About Functional Medicine

Approach- The Ultimate Medical Detective

Functional Medicine is an integrative medical approach based on individualised medicine that addresses the whole person, not an isolated set of symptoms. It focuses on prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms of chronic illness. Its approach is grounded in thousands of peer reviewed studies from the worlds of genetics, biochemistry, toxicology, physiology and anatomy and uses a variety of laboratory tests (saliva, blood, urine, hair, stool) to help uncover the root causes of the condition or disorder.

Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their clients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. They become the ultimate medical detective, looking at the complex web of interactions between body systems, the environment and client lifestyle patterns that can contribute to imbalances and influence long-term health.

Getting the Foundations Right

Imagine that nourishing our bodies is like caring for a tree. In order to keep a tree healthy and allow it to flourish, you need to support the most basic and essential elements first: the foundation, which is the roots and soil. Similarly, if a tree is not healthy, the first place you look for answers is those same foundational elements.

The same approach applies in Functional Medicine. The most important factors when gathering information about a client are the foundational lifestyle factors: sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, relationships, and genetics. These are the roots and soil, which are in turn influenced by specific predisposing factors, triggers, and ongoing physiological /psychological processes, and may then result in fundamental imbalances at the trunk. These can eventually result in the signs and symptoms that are grouped into a diagnosable constellation that we call disease, represented by the branches and leaves.

Functional Testing

Functional Testing refers to laboratory tests which Functional Medicine practitioners use to evaluate how organ systems are functioning, as opposed to other medical tests which look for a specific disease. Functional changes occur long before ill health is manifested. If you have an imbalance, it can affect your body in many ways.

The Functional Medicine approach and Functional Testing thus offer an opportunity to help correct imbalances, and thereby help optimise the body’s functioning and remove barriers to good health. Functional Medicine laboratory tests may examine blood, stool, urine, or saliva.

Functional Medicine Testing can help provide information on:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Digestive health
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Genetic susceptibilities
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances or depletion
  • Toxic load
  • Impaired detoxification
  • Oxidative stress
  • Mitochondria dysfunction
  • Impaired immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic stress
  • AND MORE!

 

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