Functional Medicine is an approach to health care practiced by various professionals such as Chiropractors, Medical doctors, Osteopathic doctors, Nurse practitioners, Nutritionists etc., which emphasizes identifying and addressing the root causes of a patient’s health problem.
The technology utilized for treatment is most often natural, such as lifestyle changes, dietary approaches, nutraceuticals and botanicals. There are also times when certain medications are necessary and if the practitioner is not an MD or DO, they refer to these specialists as part of a team approach.
Often, functional medicine practitioners utilize standard and advanced blood testing laboratories, genetic tests, saliva, urine and stool testing to determine the underlying cause of the patient’s complaints.
Standard laboratory testing has a wide range in result reporting such as the thyroid TSH test. The ranges reported are typically .5 to 4.5. Many physicians look at these ranges and as long as the patients results are within these values, no action is taken. Optimal values for TSH in the functional medicine realm are .9 to 2.0. Your metabolic rate, energy, levels of fatigue and even your mental health are dependent upon optimized levels of thyroid function. This is just a sampling to show you how a functional medicine practitioner strives to bring your health into “functionally normal” range.
Many functional medicine doctors handle tough cases that no other doctors can crack.
It takes time and attention to decipher root causes of illness, especially chronic illness. Specialty laboratories perform tests such as Organic Acids testing (OAT), Comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA), and salivary hormone testing et al., looking for biological markers that help defines why an illness is present or persistent.
A considerable degree of study in this field is necessary to define how your body has become ill, but functional medicine doctors are dedicated to not only helping you return to health, but teaching you how to stay that way. It’s participatory, not just take this pill and you will be fine, but it is worth the collective effort. I have seen remarkable changes in patients who would otherwise remain sick or live on numerous medications just to get by.
Nutrition is powerful medicine. Properly adhered to, will reduce or eliminate most heart disease, reduce cancer risk and effectively mitigate type II diabetes.
The fact is too many people are sick and the statistics are rising. We can do better!