Optimizing Health Inside and Out
Dr. Rashna Staid, the founder of Full Spectrum Integrative Medicine, takes a personalized and systematic approach to resolving the root causes of patients’ chronic health problems.
by Jennifer Updike

Americans struggle with a litany of chronic health problems, many of which they cannot adequately explain. You might even count yourself among them.

Maybe you deal with persistent, debilitating headaches. Pain relievers, a cool forehead compress, and escaping to a dark, quiet room offer mild but temporary relief. You cannot imagine what might cause your head to pound like a bass drum day after day.
Or perhaps, fatigue is your constant companion. You may feel you never get enough sleep and need several cups of coffee or energy drinks just to get through your day.

Other unexplained health issues raise questions. Why is my face breaking out? Why is my hair thinning? Why am I constipated and bloated? Why am I gaining weight? Why am I so exhausted?
Rashna Staid, M.D., FACP, ABIM, ABOIM, looks for the answers. As the founder of Full Spectrum Integrative Medicine in King of Prussia, Dr. Staid has been focusing on integrative functional medicine for 23 of her 24 years in practice. She was a primary care integrative medicine physician for the first 16 years of her career, so she has dealt with almost everything. However, eight years ago, she focused on consultative functional integrative medicine. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, practitioners of integrative functional medicine use a personalized, systematic approach to delve into the root cause of a patient’s ailment and then rebalance the patient’s health.
Specializing in preventive medicine, Dr. Staid takes a mind-body approach to optimizing a patient’s care. She hopes to help her patients optimize their health inside and out. Her interests include nutrition and nutritional deficiencies, thyroid and other hormonal disorders, optimizing gut health, metabolic and lipid/cardiovascular disorders, stress management, and skin health.
“I look at myself as a chronic disease specialist,” Dr. Staid says. “I want to determine the root cause of my patients’ chronic medical conditions. Is it stress or not having proper social/emotional support? Is it diet? Is it a lack of exercise? Is it not getting enough sleep? Or is it a toxic exposure or inability to detoxify?”
She adds, “It takes several factors to develop a chronic disease. First, determining what predisposes a patient to the condition, then determining if there are any environmental or behavioral triggers, then understanding the immune or health dysregulation that propagates the disease, and finally, deciding how to stabilize the condition at least and hopefully reverse it completely.
“In this country, chronic medical diseases are increasing exponentially,” she continues. “The curve is not improving despite our medical advances. Why? Because we’re not paying enough attention to the patient in front of us and what behaviors may be initiating or aggravating the problem; it’s all in a patient’s his-story or her-story.”
Dr. Staid is dual board certified in internal medicine and integrative medicine, and has an extensive background in nutrition and biochemistry from her undergraduate years at Cornell University. She attended medical school at SUNY-HSC Syracuse, and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at The Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts.
When a new patient comes to Full Spectrum Integrative Medicine, Dr. Staid carefully listens to the patient’s concerns, goals, and life story, then orders in-depth specialized lab tests; from this, she synthesizes a treatment plan to improve each patient’s symptoms, reduce inflammation, rebalance health, and improve a sense of well-being. Her toolbox includes elements of traditional medicine and integrative functional medicine. 
Dr. Staid employs advanced laboratory evaluations, including genetic testing, stool testing, nutrient function testing, comprehensive hormone testing, advanced cardiovascular testing, and antibody and allergy testing. Her approach also assesses the patient for detoxification pathways, inflammatory markers, and advanced cardio-metabolic disease markers.
“A traditional doctor primarily prescribes medication-based therapies for patients’ health problems, and unfortunately, due to the constraints of time and insurance coverage, does not go in-depth on diet, exercise, stress-management strategies, and advanced testing to optimize the medical problem,” she says. “I look to see what is the best therapy to meet the patient’s need. Not every patient wants to pop a medication pill for every ill.”
Dr. Staid emphasizes that significantly improving a patient’s gut health benefits their well-being. A healthy gut microbiome is essential to a patient’s immune system, digestion, mental well-being, skin complexion, risk of autoimmune diseases, and other aspects of health. Imbalances in gut health may contribute to weight gain, mood changes, heart disease, dementia, skin diseases, cancer, and other health disorders.
“My initial treatment plan addresses any mental health or dietary issues,” she says. “Then after a deep review of the labs and history, we work on repair and healing of the body by reducing inflammation by treating metabolic imbalances, nutritional deficits, and gut imbalances. After that, if needed, we will address hormonal imbalances, toxic exposure, etc.”
Dr. Staid believes that working with her patients as their health partner and advocate is essential to her job. Unfortunately, many patients feel abandoned by the current system, which is time constrained and heavily focused on medication-only choices. “I’m more about health than medicine,” she adds.
Dr. Staid has countless success stories of patients she has helped. Until now, she relied on word-of-mouth referrals rather than advertisements. She believes the best patient for her is one who is motivated to make changes and learn how to optimize their health. She adds, “They also have to be willing to invest in their health and view it as a priority because making these changes takes dedication, hard work, and patience.”
Dr. Staid believes mental healthfulness is critical to overall health. Emotional stress and mental illnesses are causing significant health problems and are also barriers to getting well. Dr. Staid’s initial evaluation is over one hour, so she has the time to evaluate every patient at that visit to determine if they need additional support. If they do, she refers them to the appropriate therapist or coach. Within her office, Kim is a Heart Math and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Coach. Heart Math is a biofeedback device to increase your coherence and heart rate variability, which helps reduce stress and improve multiple health parameters.
Additionally, twice yearly, Full Spectrum Integrative Medicine offers an eight-week mindfulness small-group course to help patients learn techniques to reduce stress and manage pain, anxiety, and life challenges. She also works closely with Leah, a therapist to whom she refers many of her patients for Neuro Emotional Technique. This therapy helps patients overcome trauma and life challenges.
More recently, Dr. Staid has become interested in helping her patients optimize the health of the largest body organ—the skin. Dr. Staid has been treating skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, rosacea, eczema, and melasma for years by treating patients’ gut, hormonal, and nutrient imbalances. With the help of her aesthetician, Nina, patients see significant improvements that last because they address the inflammation inside and out together. Additionally, Dr. Staid and Nina teach patients how to maintain the health of their skin from the inside out and the outside in, which is critical for lasting results. Dr. Staid’s slogan for her practice is “Optimizing Health Inside and Out.”
Dr. Staid believes it is important to take a team approach. She states, “Nina starts by restoring the skin barrier function to understand how the skin functions, and ensuring it functions properly is vital in achieving results.”
They view this as a value-add service and want patients to get the most from their visit. They offer complimentary consultations to patients who wish to start their skincare journey or are just curious about how to care for their skin. At the consultation, they discuss the patient’s personal skin goals, set a homecare routine, and make a plan to treat specific conditions. They treat various skin conditions, including impaired barrier function, acne grades one through four, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, hirsutism, hypopigmentation, melasma, aging, onychomycosis, warts, and dry/dehydrated skin.
“We only use professional medical-grade skin care,” Dr Staid says. “We are not a spa, and our goal is results-oriented health care, both inside and out.”
Full Spectrum Integrative Medicine
216 Mall Boulevard, Suite 110
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 557-8500
Photo by Nina Lea Photography
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, December 2023.