Thank you for being here. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Sick about your failed health? Tired of being over-medicated? Looking for all possibilities and ready to take action? 

Great news, this website is created for you. 

Regardless of where you stand on health reform and whether you are able to carry insurance or not, today you can no longer afford to put your own well-being at risk. Your only choice is to protect yourself from serious illness, major out-of-pocket expense, and financial ruin. Believe me, the absolute last thing I want you to do is place your life and livelihood into the hands of bureaucracy—the government, the insurance company, the hospital.

To help you understand a little more about me and what I do, let me first explain that I take a neurometabolic approach to illness and disease. My focus is on correcting the underlying chemical, nutritional, emotional, and physical stresses that affect you personally. Examples of this include:

  • toxic overload
  • absence or depletion of essential vitamins and minerals
  • nutritional and chemical deficiencies, whether your body doesn’t manufacture properly or the food you eat doesn’t provide you the nutrients you need

My clinical background is in chiropractic medicine with a particular emphasis in functional diagnostics, functional endocrinology, and functional nutrition. Like all such physicians, I can detect very fine imbalances in your body that cause such things as immune disorders, yeast overgrowth, fibromyalgia pain, and more. My patients call my work with them an art form and I am pleased to be able to provide them, and hopefully you, with the opportunity to get well without having to resort to a lifetime of useless and potentially dangerous prescription drugs as well as unwanted surgeries.

I have provided care to thousands since first opening my practice in Oradell, NJ nearly three decades ago. In that time, I’ve treated the over-stressed, the pressed for time, the looking forward to relaxing some day, the hard-working, the free-spirited, and the adventurous. My list includes musicians, teachers, actors, acousticians, writers, auditors, agents, retirees, homemakers, salespeople, culinary artists, painters, designers, skilled craftspeople, athletes, entrepreneurs, consultants, contractors, visionaries, engineers, stagehands, dreamers, and more, from just about every walk of life.

Every one of you is my opportunity to restore life, livelihood, and total well-being to this planet earth. Please, don’t delay what you already know—to get well, you must take charge of your own health.

I recommend you read the section below about how to maximize your health. It is a first step in getting to know me and will help you achieve long-lasting health.

Maximize Your Health

If you’re new to this website, please stop and read this section carefully.

  • First, if you are in pain now—all-over body pain with extreme fatigue or sleeplessness—or if you have seen your quality of life deteriorate significantly in the past few months because of poor health, digestive troubles, or migraine headaches, call my office immediately. I have a highly specialized treatment protocol for spectrum conditions such as these.
  • If you suffer severe panic attacks, are taking medications for anxiety or mood disorders, or find yourself having Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moments that you cannot seem to control, please know that the type of care I provide will help you. This is among my specialties. Underlying chemical sensitivities, adrenal fatigue, environmental stressors, and toxic overload might be exacerbating your health.

My Brain Health and Nutrition Questionnaire will help you better understand which chemicals your body craves or needs more of to find balance. There’s a high probability that you have a health problem that has not been addressed. I’d like to help you—please contact my office so that we can begin getting you back on the road to good health.

  • Second, like and follow my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/drdougpucci) so you’ll stay up to date on the latest information on health news, healthy foods, and holistic ways to improve your life without prescription or OTC medications.

You’ll probably notice an overwhelming wave of targeted dietary supplement provider advertisements in the months and years to come. Whether it’s the latest news flash about why you should be taking D3 or iodine, or supermarket product claims that are routinely described as “gluten free” or “contains Omega 3s”, you need a source you can trust. Not every product is as pure as it should be or as healthy as their labels make them sound.

Moreover, if you’re sick and tired of hearing that you should be taking pharmaceutical drugs to do everything from lowering blood pressure to living life productively, you need to know that you have other choices. Should you enter that arena, it is of considerable importance that you avoid the most common pitfalls, as they can be costly on several levels.

  • Finally, read through the Free Report and find out more about the products and services I provide. I suggest you bookmark this website and reach out when you are ready to address your health concerns fully.

