“Functional Medicine” is a systematic approach to healthcare that is quickly becoming popular all over the world. Practitioners spend more time with each patient and really dig into how optimally the patient’s organs and systems are functioning.
There is typically a combination of detailed health history, physical examination, lab testing and comprehensive analysis. Sometimes genetic testing plays a part. Many times saliva, urine or stool testing is analyzed in addition to blood work.
Let’s take the digestive system. There are far more actions occurring than one might be aware of, from the release of enzymes to the permeability of the digestive tract. Two people who are constipated may have vastly different reasons why, so instead of treating each of them with the same medication or even supplement, each individual is assessed and treated according to their specific individual needs. Constipation could be a nervous system/mobility problem, a water reabsorption problem, an infection, or any number of other issues. These issues may be causing other disorders, so it would be far better to fix the underlying breakdown rather than just treating the symptom of diarrhea.
The same concept holds true for the cardiovascular system, immune system, brain function and mood disorders, hormone balance and musculoskeletal pain/dysfunction. There can be multiple causes for high blood pressure, hot flashes, decreased energy, heartburn, anxiety, and skin issues, just to name a few common complaints. Traditional medicine typically looks for disease processes and not optimal function.
For more information on functional nutrition and how it can benefit you, contact Dr. Christine Wakefield or schedule an appointment today.