Is Functional Medicine Right For You?

First, a quick overview of Functional Medicine for those unfamiliar. As a Functional, Medicine doctor, I embrace both traditional Medicine, as well as, Natural Medicine. Patient evaluation starts with carefully reviewing past health history, previous lab testing and the lifestyle factors that are unique to you. The initial consultation may last for 60 to 90 minutes for me to fully understand what you’ve been through and where you’re at now. Depending on what we discover, additional testing may be recommended. This could include traditional lab tests, as well as, advanced testing to evaluate genetics, determine sensitivities to food or environment, nutritional imbalances, hormone testing, organic acids testing or other tests to determine the root cause of the condition.

This is a different approach than with traditional medicine. Currently, traditional medicine operates under an emergency care health model. Medications and surgery are appropriate in the emergency setting, but they do not translate well to chronic conditions. Diagnosis is usually naming the symptoms and prescribing a drug in an attempt to reduce those symptoms.

How would Functional Medicine approach my condition?

Here are a few examples:

Autoimmune Disease

Traditional Medicine Approach – Medications to suppress the immune system. Unfortunately, this lowers natural immunity and increases the patient’s vulnerability to infections. No exit strategy from the meds.

Functional Medicine Approach – Look for the root cause of the hyperactive immune system. Find and address the food, toxin, environmental allergen, parasite, chronic bacterial infection or whatever the stressor is that’s stoking the fire and causing your immune response.


Traditional Medicine Approach – Medication to lower blood pressure. Told to reduce stress, eat better and exercise. All good lifestyle advice, however, it may not be enough for some to lower their blood pressure. Often leads to a lifetime of medications and possibly other medications to combat side effects.

Functional Medicine Approach – Find out why your body is telling the heart to pump harder. It can be the result of many factors that the cardiologist may not be considering.  Need to get to the root cause to stop the damage and reduce or eliminate the need for medications.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Traditional Medicine Approach – Nothing for numbness. Medication to sedate any painful symptoms that may be present. Anti-seizure medication like Lyrica, Gabapentin, Neurontin, an anti-depressant like Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Doxepin, imipramine or a pain killer of some kind.

Functional Medicine Approach – Look for and remove aggravating factors and support nerve function. Increase circulation to the area and help the body increase the amount of energy produced in and around the affected nerves.  


Why won’t my family doctor order advanced testing for me?

Your doctor is responsible for the information on any tests that he or she orders. If your doctor has not been trained how to read the test or what significance it has to your condition, they won’t order it for you.

If you are frustrated and need direction in how to resolve your health challenges, Functional Medicine might just be what you’ve been looking for.

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