I am a member of the Arizona Personalized Healthcare Professionals where we believe our mission is “Functional healthcare professionals empowering patients and clients to overcome chronic disease.”
Functional medicine required additional training acquired after graduating from medical school. I trained with Dr. Weatherby, who has written many books on the topic of Functional Bloodwork that he based on studying thousands of labs. He learned that various patterns could be discovered and they were a road map to finding optimal health. In particular, a functional, optimal analysis is great for finding nutritional deficiencies and systemic concerns.
Functional medicine involves looking at lab work to find what is optimal, as it is a smaller reference range than that used by any other doctors. In addition, there are particular functional tests I perform as part of your comprehensive physical exam. These tests are to discover gastro-intestinal issues, hypo thyroid, varying degrees of adrenal fatigue, dental issues that may be impacting overall health and more.
I also have a number of questions I use to rule out or rule in particular concerns that arise from the results of these tests.
As a Naturopath I am already comprehensive in my approach to any of your concerns, however this provides even more science based information to allow us to not do guessing games.
Functional medicine, just like Naturopathic Medicine, is all about treating the underlying cause, not the symptoms. Both look at the whole person, in particular this is useful for chronic issues, however Functional Medicine provides further more in-depth information than even Naturopathy.
“A research team including Daniel J. Kalish, founder of the Kalish Institute in Oakland, CA and Susanne M. Cutshall and Larry R. Bergstrom currently practicing at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN released a study around functional medicine. The study shows a variety of stress, fatigue, and quality of life measures can be improved through functional medicine, a growing field utilizing lab based supplement programs, including life style and nutritional counseling.”
Natural Practitioner published June 2016