What is Functional Medicine?
The simple answer is it is an approach that aims to figure out what’s causing your health issue in the first place. This is done by taking a thorough medical history as well as using advanced laboratory tests such as blood, saliva, urine and stool. Then once this root cause is known a proper strategy can be utilized to address it. For example using proper nutrition, herbal medicine, supplements, lifestyle changes and detoxification. Since we take the time to know your health history in depth and use more tests than your standard GP might, we often find things they may have missed or would have addressed only symptomatically.
For example, you are always tired, have sleep issues, anxiety attacks and digestive issues. You go to your primary doctor, he runs some basic tests and reports they found nothing wrong with you. He may say it’s all in your head or may put you on a prescription but your symptoms still linger or only get somewhat better plus you are also noticing there are unwanted side effects to the medication. You then decide to go to a integrative medicine practitioner who spends well over an hour finding out your health history. He or she runs tests your doctor doesn’t use at all. It turns out you have an extreme case of adrenal fatigue as well as bowel dysbiosis, it was missed because these tests were not run by your doctor. You are advised to make some dietary changes, take daily herbs and/or supplements and make adjustments to your lifestyle. Within 2-3 months your symptoms start to disappear and you are feeling like your old self again.
What can it treat?
Here is a list of just some of the things commonly treated by functional medicine:
- Adrenal disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/Reflux)
- Elevated cholesterol
- Environmental and food allergies
- Female disorders (PMS, Menopause, Infertility, PCOS)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mercury and heavy metal toxicity
- Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance
- Migraines and headaches
- Overweight and obesity
- Thyroid disorders
Do you specialize in anything in particular?
I can certainly help most people with the things listed above (plus others) but areas that I’m most effective with are:
- Autoimmune issues
- Celiac and Gluten sensitivity
- Lyme disease
What tests can you perform?
- Organic Acids Urine test
- Various Adrenal Stress, Thyroid, Hormone tests
- Stool test for GI function, infections
- Lyme disease and co-infections
- Food sensitivity panel
- Micronutrient panel
- Celiac and gluten sensitivity profile
- Mercury and heavy metals panel
- Neurotransmitter profile
- Any standard test from Labcorp
How long will it take?
This depends on many factors. First we must find the root cause, this could take a few visits in addition to thorough testing. The most important part comes next, patient compliance. Are you following the recommendations? How are you responding to them? Everyone is different so it’s hard to gauge exactly how long it will take. Most seem to feel better within a few weeks after making the necessary changes whereas others make take a few months before things really start to turn around.
This approach only works if the patient is willing to go along with the program. It is not a quick fix nor a bandaid to symptoms. People seek out functional medicine because they are tired of taking one medication after the next and still not getting much better. They are tired of their doctor not fully listening to their concerns or taking the time needed to offer alternatives to drugs or surgery. If you are looking for a fresh new approach to deal with your health concerns, don’t hesitate to set up your free consultation now!