Today I am joined by an absolutely incredible practitioner, Dr. Sheetal DeCaria! Dr. DeCaria is an anesthesiologist by background with a particular interest in treating chronic pain. 


What’s so amazing about today’s conversation is that Dr. DeCaria really manages to straddle these two universes of conventional medicine and functional medicine; finding solutions that are respectful of her patients’ emotional and mental life history, as well as the integrative factors that actually make up who they are. Dr. DeCaria truly has such a refreshing approach to the management of pain. 


In this conversation, she speaks on how to treat the brain in order to treat any physical pain you may be having, the influence of childhood trauma in terms of the perpetuation and risk for chronic pain, and the influence that our entire ecosystem of health has on chronic pain. 


Dr. DeCaria is so good at what she does and is an absolute expert in her field and I cannot wait for you all to tune in and hear the insights that she has to offer. 


Key Takeaways: 

[1:09] All about today’s episode with Dr. Sheetal DeCaria! 

[2:51] Welcoming Dr. DeCaria to the podcast! 

[3:26] Dr. DeCaria’s journey as a physician and what initially inspired her to do what she does today. 

[5:06] The training that Dr. DeCaria got in conventional medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle factors and how they have an influence on pain/chronic conditions. 

[7:30] How Dr. DeCaria approaches chronic pain with her patients by combining conventional medicine and functional medicine. 

[10:05] How Dr. DeCaria investigates a patient’s pain using functional medicine. 

[11:59] Dr. DeCaria shares the most surprising finding she has discovered about pain in working with functional medicine. 

[12:44] The main causes that lead to chronic pain. 

[13:52] What is pain? 

[15:31] How does our personal life experience impact the pain we experience? 

[16:35] Can we treat pain without treating the brain? 

[17:31] Dr. DeCaria describes what her functional approach looks like when it comes to treating patients with chronic pain. 

[19:52] How often do stealth infections contribute to pain (especially in chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia)? 

[21:26] What we can begin implementing in our lives today to address and mitigate chronic pain and disease. 

[24:22] Dr. DeCaria advises those currently addressing their chronic pain on how to open up the dialogue with their healthcare practitioner. 

[27:27] Dr. DeCaria’s key performance indicators! 

[29:41] Where to learn more about what Dr. DeCaria is up to in this world! 

[30:18] Thanking Dr. DeCaria for joining us today! 

[30:32] Reflections from today’s episode. 


Mentioned in This Episode: 

Dr. DeCaria 

Break the Chronic Pain Cycle: A 90-Day Program to Diagnose and Eliminate the Root Cause of Pain, by Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, by Dr. John E. Sarno 


More About Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. is a double-board certified anesthesiologist and pain physician with additional training in integrative and functional medicine. Dr. DeCaria completed her anesthesia residency at the University of Chicago and pain fellowship at Northwestern University. She also completed a faculty scholars program in integrative medicine at Northwestern Osher Center, as well as coursework through the Institute for Functional Medicine and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. 


Through her previous clinical faculty position at the University of Chicago and her current medical practice, Revitalize Medical Center, Dr. DeCaria has used her integrative approach to successfully treat thousands of patients. 


Connect with my Guest: 

Websites: and 

Social Media: @DrDeCaria on Instagram and Facebook 


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If you’re looking to address or mitigate your chronic pain, I highly urge you to pick up a copy of Dr. DeCaria’s book, Break the Chronic Pain Cycle: A 90-Day Program to Diagnose and Eliminate the Root Cause of Pain. 


And, if you’re feeling particularly inspired and in a supportive spirit, we would love it if you could leave us a review for this show! Share how you feel about the podcast anywhere that you listen to podcasts! 




“I think it’s important to blend both [conventional and functional medicine] because, otherwise, if you just do the conventional side … and nothing else … in two or three months the pain is going to come back. And it may even be worse.” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 


“I’ve found that a lot of the really severe chronic pain sufferers’ … symptoms started in adolescence or very early adulthood. A lot of them have very similar … childhood adverse events or childhood trauma.” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 


“I think when you get to chronic pain, you have to take the brain into consideration or else it’s going to be very hard to completely eliminate it.” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 


“[To address chronic pain and disease we need to be] really looking … at [regular] movement … optimizing sleep, and reducing stress. It seems so basic, but we just aren’t doing it.” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 


“I think it’s really important to focus on all of those aspects [to address/mitigate chronic pain] and do your very best to optimize them even if you don’t have chronic pain today because you may, [eventually].” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria 


“If you’re not sleeping well, your pain sensitivity goes up. … Proper sleep hygiene … is huge.” — Dr. Sheetal DeCaria