Functional Medicine

How is Functional Medicine different from other forms of Medicine?

What causes dysfunction in the first place?

The modern diet, lifestyle, and environment (collectively known as the exposome) affect the expression of our genes and can lead to negative etiologies-disease and the symptoms you feel related to that disease. According to the World Health Organization, over 50 percent of mortality is related to just three factors: air pollution, cigarette smoking, and diet. 

Our exposome is influenced by:

  1. External=diet, exercise, clean water, home care products.
  2. General external=environment we live in, air pollution, social interactions, and climate.
  3. Specific internal=metabolism, hormones, gut health, inflammation, oxidative stress, and more. These influences are key to understanding that our exposome is the primary driver of disease and where we can have the most impact on the outcomes of our health..

Epigenetics is the field of study that looks at the interaction of our genes and the exposome. The bad news is that choices our parents and even our grandparents made may affect our disease risk. The good news is that genes are not our destiny. Changes we make in real time can affect our gene expression and, of course, not only our own health, but our children’s and grandchildren's health. This makes the focus on the exposome—primarily a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, and healthy environment—even more important

  1. Functional Medicine gets to the root of the problem. What we know is that drugs rarely address the real problem. To use an analogy, let’s imagine that you had a rock in your shoe and it was making your foot hurt. Well, you could certainly take NSAIDS like ibuprofen, or some other strong painkiller to reduce the pain in your foot, but wouldn't it make sense to take off your shoe and dump out that rock? Our Functional Medicine framework uses key history questions and scientifically validated labs to find the hidden sources of dysfunction. 

  2. Stop suppressing symptoms. We recognize the importance of drugs and the lifesaving ability that modern medicine gives us, BUT let’s stop suppressing the symptoms. Like in the example mentioned above, many people use pain meds like NSAIDS to deal with inflammation or pain, but these medications can reduce blood flow to the kidneys and the cartilage. When blood flow is reduced to an area, it cannot heal the tissue and the problem can worsen. Our experts use many modalities to stop symptoms, and help nudge the body to heal itself. We also recommend high quality supplements that can facilitate lifestyle changes to guide our clients back to health.

  3. Stop un-intended side effects. When we try to correct one symptom with a drug, we can have side effects that need more medications or interventions. For example NSAIDS can cause rebound pain, kidney damage, stomach ulcers, and many more side effects. It is amazing to see the list of side effects on generally "safe" medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Let’s go back to step #1 and fix the problem, rather than deal with un-intended side effects


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