Functional medicine is a clinical approach employed by physicians of various disciplines with the goal of maximizing health and overall performance of the human body. It is concerned with maximizing potential, not simply improving health, not simply treating disease. It represents the newest and most innovative and in-depth multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach to optimal health (wellness).
This science-based approach to assessing, treating, and preventing a wide range of health conditions.
Why Do You Need Functional Medicine?
Most physicians are trained to deal with acute care, such as treating a broken arm or responding to appendicitis. Conversely, a Functional Medicine Practitioner (FMP) will spend time with you, listening to your histories, and evaluate and determine what genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors are affecting your immediate and long-term health. Your FMP will address the underlying cause of your illness, not just the symptoms.
Your Functional Medicine Assessment
The Functional Medicine Assessment lets your doctor understand how every system in your body is working together to keep your body healthy.
How does the Assessment work?
Think of your body as a fish tank. If the water in a fish tank becomes polluted, the fish become sick and may even die. Now imagine your cells and organs as fish and your body as a tank. If not properly cared for, the internal fluids within your “tank” become polluted, resulting in an unhealthy environment in which your cells and organs “swim”. The Functional Medicine Assessment utilizes blood, urine, and saliva analysis to show how nutrients and other elements are moving throughout your body.
By looking inside the body we can clearly see just how healthy or polluted your tank is.
Once we understands how all of your body’s organs and systems are working together, we can then determine which ones are not carrying their weight. At that point, a customized treatment plan - which may combine nutrition, pharmaceutical grade supplements, dietary programs, and exercise - can be developed to treat and prevent chronic illness and promote long-term health.
A Functional Medicine Assessment utilizes 11 Biomarkers to assess the overall health of your body’s systems:
Alkaline Reserve: pH balance - yeast, viruses, bacteria and cancer live in an acid environment. What does your environment look like?
Oxidative Stress: Every illness has oxidation involved in its development. How is your antioxidant status?
Electrolytes: Fuel for your cells. Do your cells have enough fuel to function optimally?
Carbohydrate Metabolism: How efficiently is your body using sugar and carbs?
Protein Metabolism: Is your body using food properly? How is your digestion?
Cellular Respiration: How efficiently is your body making energy?
Hydration: Our bodies are 70% water. Are you getting enough water?
Liver Stress/Toxicity: You are what you don’t eliminate. How are you eliminating?
Kidney Stress: Is your body filtering and cleaning your fluids to keep you healthy?
Adrenal Stress: How does your body handle physical, chemical, and emotional stress?
Anabolic or Catabolic Processes: Is your body breaking down faster than it repairs?
How Is Functional Medicine Different Than Acute Care?
Functional Medicine involves understanding the cause, the prevention, and the treatment of chronic illness, not just the symptoms.
Health Conditions Treated
One of the most common questions asked about my practice of natural medicine is, "What conditions do you treat?" From my perspective, I really do not treat "conditions" - I treat people. Generally speaking, the people who I treat and who benefit from my care have a wide range of health conditions and health-related goals. Here are a few examples:
- Prostate hypertrophy
- Sinusitis and sinus infections
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- CFIDS: chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome
- Headaches and migraines
- "Arthritis" and chronic joint problems
- Disease prevention and preventive medicine
- Hypertension and "high blood pressure"
- Urinary tract infections
- Heart disease
- Heart failure, congestive heart failure
- Lack of Energy
- Dementia, Poor Memory
- Digestion and intestinal problems, such as reflux, GERD, Heart Burn
- Healthy Aging
- Enhancement of athletic performance
- ADHD: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Healthy Pregnancy
- Learning difficulties
- Dermatitis and skin problems
- Diabetes and glucose-insulin problems
- "Impotence" or erectile dysfunction
- Nerve problems and neuropathy
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Problems of the immune system
- Muscle cramps
- Endocrine problems
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Elevated Cholesterol
- Menopausal complaints and concerns
- Ulcerative colitis
- Cancer support
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sulfite sensitivity
- Generalized fatigue and tiredness that seem to have no apparent cause
- Healthy body composition
- Pre/Post-surgery support
- Memory loss
- Health optimization: improvement in health and prevention of disease in patients who have no current health problems
- Elevated Blood Pressure
- Anxiety and mood disorders
Also ask yourself:
Are you under a lot of stress at work or home?
Do you feel tired for no apparent reason?
Due to family history are you at a higher risk for diseases such as: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or arthritis?
Is losing weight difficult, but gaining seems unavoidable?
Do you often eat or crave foods like pasta, chips, and sweets?
Do you have trouble remembering things or concentrating?
Do you wake up tired wishing you could go back to bed?
Does your doctor say “everything’s OK” but you still feel lousy?
Are you taking supplements, but feel they are not working?
If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, Functional Medicine will help you.
Start treating the cause of your illness rather than just the symptoms. Prevent illness instead of spending time, money, and heartache treating it.
Generally speaking, there are always things I can do to help anyone to become healthier - it is simply a matter of degree and extent, i.e., whether or not we will reach significant improvement, or achieve our goal of resolution.
We begin from where we are and go as far as we can toward helping you achieve the highest level of health possible.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine in the 21st Century