Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the bio-chemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
Functional Medicine focuses on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence health and disease so that interventions are focused on treating the cause of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.

There are seven basic principles underlying functional medicine which include the following:

Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.
Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.
Patient-centered care rather than disease-focused treatment.
Dynamic balance of internal and external factors that affect total functioning.
Web-like interconnections among the body’s physiological processes also affect every aspect of functionality.
Health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease.
Promotion of organ reserve.

Functional medicine is anchored by an examination of 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; bioenergetics, or the 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 defense; and transport and circulation.

The core clinical imbalances that arise from malfunctions within this complex system include:

Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances
Oxidation-reduction imbalances and improper function of the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell)
Detoxification and biotransformational imbalances
Immune imbalances- possible hidden viral infections or lyme disease
Inflammatory imbalances
Digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances
Structural imbalances from cellular membrane function to the musculoskeletal system
Imbalances such as these are the precursors to the signs and symptoms by which we detect and label (diagnose) organ system disease. Improving balance – in the patient’s environmental inputs and in the body’s fundamental physiological processes – is the precursor to restoring health and it involves much more than treating the symptoms.

Functional medicine is dedicated to improving the management of complex, chronic disease by intervening at multiple levels to address these core clinical imbalances and to restore each patient’s functionality and health.

Functional medicine is not a unique and separate body of knowledge. It is grounded in scientific principles and information widely available in medicine today, combining research from various disciplines into highly detailed yet clinically relevant models of disease pathogenesis and effective clinical management.

Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach to improve both the patient’s environmental inputs and his or her physiological function. It is a clinician’s discipline, and it directly addresses the need to transform the practice of primary care.

How is functional medicine different?

Functional Medicine is true health care, unlike the disease care model of Conventional Medicine where they treat the symptom, not the root cause. With providers that are functional medicine trained, we now have the knowledge to go beyond the current crisis care model and offer patients a much better approach to their health. We can incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health.

Do you do laboratory testing?

Based on the information that you provide at your appointment, your health status, and your budget, we may recommend functional medicine testing to help guide your nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. Testing includes, blood testing, blood spot testing, and saliva testing.

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How is functional medicine different?

Functional Medicine is true health care, unlike the disease care model of Conventional Medicine. We now have the knowledge to go beyond the current crisis care model and offer patients a much better approach to their health. We can incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health. We can address the healthcare needs of the 21st century!!

What is the functional medicine partnership?

Working with a dietitian who is trained in functional medicine requires the patient to be more involved with the healthcare process, establishing a life-long partnership with your provider. While we provide the recommendations and tools to make lifestyle changes for optimal health, you take the responsibility to modify your habits.

Who can benefit from the functional medicine approach to nutrition counseling?

Everyone!

Do you do laboratory testing?

Based on the information that you provide at your appointment, your health status, and your budget, we may recommend functional medicine testing to help guide your nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. Some labs are able to send a phlebotomist to your home to draw your blood.