Functional Medicine is the practice of identifying and treating underlying causes of symptoms. It also is truly preventive, because dysfunction/imbalance of systems typically occurs long before disease is evident. Identification relies on history, physical exam, and laboratory testing. Usually, when the following areas are functioning at their best, symptoms improve:
- Gut Health: ability to digest, absorb and excrete food
- Immune Function: sensitivities, allergies, and immune regulation
- Structural Integrity: skin, bone and cardiovascular integrity
- Biotransformation: ability to metabolize well and rid your body of toxins
- Hormones and Communication: regulation of mind and body functions through neuro/endocrine systems
- Energy Production: ability of each cell to produce energy to function properly
- Genetic Predispositions: this is an emerging field. Genetic information can give us some clues to unraveling sickness and sustaining health.
Treatments fall into four categories, typically in the order listed :
- Optimize nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management
- Supplementation of existing nutrients
- Herbal remedies
- Pharmaceuticals (IE: prescription medications). As a nurse practitioner, I am able to prescribe medications.
In order to find solutions that work for you, your role in this partnership includes (to the best of your ability/circumstance):
- Being honest about what you can or cannot do.
- Listening to your body and tell me what is happening.
- Consuming clean food and water.
- Keeping your environment free of chemicals/contaminants.
- Being active.
- Nurturing healthy relationships.