Dr. Carmen Solano is the healthcare provider at Infinity Wellness, a new premier healthcare center at 1460 Trinity Dr., Suite 8, that delivers functional medicine to Los Alamos and surrounding communities.
The community is invited to celebrate the grand opening of the practice with a ribbon cutting event at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at Infinity Wellness, directly behind Trinity Urgent Care.
Dr. Solano has been practicing family medicine for more than 15 years in New Mexico and now lives in Los Alamos. She received her undergraduate degree from Austin College, her medical degree from the University of Texas at Houston, and completed residency at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa. She practiced medicine as a family practice physician at Albuquerque Health Partners, served as the medical director for the Health for Life Center at Intel, and most recently as an urgent care provider for Presbyterian Health Services.
She first felt a calling to become a doctor when she was 12 years old and living in Mexico City.
“I’d always been interested in math and science but one day the second of my two older brothers had an asthma attack,” she said. “It’s scary to see how illness affects people especially close family members and you think there is nothing you can do – but then I realized there was something I could do to help people recover from illness … the impact of that incident with my brother led me to become a doctor.”
Dr. Solano is now focusing her education and experience into a functional medicine specialty. Her concentration is treating the person as a whole and discovering the root cause of chronic symptoms by taking an in-depth health history, performing a targeted physical exam, and doing a detailed analysis of diagnostic tests.
She is Board Certified in Family Practice, has certifications from the Kalish Institute for Functional Medicine, Functional Medicine University, Institute of Functional Medicine, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition.
“Throughout my years of practice, I have become increasingly concerned about the high cost and less than satisfactory results obtained from managing patients with chronic disease in a conventional setting,” Dr. Solana said. “While looking for more options to help chronic disease patients regain their health, I came across functional medicine while reading the book “Ultrametabolism” by Dr. Mark Hyman. He believes we all deserve a life of vitality, and we have the potential to create it for ourselves. His dedication to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of functional medicine to transform healthcare reminded me why I became a physician in the first place.”
Simply stated, functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach, she said. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, analyzing their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease, she said. The result is a personalized way to address these interactions and move the patient along the illness-wellness pathway, in other words, from a disease and disability state to the healthful end of the spectrum.
“Since my husband lives and works in Los Alamos, I have had the opportunity for the past six years to get to know this community, and I realized it has an extremely health-conscious population,” Dr. Solano said. “There is a clear interest in not just surviving here, but living life to the fullest. Because of this, my husband and I both agreed that Los Alamos would be a great place to start a center for functional medicine. Hence Infinity Wellness became a reality. The services I provide will help those wanting a healthier life to reach their full potential in any areas of life: work, play, family, relationships and community.”
In the nearly two years she has been practicing functional medicine, there have been many patient interactions that she said make her work extraordinary.
“I had a patient who hadn’t been feeling well for several years and had been told that everything was ‘normal’, however, when we reviewed her functional lab test indicating she did indeed have a physiological dysfunction causing her symptoms, she was relieved it was not just ‘in her head,'” Dr. Solano said. “Another patient’s long-standing gastrointestinal symptoms were resolved after I identified and helped eradicate an intestinal parasite. A patient with fibromyalgia was able to go hiking in the Sandia Mountains again after I initiated a personalized protocol based on his hormone imbalance and genetic predisposition. As the corrections take place the symptoms start to disappear, in some cases quite rapidly, in others more slowly. However, in all cases I see change.”
Dr. Solano said that she celebrates these individual victories with her patients and has made it her mission to make functional medicine available to people who are either at the end of their rope in dealing with their deteriorating health, or those interested in preventing the loss of health so prevalent in society today.
What can a new patient expect?
“When a new patient comes to see me, the initial intake interview takes about an hour and a half. During this visit we go over an extensive intake questionnaire. This is the starting point to identify underlying dysfunctions in the different body systems,” she said. “I also review previous health records to get a comprehensive picture of what has already been tried. Once I have identified initial root causes, I’ll decide which lab tests are indicated and start the patient on a lifestyle protocol.”
Dr. Solano explained that the next visit takes place approximately two to three weeks later once lab results are received. A more in-depth and personalized program is created consisting of lifestyle changes, supplements, and short-term use of prescription medications if indicated. She schedules periodic follow-up visits with frequency depending on the patient’s need and makes protocol adjustments, the ultimate goal being that the patient becomes symptom-free or as close as possible. The patient’s progress is monitored through follow-up questionnaires and labs.
“I am extremely excited to be in Los Alamos and look forward to becoming part of the community,” she said.
Dr. Solano and her husband Mike Solano have six grown children between them.
To learn more about functional medicine, contact Dr. Solano at 505.500.8356, Dr.Solano@InfintyWellnessNM.com or visit InifintyWellnessNM.com.
The community is invited to celebrate the grand opening of Infinity Wellness at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at 1460 Trinity Dr., Suite 8, directly behind Trinity Urgent Care. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com