What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is an approach to health that searches for the root cause of chronic conditions. The focus is to reverse disease processes and restore health naturally and without the use of medications. Functional Medicine allows the practitioner to look at the body as a whole, instead of focusing on only one system at a time. The human body is highly integrated and each system affects how the rest of the body functions. No nutritional recommendations are made until the objective results have been thoroughly analyzed. A patient’s symptom is usually only the tip of the iceberg, with the altered physiology lying just below the surface. Do you want to learn about the cause of your illness instead of learning how to live with it? Call Advantage Health and Wellness for your initial consultation today!

How is Functional Medicine different?

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
– Thomas A. Edison

Functional Medicine is based on the principles of biochemical individuality, nutritional science and up to date research. All doctors have extensive training in the principles of biology, physiology and biochemistry. The approach to applying this information and research is where the difference arises between traditional and functional medicine practitioners. Traditional medicine focuses on what is wrong, what diagnosis code and what medicine to use. Functional medicine focuses on the why. Why does a person have these symptoms? Why is the body malfunctioning? Why did this disease process develop at this point in time? Functional Medicine is all about focusing on the ROOT cause of disease instead of masking the symptoms with medications. Prepare to take back your health!

Common Conditions

The following is just a partial list of the conditions that we commonly help with exceptional results.

Acid Reflux: Acid reflux is a condition that is affected by stress. There are two sphincters in the esophagus, the upper and lower. Esophageal reflux occurs when the lower sphincter malfunctions, allowing the backward flow of acid, bile and contents of the stomach into the esophagus. The body needs acid in the stomach to break down food, up to 50% of Americans over 60 have a deficiency of stomach acid. The low stomach acid can cause the very same symptoms as esophageal reflux. The true cause needs to be determined in order for the appropriate digestive enzymes to be utilized.

Anxiety: When the adrenal glands, the stress glands of the body, are not working properly the body goes into an altered stress state that can produce symptoms of anxiety in everyday situations. Other symptoms associated with adrenal gland dysfunction include; weight gain, extreme fatigue, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, pain, depression.

Autoimmune Disorders: Autoimmune disorders develop when there is an imbalance in the immune system and it recognizes body tissue as a pathogen and attacks the cells. Many different tissues can be involved and it is important to detect tissue destruction because more than one autoimmune condition can be present at once.

Cholesterol: Cholesterol is very important to the body; making up a part of the cell membrane and it is used to make hormones, bile acids and vitamin D. Although cholesterol is a necessary component of the body, high levels in the blood have been associated with cardiovascular disease and arterial damage.

Diabetes: Diabetes is a metabolic condition in which a person has increased blood sugar due to one of two reasons. Either the body does not produce enough insulin or because the cells are not responding to the insulin produced. The high blood sugar is associated with symptoms of increased urination, thirst and hunger. New research finds that diabetes can be reversed with the appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes. This is extremely important as diabetes and obesity are predominant in our society today.

Fatigue: Usually a general sense of fatigue or tiredness is also associated with a lack of desire to perform everyday tasks and functions. It is important to determine which systems of the body are affected in order to heal the body.

Food Allergies: food allergies occur when the body’s immune system recognizes different food proteins as harmful. The activated immune system triggers an allergic reaction. Allergic response can range from mild to severe and can produce symptoms such as dermatitis, GI and respiratory symptoms and headaches.

Diet & Nutrition: Food is necessary to survival and everything we eat makes up our diet. Proper nutrition allows for good absorption of minerals and vitamins and provides a good source of energy. Dietary changes can have a large impact on the health of an individual. In addition to the functional medicine approach, a primary weight loss program is offered at Advantage Health & Wellness.

Gastrointestinal: The gastrointestinal system is one of the main barrier systems in our body. If the integrity of this barrier is compromised many different conditions and symptoms develop. Good motility and function of the digestive system is integral to overall health and wellness.

Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones are considered to be chemical messengers in the body. They travel to organs and tissues through the bloodstream. The endocrine system is made up of glands including, the pituitary, thyroid, thymus, adrenals and pancreas. A small change in the hormone levels can cause large changes throughout the body. Specific testing is used to determine the hormone levels in an individual.

Inflammation: Inflammation is a reaction to injury, pathogens or irritants. Its purpose is to remove the negative irritants and stimulate the healing process. If inflammation is uncontrolled in the body it can create problems and lead to more serious and chronic health conditions.

Thyroid: Hypothyroidism develops when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. The thyroid gland helps to control the metabolism of the body. There are many different causes of hypothyroidism. The most common cause worldwide is iodine deficiency. In the United States the most common cause is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Refer to Auto-Immune Conditions.

Sleep Problems: as a general population no one is getting enough sleep. This can interfere with the body functions physically, emotionally and mentally. Causes can range from teeth grinding to nightmares. Management of sleep disorders should focus on the root cause of the condition.

Toxicity: We are exposed to many different toxins in our day to day lives. Whether it is the air fresheners, deodorants, make up or over processed food we eat – all of these chemicals are entering our bodies and have the potential to build up in our system, ultimately changing the function of the body.

Payment Options

Functional medicine is considered preventive and elective by insurance companies and is therefore a non-reimbursable service. There are interest free payment plans available to allow patients to get the care they need. See payment and insurance information.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.