What is functional medicine and why is it right for you?

If you came to my site, chances are you are suffering with a chronic and persistent health condition and have had little success with conventional health care routes.

I use functional medicine, learned primarily from Dr. Datis Kharrazian, to help patients recover from or better manage chronic health conditions. The goal is to improve your overall quality of life.

Why do I use functional medicine? Because it gets to the root cause of a problem instead of masking symptoms.

Addressing the root causes not only helps relieve symptoms, it also improves energy, motivation, sleep, mood, and even libido.

It’s very common for people who see a functional medicine practitioner for one complaint to boost their overall well being. People often don’t realize they have been feeling worse and worse over the years. They just adapt.

Using functional medicine to find the root causes of chronic health disorders

If the engine light in your car comes on, what do you? You assume something is wrong with the engine and get it checked out and repaired. You do not, however, cover up the engine light with duct tape or rip it out of the dash. This may turn it off but it does nothing to address why it came on.

This is how functional medicine works. We don’t automatically reach for a drug or surgery for your symptoms (although sometimes one or both are necessary). Instead, we look for what is causing the symptoms.

The cause can be different for each person, even though the symptom is the same.

For instance, 10 different people with depression can each have a different cause, such as gluten intolerance, a chronic infection, or a blood sugar imbalance. None of these are an SSRI deficiency.

WHY do you have a health problem?

Until you understand why you have a health problem, chasing after the right drug, surgery, or supplement can lead to frustrating dead ends.

Functional medicine uses peer-reviewed scientific studies and ample clinical evidence from leaders in the field, such as Dr. Kharrazian, to help us understand what went wrong and how to correct it.

I use lab tests, questionnaires, and a discussion about your health history to investigate the root causes of your chronic health problem.

Common root causes in functional medicine

Although every person is highly unique when it comes to addressing the root cause of chronic health conditions, we do see some commonalities in functional medicine that should always be considered. They include:

  • Food intolerances, especially to gluten and dairy
  • Low or high blood sugar
  • Leaky gut
  • Intestinal bacterial overgrowths
  • Autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks and destroys body tissue)
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Hormonal imbalance

The human body is a complex, interrelated web of systems and functions

Conventional medicine divides the body into areas of specialty. Functional medicine doesn’t work this way because each system affects the rest. For instance, it is impossible to consider brain function without also considering gut function and vice versa.

Or if autoimmune disease is destroying the thyroid, you address the immune system, not just the thyroid gland.

A congested gallbladder could be related to inflammation from a gluten intolerance.

In my practice I use functional medicine to help reverse or stop the progression of disease as much as is possible without the use of drugs or surgery (although medication and surgery should be used when needed).

Functional medicine is about feeling as good as you were designed to feel, or at least improving the overall quality of your life.

For more information about how I can help you feel and function better with functional medicine, please contact my office.