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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH

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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH, is board-certified in Preventive Medicine and diplomate-certified in Integrative Medicine. She has been helping women through Functional Medicine since 1998. Dr. Pizzino has been practicing telemedicine since 2013, and now offers state-of-the-art video conferencing through Parsley Health ( Check out our newest, more cost-effective solutions to fit your budget. Pass this article on to your friends and family around the country as she now sees people through telemedicine in 17 states.

Telemedicine for Women’s Health

By Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Medical Editor of Health&Healing

Dr. Pizzino

Wow! Haven’t we all had to become more technology savvy since COVID-19 entered our vocabulary? As I covered in the July on-line issue of Health&Healing in the Triangle ( the new technology of video conferencing for delivery of telemedicine care gives you access to important personalized health care advances that may not have been available in a typical in-clinic doctor’s visit. Having specialized in the progressive science of Functional Medicine for over two decades, I have thousands of examples of how this root-cause approach can be a game-changer for getting results of particular concern to women. Let’s look at how you can harness this powerful healing process to turn on your body’s innate ability to balance itself in four areas of particular concern to women and their partners: menstrual discomfort and irregularity; pregnancy preparation; perimenopause and menopause; and cancer prevention and recovery.

Menstrual challenges

Many women struggle every month with menstrual pain, cycle-related migraines, bloating or mood issues, excessive bleeding, or very irregular cycles. While many physicians will check blood work on one or two days of the cycle, I find using an at-home dried urine sample collected throughout the cycle gives us much more information. We add to this an analysis of hormone metabolism, as well as synchronicity of what is going on with the adrenals to be able to pinpoint the specific interventions to help an individual woman get the hormonal balance she needs. Through a video conference lasting an hour, we address the different components of this, including: nutrition, lifestyle and stress management, toxin impacts, genetic influences, and proven herbal therapies. We include video health coaching as a follow up to our HIPAA-compliant video consultation to give you all the resources you need to put our mutually-agreed-upon plan into action.

Pregnancy Preparation

Whether you have had to face the challenges of infertility or the devastation of miscarriage, or just want to prepare your body optimally to carry and deliver a healthy baby, the Functional Medicine root-cause approach can benefit the process of bringing that smiling cherub into your life. With infertility, we address many of the same fundamental hormonal issues noted above with menstrual challenges, including PCOS. Special Functional Medicine testing for root causes of miscarriage can include looking for markers of autoimmune disease and inflammation, genetic influences, and even inability to assimilate vitamins or minerals. For the healthy woman who wants to ensure her body’s ability to carry a healthy baby, we optimize nutrition with validated laboratory testing, remove toxins that could cross the placenta, and build in supportive self-care which is so essential to motherhood. Our extensive root-source evaluation during a longer video conference focuses us on personalizing to your unique needs and goals.

Pre- and Post-Menopause

Perimenopause, menopause, and beyond involve many bodily systems, including, and in addition to, the cessation of hormone production by the ovaries. While using bio-identical hormone replacement is an option for some women, our in-depth dive into your personal medical history and genetics can help determine if this is right for you. Other important factors to consider also have huge impacts on sleep, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weight gain, irritability, and other symptoms common in during this change of life. In particular, adrenal function, insulin resistance/blood sugar, and toxin issues can greatly influence whether you are in the 50 percent of women who breeze through this alteration, or find your world turned upside down by hormonal transformation. Our video conferences allow me to thoroughly listen to what you know, since you are the authority on noticing what is going on in your body. Specialized Functional Medicine testing allows us to pinpoint the sources. And again, our health coaches support you in making adjustments.

Cancer Prevention and Recovery

Nothing gets a woman’s attention like “the Big C.” Whether you are concerned from a personal family history, your own scare from finding a lump, or you are just trying to navigate through the frightful medical landscape to recover from cancer, telemedicine can give you the support to make informed decisions, tackle preventive strategies, and optimize your wellness. Being board-certified in Preventive Medicine, I can help you look deeply into your unique risk-factors. The Functional Medicine approach to biotransformation and elimination can help you target recovery processes to remove toxic effects from chemotherapy and radiation to recover your vitality, as well as set you up to avoid cancer in the future.

Telemedicine is a value-add to your current standard of care. There are obviously no substitutes for hands-on examination of the uterus or ovaries. Allopathic medicine does not even have accurate blood tests to assess conditions and risks in these organs. And, the science of Functional Medicine adds advanced science-based usefulness to those standards of care. We can order usual labs covered by insurance, as well as offer more in-depth testing. We work with your usual pharmacy and with compounding pharmacies to tailor medications to you. And we provide many alternatives to medications. With telemedicine, we have the time to share information, educate and guide you to optimizing the care and function of your reproductive organs. Indeed, a woman’s health is more than just her hormones. Get help beyond your doctor’s office to thrive and flourish as a whole person. Let’s set up some time to “see” each other and guide you on your path to optimal health.