Functional medicine is a healthcare paradigm that focuses on treating the underlying cause of disease rather than just focusing on the symptoms. The goal of functional medicine is to find the cause of the chronic disease/dysfunction and address it using food/nutrition, lifestyle changes and targeted supplementation instead of only using prescription medications to cover up the symptoms.
Our current healthcare system is flawed. The “pill for every ill” philosophy is not helping people overcome their health challenges. Not addressing diet and nutrition with patients has led to a healthcare crisis in this country. According to the CDC, over 79 million people in America have pre-diabetes, 75% of our healthcare dollars goes to treating chronic disease, and out of the top 10 leading causes of death in this country, the only infectious disease that makes the list is influenza/pneumonia. The majority of diseases today are not infectious but CHRONIC diseases. And the majority of these are lifestyle mediated and cannot be managed with medications alone.
The philosophy of functional medicine is that every patient is unique. This means that many people with the same condition can have very different reasons for having the disease. There are four main factors that we look at. At the core is our DNA. We are all more or less susceptible to certain conditions due to our DNA. But DNA is not destiny. How our environment interacts with our DNA (epigenetics) is critical to how we function. The three components that interact with our DNA are:
1. Biochemistry – The vitamins, minerals, pharmaceuticals, air, water, etc. that goes into our bodies affects how our bodies react
2. Physical State – Excess weight on our frames puts stress on joints, heart and other organs and systems of the body. Joint replacement and other surgeries affect our bodies
3. Mental State – How stressed out we are, how religion or spirituality affects you, job demands, family demands, optimism or pessimism, etc.
We must also look at five other principles as they relate to and interact with our DNA…
1. Digestive health
2. Detoxification pathways
3. Hormonal system
4. Hidden inflammation
5. Cellular metabolism/Energy
Our philosophy is that in order to effectively deliver meaningful treatment to a patient with a chronic condition, then you need to address the whole person. This is how we do it:
1. Complete health history – including history, lab work, imaging, specialist reports, etc.
2. Physical exam
3. Advanced/functional laboratory work-ups
4. Evaluate environmental and lifestyle factors
And, very importantly, we EDUCATE the patient. Functional medicine empowers the patient to become active in their healthcare and not placing them in the role of victim. This is the only way to take back control of your health.
If this approach makes sense to you then give our office a call to schedule your functional medicine consultation. You will not be rushed and I promise to look at all possible causes to your complaints. This is personalized medicine which is geared to get you healthy and not just cover up symptoms. We look forward to meeting you.