Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine is a way of looking at the different systems of the body as a whole and providing targeted support as needed to restore optimal function.  This method utilizes modern clinical tools such as blood chemistry testing, stool testing or saliva testing to screen for a wide variety of factors which may be working to push a person out of balance or toward disease.  It is important to understand that a symptom a person is experiencing could very well have roots in seemingly unrelated areas of the physiology.  And further yet, a person experiencing many symptoms might very well have one common root cause which has not yet been discovered.  This is where Functional Medicine shines.  We are not in the business of diagnosing disease.  Rather the goal is to identify key mechanisms in that person which are driving the progression of the disease.

An example of a thyroid lab panel, to examine the body’s function and levels. These tests provide keys to understand the whole picture of a person’s health.

An example of a thyroid lab panel, to examine the body’s function and levels. These tests provide keys to understand the whole picture of a person’s health.

Functional Medicine FAQ

Can Functional Medicine help with my autoimmune condition?

The big question about any autoimmune condition is, "What in my life is making it worse?"  The answer to this question is complex and different for everyone.  However working with some of the basic systems of the body like blood sugar, Red Blood Cell health (anemia), White Blood Cell health (infection), inflammatory mechanisms and more can be powerful tools to moderating the severity of an autoimmune condition.  Functional Medicine uses a more "wellness-based" approach to basic blood chemistry patterns so that we can see early mechanisms in the system that might be impacting the autoimmune condition.  Other testing such as food sensitivity, digestive system testing, chemical sensitivity testing, and more can all be used together to help turn down the autoimmunity.  

Can Functional Medicine help with my thyroid?

The thyroid system is perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all the systems in our body.  Using a Functional Medical approach to the thyroid system allows us a better look at exactly where in the chain of events the thyroid system is compromised.  Many times these patterns can be corrected without the use of prescription medications.  Looking at other systems of the body that can impact the thyroid becomes the key.  Sex hormone imbalance and blood sugar imbalance to name a few are other mechanisms that are known to have a negative impact on the thyroid system. In Functional Medicine the goal is to optimize the physiology from the bottom up to allow optimal function to resume.  

Can Functional Medicine help with my hormones?

The male and female hormones are all regulated by the brain and pituitary gland.  If there are imbalances in the other systems of the body, the delicate feedback systems that keep our sex hormones in good working order can easily become compromised.  Finding and fixing these other systems can allow the sex hormone system to regain proper function.  Everything in our body is interconnected and Functional Medicine uses these connections to help get things like the sex hormones working optimally again.  

How can Functional Medicine help with anxiety or depression?

Everything that we see, feel and experience is a reflection of the health of our brain.  If the brain is not getting everything it needs to thrive there will be aspects of brain function that will tend to falter.  If the cells in our brain that produce serotonin, a happy chemical, were to falter then the person will not make enough serotonin for them to feel adequately happy.  This is a form of depression.  If on the other hand a person's brain cannot make the neurotransmitter GABA, a calming chemical, then they will tend to feel anxiety.  Finding the mechanisms that are impacting the brain in these ways becomes the key to allowing that person to recover from their imbalance. There is usually more work to be done in conjunction with Functional Medicine, but working on brain function as a whole body system helps to unlock the ability to improve.  

Can Functional Medicine help with my brain fog?

Brain fog is something that most people experience occasionally.  But many people suffer from it most of the time.  Brain fog is described as not being able to think clearly, remember things well, or perhaps calculate basic numbers.  Thinking is difficult. It occurs when the brain is not getting everything it needs or if there is inflammation in the body that is impacting brain function.  Finding and fixing these things is essential to helping someone overcome brain fog.  Blood sugar imbalances, thyroid imbalances, and inflammatory conditions are just a few factors that can cause brain fog.  Functional Medicine helps reveal potentially harmful mechanisms like these so that positive changes can be made through diet and lifestyle modification, nutritional and herbal supplementation, and on occasion mainstream medical intervention.  

Phone Consultations for functional medicine

Unlike acupuncture where a person must be present for the session, a Functional Medicine consultation can take place long distance.  The tests can be ordered in most parts of the country and a phone or video consultation can be scheduled.  Supplemental or herbal support can be easily shipped as well.  Don't let your location stop you from seeking support - our office is just a phone call away.  

 An in-person or long distance consultation begins with a 30 minute discussion involving information on the intake forms, personal and family history, reviewing past lab testing and discussing some options going forward.  If new labs are needed they can be ordered at this time.  After receiving the lab results a detailed Report of Findings will be created and a 60 minute follow up consultation scheduled.  During this meeting there will be a detailed explanation of the findings as well as recommendations regarding diet and lifestyle or any supplement strategies which have been shown to be helpful.  Once a plan has been agreed upon a short follow up test is typically done six to eight weeks later to check progress or to adjust the dose or type of supplemental support.