Maria (Adi) Benito-Herrero, M.D. is board-certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. She attended medical school in Spain and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital (University of Pennsylvania Health System) and a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Center of Excellence in Integrative Medicine, where she is guest faculty. She has developed the curriculum for an integrative endocrinology module which has been incorporated to the fellowship. She is a certified meditation teacher (Khalsa Healing Arts and Yoga Center) under the mentorship of Mahan Rishi Singh and Nirbhe Kaur Khalsa and she is currently studying herbal medicine at the David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies.
Your area of specialization is so interesting: developing integrative treatment plans for the prevention of endocrine disorders and treating Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, osteopenia and osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pre-diabetes, menopausal symptoms, and patients with diabetes. How did you arrive at this area of focus?
I trained as an endocrinologist evaluating and treating people’s hormonal status. In my current practice, I work developing integrative treatment or preventive plans for those with hormonal disorders. An integrative plan incorporates medications when needed, lifestyle, mind-body, and botanicals or supplements. It is very rewarding to help prevent medical conditions such as diabetes, which is why I like to work with those diagnosed with PCOS and prediabetes, as well as helping women with menopausal symptoms and those with thyroid disease.
How did you first begin integrating alternative medical modalities into your practice?
My initial path to integrative medicine was fueled by a desire to learn more about nutrition and by the need to guide my patients when looking for a supplement. I also wanted to help patients feel better, especially those who found that there was no allopathic cause (or treatment) for their dis-ease. I joined the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona and learned about how to integrate nutrition, mind-body, complementary systems, supplements and botanicals into my treatment plans. When I finished, I wanted to learn more about herbs. Once I had the tools, I began to incorporate those into my treatment plans.