FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE AT NUTRITIONAL MATTERS
The focus of Functional Medicine is optimal health rather than the presence or absence of disease. More than simply reducing or eliminating symptoms of a disease, the aim is the restoration of vitality as far as possible.
Functional medicine is client-centred, science-based health care that identifies and addresses underlying biochemical, physiological, environmental, and psychological factors in order to reverse the progression of disease and enhance vitality.
The Institute of Functional Medicine (https://www.ifm.org) describes the model as an individualised approach that empowers clients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each client’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalised treatment plans that lead to improved client outcomes.
By understanding the root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identify the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
Rather than depending solely on single, powerful treatments such as drugs or surgery, Functional Medicine utilises a range of interventions including diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs, stress management techniques, movement and other therapeutic interventions. The preferred choice is always non-toxic and non-invasive interventions where possible.
One of the tools used in Functional Medicine is the use of functional testing to more deeply investigate imbalances in the body. These profiles may be more comprehensive than standard medical panels, and often suggest tighter reference ranges to focus on optimal health. We work with a range of private laboratories who specialise in these profiles, and are not covered under standard care offered by the NHS. The profiles recommended are chosen according to individual needs, and may include blood, saliva, stool or urine tests. When necessary, we can work with a specialised medical team to provide targeted medical support alongside your dietary and lifestyle interventions.
This helps us find imbalances in your physiology before they reach the stage of pathology or disease, and so is considered part of a preventative medicine approach.
FUNCTIONAL TESTING OPTIONS
We use functional testing options to assess various health markers and body functions:
- Hormone Function
- Digestive Function
- Cardiovascular Health
- Thyroid Function
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Food Intolerances & Sensitivities
Some of the profiles we use include the following:
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CONSULTATION
A consultation includes a review of current diet and lifestyle, consideration of physical symptoms and an assessment of any previous lab tests.
Functional Medicine utilises valuable tools including a Clinical Matrix which maps out presenting symptoms in order to understand the body systems that are being challenged. It also helps both client and practitioner understand any factors, genetic or acquired, that may predispose you to an illness or pattern. Additionally, we are looking for triggers such as trauma, infections, toxins etc. that may initiate symptoms, and factors which mediate or continue a disease process such as stress, hormones, inflammation, and many others.
Additionally, plotting a Health Timeline with the client provides insight into the progression of disease and better understanding of triggers that may be connected to symptoms.This allows the approach to be personalised and targeted.