Regaining Your Health With Functional Medicine
By: David M. Light, DC CFMP
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a newer model of medicine that aims to restore and/or optimize health by addressing the root cause(s) of disease. The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, and science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to create a customized plan to restore health and promote vitality. A comprehensive history, examination, and state-of-the-art laboratory testing give insight into each patient’s genetic, lifestyle, and metabolic factors to direct a personalized treatment plan toward improved health outcomes. Our approach involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Due to the fact that we may find that one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions, functional medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
We are currently experiencing a healthcare crisis in America! We spend significantly more money on healthcare, yet we have one of the sickest populations among any other industrialized nation. Throughout the vast majority of human history, acute infections and trauma were the leading causes of death, and western medicine has done a wonderful job combating these issues with medicine and surgery. However, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis have now become a major epidemic. This acute and emergency care model has been applied to chronic illness, and as a result, we are continually seeing these aforementioned diseases on the rise year after year. Western medicine has saved many lives and has its place in getting people “less sick,” but a comprehensive, functional, and integrative approach is the proven method of creating better health.
Who May Benefit From Functional Medicine?
A functional medicine approach is great for anyone looking to optimize overall health and prevent chronic disease, for those already diagnosed with a chronic disease, or for those experiencing undiagnosed symptoms. Common conditions we see in our office include, but are not limited to, the following: Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and weight gain, anxiety and depression, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease, gastrointestinal diseases such as IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, and other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and so much more.
The Root Cause Resolution Method Evaluates the Five Pillars of Health:
- Digestion and Detoxification: Many of your symptoms, as well as seemingly more complex health problems, may resolve when optimizing your ability to properly and efficiently digest nutrients, support a healthy microbiome, and detoxify your body.
- Nutrition: Americans are notably overfed and undernourished. Proper nutrition, designed for each individual’s specific needs, is a key foundation for optimal health.
- Hormones: The complex interplay of the hundreds of hormones your body produces must be in proper balance in order to optimize weight and improve overall function.
- Exercise: Exercise is medicine and therefore should be dosed according to your hormonal levels and physical abilities. It must be suited to your individual goals and capabilities, and it must be backed by the science of what best improves physiology and metabolism.
- Brain and Nervous System: The health of the central nervous system is absolutely critical toward designing a lifestyle of optimal health. Balancing your nervous system can be accomplished through chiropractic care, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, etc.
It’s time to stop feeling hopeless with the fate of our health. Our genes are not our fate; we can alter our gene expression based on the environment we put them in. It’s time to feel empowered! We now have the tools and resources to really make a difference in the health of ourselves and of our loved ones. Rise up—now is the time to be the best version of you the world has ever seen.