Rest assured that I offer only the most reputable and highest quality nutritional supplements, comprehensive testing, and services available. Watch for more information about this as we begin to roll out this information online.

Contact me to discuss your health issues, and if I believe I can help you, we can talk about next steps. We’ll be happy to schedule an initial consultation here at our office within a day or two.

Thyroid Q&A

Q – How does Dr. Pucci treat the thyroid?

A – When a patient presents with a health problem, we look for underlying mechanisms referred to as “root causes.” For thyroid problems—and women’s wellness in general—common root causes include any of the following: 

  • Estrogen surges during pregnancy that can cause the thyroid to go haywire
  • Autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid (and other) glands or tissues
  • Infections, anemia, blood sugar dysregulation, inflammatory food toxins, and more that can trigger thyroid flare-ups
  • Thyroid problems themselves can be a symptom of some other underlying pathology such as poor heart function, neurotransmitter imbalances, and so on, including pituitary disorders
  • Oxidative stress and the exposure to chemicals, pesticides, metals, and radiation will affect thyroid

In a standard medical model, your physician or endocrinologist will not look for these.

Instead, he or she will run your blood work to measure the TSH and provide a prescription for either a synthetic or bio-identical hormone replacement (Synthroid, etc). The medical system and your insurance provider are only concerned about pathology, which is to say that if the thyroid TSH measure on the lab test is okay, and if your thyroid does not need to be removed surgically (or is not cancerous, etc.), then everything is “normal” and considered to be fine. This lack of treatment options is also why the debilitating symptoms of thyroid persist.

In a functional model, we look at the big picture.

  • First, we run a comprehensive blood panel because we need to see the thyroid in context.
  • Next, we run a complete hormone panel and look for the common underlying inflammatory triggers such as infections, toxins, and so on.
  • In most instances, we also take a look at the complete gut microbiome because thyroid function tends to slow down or complicate your body’s digestive tract.
  • We also develop a nutritional profile using your DNA.

This information gives us a complete picture—rather than standard medicine’s small, isolated snapshot—so that the root causes of your particular thyroid or overall health issues can be addressed. Once we have a metabolic baseline, we can implement an individualized set of treatments and clinical sessions to improve your metabolic function.

Q – If I have Hashimoto’s, how is that handled differently?

A – This is an important question because 9 out of 10 thyroid sufferers have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, not primary hypothyroidism. Primary hypothyroidism can often be adequately managed using thyroid hormone replacement, at least for a while, and is what the medical system is designed to identify and treat. But this is not the case for most people.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition, which means that the immune system has malfunctioned and started to attack the thyroid rather than protect it. The thyroid, like other organs in the body, is vulnerable to immune system disruptions. This can happen either because these organs have become a storage site for toxins that should be shuttled out of the bloodstream or because they are so metabolically complex that they break down easily.

Once a person has an autoimmune condition, the functional priority is to manage the autoimmune condition rather than only the thyroid itself. This is because autoimmunity does not just contain itself to one site (the thyroid), it is systemic and will potentially identify and attack numerous target tissues, including the brain, the joints, the pancreas, the myelin sheath protecting the nerves, and so on. So a Hashimoto’s patient has a higher potential to develop further complications as the problem progresses.

With all patients, we start by examining the whole person for their basic underlying metabolic and health status, including the inflammatory triggers that will overstimulate the immune system. We then work on appropriate dietary changes that generally include removal of specific proteins, antinutrients (foods that interfere with the body’s absorption of important nutrients) and neurotoxins. We treat common symptoms such as constipation, blood sugar dysregulation, adrenal fatigue and estrogen overload using nutrition. And we dive further into determining which toxins and microbial infections or chronic yeast problems are causing the body distress. In a standard medical model, these facets are entirely ignored.

Q – What do all thyroid patients have in common?

