IN SEARCH OF THE ROOT CAUSE
As a functional medicine practitioner I am very excited about the possibilities it offers. It helps to prevent and reverse chronic disease. With chronic disease such as autoimmune disease, heart conditions, obesity, diabetes on the rise, we have to re-think the conventional disease management concept as it often fails to address them. What inspires me about functional approach is that it triggers my detective mind to look for the underlying cause of disease—instead of just suppressing symptoms. It’s not about looking at the symptoms alone, popping a few pills, moving on and leaving patients hopeless, frustrated and often in pain. It’s about gathering all the clues of your past (health history starting from birth, your physical and emotional childhood environment, your relationships, traumatic events, etc.), your present situation (stress level, nutrition, social life, relationships, physical activities, quality of sleep, symptoms, environmental toxins). Equipped with this information together with the results of laboratory testing, I try to help you uncover how and why your body is not functioning well. It’s about finding the red flags that are causing your immune system to malfunction and removing them step by step. It is a process of eliminating what harms your body while supporting the body with what it needs to function properly.
How Functional and Conventional Medicine Differ
With regards to chronic conditions, functional medicine is primarily focused on optimizing health in a holistic way to recover the impaired function as much as possible. Whereas conventional medicine often only manages disease. Functional medicine takes a collaborative approach with a patient-centered model and not expert, doctor centered model. Patients play an active role in their journey to wellbeing in functional medicine because the patient’s behavior is one of the biggest contributor to chronic disease. In conventional medicine, everyone is often treated the same way, and no biochemical individuality is taken into account. Functional medicine tries to relive symptoms by addressing the cause and not only by suppressing the symptoms with drugs. Within conventional medicine, pharmaceuticals are the primary treatment for majority of chronic conditions (sometimes prescription drugs are unavoidable) whereas functional medicine focuses on a diet, lifestyle, environment and safer treatment options than prescription drugs.
With a functional medicine approach, patients are treated and not diseases are treated. It’s about the treatment of patients and the underlying pattern that give rise to disease.
Each patient is unique and a one-size-fits-all is not always effective. Even patients with the same condition may get different treatments. Imagine, there are two patients suffering from psoriasis. After laboratory testing you learn that the first patient has an intestinal infection and the second patient has an autoimmune disease, that’s what driving their condition. Thus, both patients with the same skin condition will require different treatment to address the root cause of their psoriasis. Initially, the first patient might get antimicrobials (herbs or antibiotics) and probiotics whereas the treatment of a the second patient will primarily be focused on a diet and proper supplements to help regulate the immune system. The same condition, yet two different treatments to address their individual problem. In conventional medicine, these two patients would likely receive the same treatment, such as the steroid cream. The cream could help to some degree in both cases, but since the root cause has not been addressed – the skin problems would likely not go away. This is an example of the disease management and not the treatment of the patient.
Do you want more than just taking a pill that masks the problem and manages the symptoms or do you want to know why those symptoms were there in the first place and what possibly aggravates them? If yes, feel free to get in touch with me by dropping an email at firstname.lastname@example.org