them much harder to kill. Integrative Wellness Rx is highly trained in addressing these more problematic cases by using the latest developments in biofilm dissolution and microbial balancing strategies.
Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Intolerances:
Food sensitivities are getting increasingly common as our food supply becomes increasingly toxic with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, genetically-modified foods, refined sugars, and more. But that’s just a piece of it. A strong gastrointestinal system can handle these aggravators… but only to a point. When the immune system is already stressed with so much and the gut starts to get damaged, we start to develop a hyper-reactive response to certain foods, which is called a Food Sensitivity. Symptoms include but are not limited to bloating, gas, loose stools, brain fog, anxiety, palpitations, rashes, and hives. There are many ways to determine what foods are best for us and what foods are causing inflammation. We have many advanced diagnostics that can isolate what specific foods our immune system is reacting to. This can be helpful for many patients to know exactly what they need to avoid for now that are causing symptoms. But our goal is never to keep you on this restricted diet for a long time. Our goal is for you to be resilient, and to have an iron-clad digestive system so you can eat most things in moderation without issues. Our clinic specializes in not only determining what these food sensitivities are, but more importantly, addressing the root intestinal permeability or leaky gut that is the cause of it in the first place!
Autoimmunity essentially happens when the immune system is so stressed and toxic that it starts to make antibodies to the body’s own tissues. The type of autoimmunity is based on what tissues are being attacked. For example, antibodies to the joints is called Rheumatoid Arthritis; to the skin, eczema; to the brain, multiple sclerosis. But why does the immune system attack itself in the first place? This is a complex subject that I like to use a metaphor to explain. All the things in the body that create oxidative stress and inflammation all go into the same “bucket,” whether that be toxicity, microbial overgrowth, leaky gut, inflammatory foods like gluten/dairy, emotional stress, or trauma. Our bodies are meant to handle a certain amount of this stress, but when it becomes too much, the bucket starts to overflow, causing vast inflammation and the symptoms of autoimmune disorder. In Functional Medicine, our goal is to identify what specifically for you is filling up your “bucket” so we can address each one intelligently in the proper order. If we can drain this bucket, the immune system will calm down, inflammation falls throughout the body, and the immune system stops attacking itself. Our goal is to stop the self-attack before too much damage is done!
Despite what allopathic medicine may say, these “diseases’” can be reversed with the proper guidance, which is something we thankfully see regularly. Our work together is to find out what combination of variables are causing inflammation in your body, contributing to your condition, and to prioritize what needs to be addressed in a specific order based on your unique biochemistry and needs. Blood work, genetics, and nutritional analysis are key to uncovering the root physiological imbalances leading to disease. Thankfully, most of these contributing factors are actually ones that we can change through diet, lifestyle, and targeted nutritional supplementation. This allows patients to improve and heal without the use of medications that often just make things worse.
Brain Health, Mood, Addiction, and Sleep
The team at Integrative Wellness Rx has a keen interest in mental health and enjoys working with patients, both young and old, to optimize their mood and cognition using functional medicine, mindfulness, and more. Imbalances in mood are simply a message from your body telling you that something is wrong. Often, they are due to nutritional deficiencies, digestive dysfunction, toxicity, anemia, hypothyroidism, and blood sugar imbalances, among other things that could present. Our work together is to find out what combination of these variables are relevant to you and prioritize what needs to be addressed in a specific order based on your unique biochemistry and needs. Blood work, genetics, and nutritional analysis are key to uncovering the root physiological imbalances leading to symptoms. Thankfully, most of these contributing factors are actually ones that we can change through diet, lifestyle, and targeted nutritional supplementation. This allows patients to improve and heal without the use of medications that often just make things worse.
Adrenal Fatigue and Thyroid Dysfunction
Adrenal fatigue isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis. It is a lay term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances, and digestive problems. Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress, and other essential functions. When there is fatigue, you might experience body aches, unexplained weight loss, hair loss, and other symptoms. Similar to the adrenals, the thyroid gland produces a variety of hormones that influence almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism. Although the effects can be unpleasant or uncomfortable, most adrenal and thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated. Our work together is to properly diagnosis the issue and find out needs to be addressed in a specific order based off your unique biochemistry and needs. Blood work, genetics and nutritional analysis are key to uncovering the root physiological imbalances leading to symptoms. Thankfully, most of these contributing factors are actually ones that we can change through diet, lifestyle, and targeted nutritional supplementation. This allows patients to improve and heal without the use of medications that often just make things worse.
Genetic Testing, MTHFR, and Beyond
Chronic disease is often a result of rampant inflammation, not being able to take in or produce enough of certain beneficial nutrients or the inability to clear a multitude of toxins from within and the world around us. With genetic testing, we are able to analyze the DNA of a person to establish their theoretical potential and disposition towards disease in these specific areas and more. Nutritional testing, on the other hand, gives us a snapshot of an individual’s biochemistry in that moment, measuring nutrient levels, inflammation, dysbiosis, mitochondrial energy production, heavy metal exposure, and toxicity. Combined, this wonderful synergy of NutriGenetic Analysis can give us deep insight into why someone is sick and allows us to individualize nutritional treatment to get them better.
To get started, please visit 23 and Me to get your DNA sequenced (on Ancestry this test is $99) and send the raw data to our admin staff to get started. Patients only need to fill out the first “Medical History” and “Metabolic Assessment Form” to set an appointment.
With hormone imbalances becoming more common and the dangers of traditional hormone therapies being exposed, low-dose BHRT offers a middle path to optimal health and wellness. Through saliva/urine/blood testing, we are able to determine where the imbalance lies and recommend the appropriate hormones and natural medicine supplements to bring this critical system back into balance. Furthermore, a Functional Medicine approach will be used to correct the underlying pathophysiology causing the hormonal imbalance in the first place. The Integrative Wellness Rx team can work with your existing physician or can refer you to a physician he trusts and works closely with.
Detoxification from Mold Illness
Mold illness is an acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms such as fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and mycobacteria as well as inflammagens such as endotoxins, beta glucans, hemolysins, proteinases, mannans, and possibly spirocyclic drimanes, as well as volatile organic compounds. In Functional Medicine we know that every person’s innate immune system is personal and genetically coded, so it works differently for each of us. When the body is faced with a foreign substance, it immediately begins to process that substance — recognize it, determine if it’s a friend or a foe, and then throw it into the antigen producing machinery that will normally generate an effective antibody response. Our work together is to properly diagnose the issue and find out what needs to be addressed in a specific order based on your unique biochemistry and needs. Blood work, genetics and nutritional analysis are key to uncovering the root physiological imbalances leading to symptoms. Thankfully, most of these contributing factors are actually ones that we can change through diet, lifestyle, and targeted nutritional supplementation.
Customized Supplement Regimen, Nutrition and Lifestyle Plans and Education
We are unique in our biological make-up, our genetics, how we live, what we eat, how we work, and how much stress is in our lives. The combination of these things makes up who we are, resulting in our own unique health story. No wonder specific diets are not effective for every individual! In Functional Medicine we approach each patient as a unique case and rely on customization of life and nutrition to support their health and well-being. We are passionate about using the gifts of Mother Earth and also leverage herbs and botanicals depending on your specific needs. In addition, it is important for you to understand why specific things might work for you or not, and are passionate about fostering an awareness of self and empowering you to make the right decisions after working with us through education. We take this even further and provide ongoing health guidance and coaching to ensure you stay on track. Having a regimen that is specific to your case will support your mind, body, and spirit based on your unique blueprint. This is how you overcome disease and build a bridge to optimal wellness for life.