A – All thyroid patients generally have neurotransmitter or brain chemistry imbalance, maladaptation to stress in the form of excessive steroid hormones (cortisol), and a malfunctioning hypothalamus (midbrain) pituitary mechanism. The interactions among the brain, the thyroid and the adrenals constitute the HPT axis, a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes including digestion, the immune system, mood, emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure.

Because of this strong interrelationship and the cascade of symptoms that occurs because of poor thyroid management, all of our recommendations include a baseline metabolic workup to fully understand the neuroendocrine system, the health of the immune system (and inflammation), and brain chemistry. We call this the gut-brain-hormone approach to your symptoms. Constipation, for example, can be caused by low thyroid hormone or lack of dietary fiber, but more often it is also a result of neurologic dysfunction that starts in the brain stem (the vagus nerve, which operates “primary parasympathetic” functions responsible for all aspects of digestion) and ends in the transverse colon, where you feel constipated.

In many thyroid cases, patients also suffer with brain fog, insomnia, mood swings, irritability and anxiety. Again, there is a metabolic component at the heart of these symptoms; yet, since nervous system and brain health are inextricably linked, we work on brain function specifically to improve thoughts, feelings, and focus while helping to reduce symptoms.

Q – What if I just take a “wait and see” approach? Will I get better on my own?

A – If I were to line up all the thyroid patients I’ve consulted together with their pages and pages of laboratory tests and their bottles and bottles of nutritional products, the line might stretch from here to Montauk. The line would stretch even farther if I add in all the patients’ tears and sleepless nights and times that I heard them say, “My doctor said those symptoms weren’t related” or “My husband said I should do something about this but I didn’t think there was hope” or worse, “My doctor said it’s all in my head,” after which their doctor handed them a prescription for Lyrica or some other prescription and sent them on their way.

Instead, what my patients tell me is they wish they’d found me sooner. What I have learned about thyroid (and countless other health problems) is that the “wait and see” approach IS the standard medical model. But when you go it alone, trying out nutritional products and searching the internet as your salvation, you’ll get lost, and eventually you’ll get worse because you’re following the same Replacement Model that the medical system is using instead of examining the root cause and taking a full throttle, hands-on approach.

Having a doctor you can trust and who can guide you through the process, one who’s willing to listen and also provide you insight about you and how your entire being works, one who does not minimize you or your health condition, is priceless.

Jumpstart Your Health

7 Strategies for Minimizing Cravings and Boosting Your Health

Let’s look at some general dietary suggestions that can help get you on track to reversing, lessening or managing many health problems.

