Are you living with chronic illness or discomfort? A Functional Medicine intervention could help provide relief for a large number of health concerns, including digestive disorders, autoimmune disease, blood sugar imbalances, high cholesterol, skin conditions, anxiety, and depression. So, what actually is Functional Medicine?
According to the Institute of Functional Medicine, “It is the evolution in the practice of medicine …[to shift] the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach. Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.” The foundation of this investigative approach is rooted in the belief that that the body is an interconnected whole, working within a larger environment. Medical tests uncover the underlying cause of illness, food is medicine, and environment is adjusted to optimize genes. Please note, Functional Medicine is suggested as a compliment to conventional medicine, not a complete alternative. Additionally, because this is a holistic approach to wellness, Functional Medicine practitioners take the time to understand patients as whole people, with consideration for mental health and emotional health, along with physical health.
Functional Medicine testing often emphasizes gut health. This is because a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut health is essential for optimal health. Bacteria serves many roles, such as promoting normal gastrointestinal function, protecting against infection, and regulating metabolism. One of the most important functions of gut bacteria is to support the intestinal barrier, preventing the condition commonly referred to as “leaky gut.” An altered balance of bacteria is implicated in almost every chronic illness, including Diabetes, autoimmune disease, Asthma, and Depression.
Upon assessing the results of the medical tests, practitioners can make personalized recommendations for changes that will address the specific issues that present for each individual.The protocols are meant to address not only acute problems, but also general health and well-being. Interventions are typically focused around nutrition, but also take into account lifestyle factors such as stress and sleep.
If you are curious about how a Functional Medicine intervention could address your chronic health concerns, consider booking a free, personal 20-minute consultation with Dr. Elizabeth Stauffer, Nutritionist and Functional Medicine practitioner for Annapolis Athletic Club.