Functional medicine is personalised medicine. The purpose is to find out why you have certain symptoms. The second part to this is maintaining health and preventing disease.
Functional medicine looks at:
– Biochemical individuality of the patient
– Patient-centred medicine – it emphasises “patient care” rather than “disease care”
– Dynamic balance – of internal and external factors.
– Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – the human body functions as an
network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously.
– Health is a positive vitality – it is not merely the absence of disease.
– Promotion of organ reserves – as the means to ensure optimal health for as long as possible.
Functional medicine examines the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions.
Imbalances in the body can be caused by diet, nutrients, exercise, lifestyle and trauma. We are different not just in our genetics but also our attitudes and beliefs. This affects our healing.
The physiology in our bodies can be categorised into the following areas:
- Transformation of food into energy
- Maintenance of structural integrity from a cell level
- Elimination of waste
- Protections and defence
- Transport and circulation
Functional medicine takes the whole into account and understands that every organ and system of the body is closely connected.
Why Functional Medicine:
This treats the cause so that you do not need to be on medication for the rest of your life.
Functional medicine examines the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Those imbalances arise as environmental inputs such as diet, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, and trauma are processed by one’s body, mind, and spirit through a unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs. The fundamental physiological processes include communication (both outside and inside the cell); transformation of food into energy; replication, repair, and maintenance of structural integrity from the cellular, to the whole body level; elimination of waste; protection and defence; and transport and circulation.
Functional Medicine is an American well-documented treatment method that is based on the individual, his background and heritage, as well as all the symptoms involved in the human system. This means that there is no focus on a symptom isolated, but on both whole and detail, as well as the understanding of the other systems also may impact on the health status. For example, stomach problems affect our detoxification functions. If detoxification is reduced, this can create blockages in the energy production or increase oxidative stress and consequent increased risk of destruction of our genetic material and development of disease. The treatments involved laboratory testing, dietary supplements, lifestyle changes and any medical treatment with the aim to remove stresses and imbalances in the body and provide missing nutrients and support the body’s own functions. Treatment is tailored to each person, so that the process is planned individually and holistically.
Results treating with a Holistic Functional Medicine approach.
Patient case study
Here is an example of a patient that we treated;
A patient I saw was a lady in her early forties who was complaining of having no energy, she was exhausted, she felt like she couldn’t even stay awake driving the kids to school in the morning yawning uncontrollably and she was drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake. She wasn’t interested in her usual activities and hadn’t been able to bake or cook with her usual enthusiasm. Her libido was non existent and it was really starting to affect her relationship with her husband. She was irritable with the children and emotional sensitive all the time too.
We agreed that we needed to gather some more information and do some blood tests. Her results came back with very low levels of Vit D, she had a lot of inflammation showing up in her bloods, and her thyroid was completely out of balance.
She was really motivated to make some changes in her life because she is still so young and needs a lot of energy to be a mom, a wife, run her home, and work.
We changed her diet, gave her some supplements, supported her thyroid gland. We retested her bloods every three months to make sure everything was working well and changed her medications accordingly.
After 9 months of treatment all her inflammation is gone, her thyroid levels have improved and she is back to baking and cooking. She has even taken up yoga and art classes. She has so much more energy and feels she relates better to her children and husband than ever before.
By this example we see how an approach looking at many angles has shifted her towards improved health and away from disease and better quality of life. Diet, exercise, relaxing response, supplements as a complex approach has helped her a great deal.