Unlocking the Secrets of Functional and Integrative Medicine: An Interview with Dr. Z

Unlocking the Secrets of Functional and Integrative Medicine: An Interview with Dr. Z

Dr. Jennifer Ziedonis, a seasoned practitioner of Internal Medicine, and an up and coming practitioner of Functional Medicine, brings a unique perspective to Central Family Practice and in this conversation, we delve into her journey, her life outside of work, and some insightful tips for a healthier lifestyle.


The Journey: From Hospital Wards to Functional Medicine

Dr. Z's journey into the world of medicine wasn't a straight line; it was a colorful tapestry woven with threads of compassion and curiosity. "I wanted to be a veterinarian," she chuckles, reminiscing about her childhood aspirations. However, the adult world often shrugged off her dreams as merely cute. Eventually, Dr. Z's path took a turn towards human medicine, a realm where she found her true calling in caring for people from all walks of life.

Starting in primary care, Dr. Ziedonis eventually found herself drawn to the bustling environment of hospital wards. As a hospitalist, her days were a whirlwind of patient care, collaborating with specialists, and navigating the intricate web of healthcare. Yet, amidst the chaos, she discovered a yearning for a deeper connection with her patients.


Embracing Functional and Integrative Medicine: A Paradigm Shift

The turning point in Dr. Z's career came during a functional medicine conference, where she was introduced to a new perspective in healthcare. "It was then that I fell in love with functional medicine," she recalls. This holistic approach resonated deeply with her, emphasizing the root causes of illness and personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual.

Transitioning from the pace of the hospital to the nurturing environment of primary care, Dr. Z has found her home at Central Family Clinic. Here, she weaves together her expertise in both Internal and  Functional Medicine with her passion for personalized patient care. "It took me a while to get here, but the journey was worth it."


A Focus on Complex Chronic Diseases and Holistic Wellness

In Dr. Ziedonis' work, complexity is not a challenge; it's an opportunity. Specializing in autoimmune diseases and complex chronic conditions, she approaches each case with empathy and expertise. "Nobody is ever really very simple," she remarks. Her dedication to unraveling the mysteries of chronic illness stems from both professional experience and personal conviction.

Functional and integrative medicine, as Dr. Ziedonis describes, is about more than just treating symptoms; it's about addressing the underlying imbalances and restoring harmony to the body. Through a multifaceted approach that encompasses lifestyle changes, nutrition, emotional support, and targeted supplements, Dr. Z empowers her patients to reclaim their health and vitality.


Beyond Medicine: Embracing Life's Joys

Outside the realm of medicine, Dr. Z finds solace and joy in the simple pleasures of life. With two grown children and a pair of lively dogs, her days are filled with laughter and companionship. 

With an interest in photography, Dr. Z enjoys catching life's fleeting moments. Whether it's documenting her children's milestones or capturing the playful antics of her dogs, photography offers her a creative outlet and a means of expression beyond the clinic.


Insights for a Healthier Lifestyle: Tips from Dr. Z

Dr. Ziedonis shares some nuggets of wisdom gleaned from years of medical practice:

  1. Improving Your Microbiome: "It all starts in the microbiome," Dr. Z emphasizes. A good place to start is by incorporating a variety of colorful vegetables into your diet, you can nourish your gut and support overall health. Aim for a mix of colorful, cruciferous, and leafy greens to promote gut diversity.

  2. Gentle Wound Care for Children: Dr. Z's simple yet effective tip for soothing a child's wound highlights the power of saline solution. "It doesn't hurt at all," she assures, recounting how a saline wash can alleviate the pain and discomfort of minor injuries.

  3. Support for Hormonal Balance: For those navigating hormonal fluctuations, Dr. Z suggests exploring supplements, like mood probiotics. These targeted interventions can help restore balance and alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. Be sure to discuss this more with your doctor at CFP!


As our interview concludes, it's evident that Dr. Z's passion for healing extends far beyond the confines of her job. With her holistic approach, compassionate care, and extensive practical wisdom, she's making the lives of her patients better. In a world where healthcare can often feel daunting and impersonal, Dr. Ziedonis stands out, guiding her patients towards a path of wellness and vitality.

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