Why do so many people get stuck in a state of ill health?
Many people come to our clinics after years of feeling poorly, lacking energy or struggling to overcome a chronic disease. The prescription medicines their doctors keep prescribing may bring temporary relief but symptoms return, and side effects from some drugs create other health issues.
Traditional Western medicine focuses on sick care instead of preventing disease. This often involves prescribing meds (or even surgery) to treat symptoms—sleeping pills for insomnia, skin cream for a chronic rash, beta-blockers for high blood pressure, proton pump inhibitors for acid reflux, antidepressants for depression and so on.
In the meantime, we’ve seen a significant uptick in patients suffering from chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and others. This sick care approach puts symptoms in silos. It doesn’t focus on uncovering the root cause of disease or treat the body as a whole, which is why people stay sick.
What is functional medicine and how can it help?
The practice of functional medicine focuses on uncovering the root cause of disease. Functional medicine doctors and nurse practitioners view the body as one integrated biological ecosystem—not separate organs that work independently.
For example, chronic pain in your joints doesn’t necessarily start there (unless it’s injury related). Inflammation in the joints caused by an over active immune system, which was triggered by a food allergy, resulting from poor gut health may be to blame. Sounds complicated but it doesn’t need to be.
Functional medicine is science-based and patient focused. The functional medicine doctor or nurse practitioner looks at all of the different pieces that make up each patient’s unique “puzzle” to determine the cause of illness. They consider a host of factors that can have an impact on patient health, including genetics, health history, physiology, lifestyle, mental health, spiritual well being and environmental factors.
Functional medicine involves close collaboration between practitioner and patient.
To uncover the underlying cause of illness, the functional medicine doctor or nurse practitioner will perform a variety of lab and diagnostic tests. But that’s just the beginning.
Collaboration between practitioner and patient is key in functional medicine, so patients should expect to spend a lot of time discussing their health history and lifestyle. Practitioners also dedicate time to patient education during appointments.
Topics covered typically include:
Health concerns and goals.
Health history (physical and mental).
Family’s health history (genetics often influence health).
Lifestyle—diet, exercise, sleep and other habits like tobacco, alcohol and drug use.
Home and work environments.
Exposure to environmental and emotional toxins.
Current medication usage, including any supplements.
Social activities and interactions.
Functional medicine takes an integrative approach to total body health and vitality!
Functional medicine works in tandem with integrative medicine, which combines traditional and alternative health therapies along with diagnostic techniques to help prevent and reverse disease. Integrative medicine also places a high priority on best practices related to proper nutrition and diet, as well as physical activity.
When you think about how God designed our bodies to work, this makes perfect sense. Before advancements in Western society became the norm, people naturally ate clean, healthy diets (it was the only option) and physical demands were much higher because automation was centuries away. We worked hard simply to gather food, build shelter and survive!
Fast forward to modern times and conveniences. Not only are unhealthy, processed and fast foods plentiful, we don’t exercise nearly enough. Plus, the modern age has filled our homes and the atmosphere with toxins that take a toll on the body. In the United States, our unhealthy lifestyles, sick care culture and reliance on pharmaceuticals are keeping people hooked on meds and chronically ill.
Through functional medicine, we help patients regain control of their health and lives.
By digging deep to find the underlying cause of disease—and prescribing treatments to resolve those issues—our functional medicine Doctor of Nursing Practice Terri DeNeui and her team of nurse practitioners help patients get well, stay well and thrive.
Through our functional integrated medicine approach to care we evaluate each patient’s body as a whole. During this process, our practitioners consider the roles the body’s many diverse biological systems play and work closely with the patient to learn more about their health, lifestyle and environmental factors.
Based on the patient’s unique health needs, our team creates a treatment plan that may include one or more of the following treatment options: