Treating OCD From A Functional Medicine Perspective

Episode 75 35m


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, affects approximately 2.2 million adults and 500,000 children in the US. Individuals with OCD often experience impulsive and intrusive thoughts that replay in the mind, in addition to behaviors such as excessive cleaning and repetitive counting. While conventional medicine approaches OCD as a chemical issue, Functional Medicine looks at genetic components, inflammation, gut health, and other lifestyle influences in its treatment of OCD.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman discusses OCD with Dr. George Papanicolaou. They discuss just how debilitating this condition can be and share case studies of how they have treated patients with this condition.

George Papanicolaou is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine from Abington Memorial Hospital. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner. Upon graduation from his residency he joined the Indian Health Service. He worked on the Navajo reservation for 4 years at the Chinle Comprehensive Medical Facility where he served as the Outpatient Department Coordinator.

In 2000, he founded Cornerstone Family Practice in Rowley, MA. He practiced with a philosophy centered on personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just not the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”. Over time as the healthcare system made it harder for patients to receive this kind of personal care Dr. Papanicolaou decided a change was needed. He began training in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. In 2015, he established Cornerstone Personal Health—a practice dedicated entirely to Functional Medicine. Dr. Papanicolaou joined The UltraWellness Center in 2017.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Papanicolaou discuss:

  • What is OCD and who does it affect?
  • Common behaviors of someone with OCD
  • Conventional diagnosis and treatment of OCD
  • The genetic component to OCD
  • How the gut microbiome and lack of diversity may contribute to OCD
  • Identifying inflammation as a root cause
  • A case study of someone who has OCD
  • Functional Medicine approach to treatment of OCD


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, and AG1. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You can start to really change people's brain function by fixing their brain, by fixing their gut, by looking for ticks, by looking for strep, by looking for imbalances in the flora, by heavy metals, all kinds of stuff will cause this. Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, and that's "Farmacy" with an F, a place for conversations that matter, and if you or anyone you love or know has struggled with OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder, you better listen up, because we're having a great conversation about what to do about it. The answers might surprise you, for sure. It's not the typical, "Take the drugs, and cross your fingers and hope for the best," and they don't really work anyway,..

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Ep. 75 - Treating OCD From A Functional Medicine Perspective