  1. Stabilize your blood sugar. Create a morning ritual that includes alkalizing your body upon waking with a green drink, a morning tonic, or ginger tea (or similar). Quickly follow that, within a half hour, with a small amount of protein. Lack of adequate protein creates an insulin surge and reactive glycemic state that contributes to further fluctuations throughout the day that are difficult to overcome. Lack of focus, “brain hunger,” poor decision making, and so on, ensue. Even for people with no appetite, a bone broth or similar can be enough. Throughout the day small regular meals at two- to three-hour intervals are required. If your last meal of the day is at 6pm and you don’t eat again till 10am or later, your brain and your body suffer.
  2. Eliminate pro-inflammatory foods. For at least thirty days, eat only animal protein, including fish and shellfish, vegetables, herbs and spices, a handful of nuts and seeds (preferably soaked and sprouted) a day, citrus, berries, and healthy saturated fats, including pastured eggs. These should be whole, live foods prepared mostly by you. To restate this, you need to eliminate processed foods and foods that contain harmful components that are inflammatory to your system. To the greatest extent practicable, your vegetables should be organic and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticide residues, your protein sources should be free of antibiotics and growth hormones. One hundred percent grass fed is preferred, and it’s best to forever eliminate food additives like sweeteners, food dyes, and other additives that are neurotoxic to the brain.
  3. Increase essential fatty acids and healthy fats. Healthy fats include coconuts and their by-products like coconut manna, avocados, oils that are from tree nuts (e.g., macadamia oil), tree fruits (e.g., coconut, olive, avocado oils), clarified butter (called ghee), 100 percent grass fed or pastured butter, and nut or seed butters (e.g., flax seed and cashew butters). Essential fatty acids like omega oils are also readily available from oysters and other shellfish that feed on algae, and micro-greens that convert the sun’s energy directly into food. All these help reduce inflammation by supplying the cells in your body, which are a self-contained life form themselves, with much needed nutrients.
  4. Increase prebiotic and probiotic foods, and particularly those that are lacto-fermented or cultured. These are foods that utilize a culture starter or fermentation process that predigests the naturally occurring sugars and also create a thriving environment for healthy bacteria to flourish. These are foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, pickled ginger, and chutneys. It also includes kefirs, buttermilk, and crafted yogurts (that are from 100 percent grass fed cows, sheep, or goats). Prebiotic foods are bitter leafy greens like dandelion greens, watercress, and asparagus.
  5. Minimize legumes, which are beans, lentils, and peanuts, and are designed by nature to be difficult to digest. For many they contribute to gassiness and bloating, although a few beans in an otherwise well-prepared meal are fine for most people. That said, most cooks do not take time to adequately soak, sprout, and slowly cook their beans, which allows them to easily convert to a starch and lose the quality protein that is otherwise available. If you are relying solely on beans (and nuts, seeds, and plant proteins) for your nutrients, careful preparation is a must!
  6. Eat more raw dietary fiber, particularly in the form of leafy green plants. There is a myth that abounds that leafy green plants, particularly the cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, arugula, broccoli, and kale will somehow steal away precious iodine from your body, especially the thyroid gland. Or that high-oxalate content foods like spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens should be avoided because of the risk of kidney stones. If these cases exist at all, the probability is so incredibly rare that I can safely advise my patients to eat these at every meal.
  7. Hydrate! Not only is good water a primary source for trace minerals and nutrients, it’s essential for ridding the body of unwanted wastes. Very often, even though my patients are drinking lots of water, the water is not making it inside the cells. One of my suggestions is always to add a pinch of sea salt. Make sure the one you have on hand for this purpose is produced by the process of evaporation of salt water bodies only.

Clinical Pearls in Functional Endocrinology

Many of us are likely aware that hormone imbalances can contribute to many health complications. The logical next step is to have hormone levels checked and get them balanced. Sounds easy, but is it? Many people have gone to doctors and naturopaths who have attempted to normalize their hormone levels, only to find it is a game of whack-a-mole at best.

For those who have tried balancing their hormones and found it to be an impossible task, the chances are that something significant is being overlooked. From hormone delivery methods to testing procedures and supplemental nutritional support, all aspects of hormone adjustments can be tweaked for maximum success.

Here are six pearls of clinical wisdom to help guide us down the challenging path towards optimal hormonal balance.

Pearl No. 1 – Hormone Delivery

Typically, effective hormone supplementation, especially progesterone and testosterone, are delivered either topically (creams) or sublingually (oil or alcohol based liquid solutions placed under the tongue). One potential drawback of creams—particularly for menopausal women—is that chronic use of hormone creams can lead to tissue saturation, thereby rendering them ineffective.

Pearl No. 2 – Repeat Testing

It is all too common to hear of doctors prescribing hormone creams or capsules and failing to run repeat tests soon enough, if ever, to monitor the effectiveness of a particular course of treatment. Regular follow-ups are essential because testing will show whether the regimen is balancing hormones in the right direction. Clinical success depends on monitoring the results and taking action every 8 to 12 weeks in the beginning.

Pearl No. 3 – Testing Methods

Many doctors will run blood tests to measure reproductive hormone levels; however, this is not necessarily the best approach. A better approach is salivary hormone testing that measures the free fractionated forms of each hormone so that it is possible to tell what amount of hormones is not just in the bloodstream, but actually available to cells and used.

