Common Questions about functional medicine
How is functional medicine different from modern western allopathic medicine?
In conventional or allopathic medicine, there is a specialist for every part of your body. Neurologists for the brain, Gastroenterologists for the digestive system, Cardiologists for the heart and so on. This compartmentalisation of body systems results in a more disjointed approach to addressing disease, with one doctor focusing solely on one body system and not addressing the patient holistically.
When we create these artificial divisions, we lose sight of the body as an interconnected whole and we fail to understand how different imbalances in the systems of the body may actually all be related to a common underlying cause. Treatment then becomes based on the presenting symptom and not the cause of the symptom(s).
Functional Medicine provides individualised, personalised medical care that focuses on discovering the underlying factors that result in symptoms and affect your health. Functional Medical Doctors understand that you must treat the body as an integrated whole in order to treat any specific disease or imbalance — we look to understand the root cause of illness which is typically multifactorial. We then treat the causes in order to remove the symptoms, not just alleviate them.
How can functional Medicine help me?
If you have been struggling with a health ailment for a long time, you may have even been told that your laboratory bloods are normal, and yet you still feel unwell all the time. Then it is likely that functional medicine can help. Maybe you feel well but would simply like to be proactive with your health rather than reactive or would like to reduce your requirement to take lifelong prescription medication- a customised treatment plan following assessment could help.
I’m worried about my immune system. Will functional medicine benefit me?
In recent times and especially during the pandemic the decibel of fear regarding infectious illness has been elevated to an all time high. Many people are fearful of catching an illness, not realising that there is plenty that they can do to restore and rebuild their natural immunity to viruses and infectious disease. For instance many people who have been seriously unwell or sadly passed away from Covid-19 have been shown through research to be severely deficient in Vitamin D. Something which once diagnosed is easily corrected.
We are in fact surrounded by bacteria and viruses and most of the time they are there to support and aid our body to work optimally. Even if you suffer with a chronic debilitating condition for which you are required to take immune modifying medication, there is plenty that can be done to help boost your immune defences to a more optimal state. A Functional Medical approach can make all the difference. There is no need to feel powerless, limited because of health, or live in fear. There are many ways to naturally support and strengthen your resistance to diseases like Covid- 19, and influenza.
Even if you feel perfectly healthy and are a regular gym goer or even an elite athlete it is important to optimise your nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Sadly, even the very best diets can leave us wanting for essential nutrition due to decades of soil erosion and intensive farming techniques, and that is why a personalised supplement program can be extremely useful.
What conditions can be treated with functional medicine?
Auto-immune conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, allergies, anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, fatigue, diabetes, and even heart disease and thyroid disorders.
Can I increase my athletic performance using Functional Medicine?
Yes! Athletes and sports professionals can participate in a comprehensive testing program followed by a 60-minute assessment to discuss your results and plan treatment based on optimising performance, enhancing recovery times and speeding up healing from injury.