What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is cutting edge health care.
It is a way of looking at people as a WHOLE SYSTEM as opposed to individual areas looked at separately.
Using advanced diagnostic testing, DNA analysis, blood work, urine, and saliva among others, doctors in this area can determine your overall health and pinpoint specific organs or organ systems that may be dysfunctional; in some cases, long before pathological consequences result.
From prevention to handling chronic conditions, functional endocrinology is based on the idea that the body is an interrelated system, and that no part of the body works all by itself, without having some effect on other parts of the body. A very simple example of this is to imagine a fire in the kitchen. The smoke does not stay contained in the kitchen but, rather permeates the entire house with the a pungent unmistakable odor. In your body, it is much the same. Dysfunction or imbalance does not stay relegated to the “problem”area. A diabetic patient may lose their vision, a thyroid patient may gain weight and lose hair, and so on. We are interested in finding all areas of bodily dysfunction and working hard to restore some normal function and not just managing a symptom.
An example: Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem and a lack of this critical vitamin in the body, can affect bio-chemical reactions amongst cells and affect energy levels.
Toxins from chemicals found in your food, your house or your work environment can damage the liver affecting its ability to function normally, or in some cases, cause water retention and swelling. This then can cause additional stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.
Getting your body to FUNCTION better, and in some cases, normally again, can have a dramatic impact on how you look and feel. Often patients find renewed energy, loss of weight, improved biological function, and an overall better outlook by simply feeling better.
It has been said ” Your Health Is Your Greatest Wealth”. Functional Endocrinology gives you, the patient, an opportunity to improve what you know as the “status quo” for you, and improving your overall wellness.
Functional Medicine vs. Allopathic Approach
Most conventional/western practitioners focus on the symptoms and try to reduce these with drugs. Likewise, the typical nutritionist usually offers the same type of advice, substituting more natural products like herbs, vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients instead of drugs. However, this approach still fails to address the underlying cause or condition.
Therein lies the main difference between allopathic medicine (and allopathic nutrition) and what is called functional medicine.
Unlike some practitioners who simply recommend supplements based on your symptoms (and hope they help), PATH Integrative uses blood, saliva, urine and stool testing to help you determine what systems or mechanisms are mal-functioning in your body. These mal-functions may not have caused serious disease yet, therefore, they remain undetected by your conventional doctor’s tests.
He or she may even tell you that “everything looks normal” on your standard blood panels. Still, these mal-functions are at the root of your health problems, which will likely to get worse. Eventually, you may be diagnosed with a disease or serious condition if you don’t correct the mal-function in time.