Let's say you go to your House doctor or get referred to a Rheumatologist for arthritis in your hands, for example. They may order a few tests and send you home with anti-inflammatories or pain killers. If severe enough, you may receive corticosteroid injections, immune suppressants or have a mechanical or surgical option recommended. In contrast, if you were to visit a Functional medicine practitioner, like myself, the process is approach is different and more holistic. I would go through your complete medical history, ask you a ton of questions and if necessary order conventional biomarkers and functional tests. Functional tests can be different from conventional tests that you House doctor or specialist orders. They are concerned about the biochemical function of your body and help to find non-drug-based solutions. For example, in the case of arthritis, the FxMed practitioner would cast a wide net and test multiple inflammatory markers to see get a holistic view of immune function. The FxMed practitioner also looks at other systems and may for instance also order a stool test to establish the health of the gut microbiome. Over time these tests are monitored and checked so that supplementation and other lifestyle changes can be adapted or managed appropriately.
I explore what is actually causing the inflammation in your hands and treat the root cause or in many cases multiple underlying causes. For example, it could be excessive weight, a high-stress lifestyle or those ice cream sandwiches you have every night before bed ...or all three variables! As an FxMed practitioner I look at you and your blood test results through a wide holistic lens. I use diet and lifestyle modification tools, supplements and other evidence-based modalities. This approach can help you decrease the inflammation in your joints so that you can reduce or avoid taking medications, possible side effects and a downward spiral in health. The approach is not a one size fits all prescription but instead a bespoke, personalised health plan. When you have symptoms of a disease, a FxMed practitioner dives deep into the possible root causes and makes connections between them. I am both detective and educator and it's my mission to explore & guide you to optimal health that is sustainable, not just placing a band-aid on the symptoms and sending you home. Curious about how functional medicine can help you on your healing journey? Schedule a 15 min free 'Meet & greet' call or get in touch by filling out a contact form.
Image credit: Jason Blalack