Pearl No. 4 – Root Cause Investigation

What is “functional endocrinology”? While everyone agrees it is important to achieve hormonal balance in order to feel well, only a functional endocrinologist will inquire about the root cause of any imbalances present.

Supplementing hormones is by trial and through follow-up, with a comprehensive look at everything going on. There is a reason why a hormone imbalance is present in the first place, and we want to understand what it is.

Culprits include compromised adrenal function, blood sugar regulation, hormone receptor saturation, inflammation and brain-body communication. Administering hormones without addressing these root cause issues won’t work.

Pearl No. 5 – Supplement Overload

There are articles and advertisements all over the media touting the health benefits of new supplements and the latest products. However, consumers are mostly in the dark regarding what supplementation their body needs. Add to this a problem with product authenticity, harmful fillers, and potency. It is imperative to have a doctor prescribe high-quality, all-natural, pre-screened products on a regimen tailored to an individual’s needs.

Pearl No. 6 – Hormone Clearance

An often overlooked but potent aspect to hormone balance is bile synthesis and clearance of excess saturation from the body. The liver must be supported to aid the body in pushing out excess hormones. Sometimes it is not only adding in hormones, but often pushing excess hormones out can be key.

What to Look for in a Functional Medicine Doctor

When it comes to their health, patients want natural remedies. Whether medications aren’t working or because the side effects of taking them aren’t worth it, people seek a solution for their ailments that is outside the mainstream pharmacopeia. And doctors are listening.

Doctors of all stripes—gynecologists, cardiologists, chiropractors and more—are moving into the discipline of functional diagnostic medicine because it offers patients hope by combining natural remedies into a framework of healing that is at the core of patient care.

Moreover, functional medicine doctors don’t gloss over the fact that much of what is ailing you has been routinely ignored. Your health has less to do with genetic makeup, per se, than it does with the functioning of your body’s systems (hormone, immune, neurological, and so on) when autoimmune reactions and chronic inflammation occur.

An example of this change in thinking is happening right now, today, with the current news that immunotherapy is more effective than conventional methods for treating cancer. Studying the immune system, especially in the context of what restores a patient to health, is past due.

So what do you look for in a functional medicine doctor? For many it comes down to how well you communicate, starting with a basic affinity for each other. Illness can make a patient feel fragile, so finding a doctor who listens is important. As such, there are some preliminary questions to ask that will help you better understand whether this partnership is a right fit going forward.

Question No. 1 – What’s Your Philosophy of Nutrition?

For anyone who is not well, changes to lifestyle and diet are critical steps to healing. Even for patients who are not “sick”—who might simply want to improve their wellbeing—learning to identify and remove any inflammatory culprits is the first step.

Regarding nutritional supplementation, whether it’s hormones or heart disease, your doctor’s approach to supplements has to be thought of as more than a replacement for drugs. Nutrition is a tool for healing, and as healing takes place the cache of products will lessen.

Question No. 2 – What Testing Do You Use as Your Baseline?

Typically doctors will run tests in order to rule on a diagnosis. The result of the test becomes the basis for a treatment and is an important safety precaution in an acute scenario, as in a hospital. A doctor might call for a CBC to test for infection or an MRI prior to surgery.

In functional medicine, the tests are less for pathology and more for insight. When balancing hormones, for example, a doctor is looking for blood sugar response, adrenal function, steroidal hormone ratios, food sensitivities and many other indicators that are part of an overall pattern.

Question No. 3 – Which Therapies Would You Use in My Case?

At first blush a condition such as vertigo presents very differently from a thyroid disorder. That said, in many instances there are similar root causes including blood sugar dysregulation, parasitic or viral infection, nutritional deficiencies, toxic overload and hormonal imbalances, and so on.

Therapies should seek to remove any antigens and be supportive of healing and rejuvenation. Those that are best are noninvasive and lead to a restorative outcome in the patient’s ability to detoxify, increase metabolic capacity (more energy), recover brain-body balance and provide pain relief when needed.