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Conditions, Nutrition, Treatments, Health, Tips, Wellness / 14 October 2019

Functional Medical Screenings: Everything You Need to Know

Functional medicine is rapidly gaining popularity with its unique approach of focusing on the individual lifestyle and biochemical factors of each patient to determine the root cause of your health issue. The aim of this approach is to enhance the vitality and health of the individuals. 

This type of medicine offers personalized treatment plans for every patient by focusing on the underlying dysfunctions or imbalances of the biological system of the body.  A Doctor’s Hand Examining Patient’s Shoulders

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine utilizes a unique model and approach to identify, prevent, and manage chronic illnesses. Instead of only treating a specific symptom or area, the health professional focuses on all the internal mechanisms to enhance the overall health of the patient.

Functional medicine is holistic in how it views patients as a whole and the health issues they are presented with. 

How Does Functional Medicine Work?

Doctors of functional medicine and their patients work together to get to the root cause of the health issue. The focus is not just on the physical symptoms, but also other relevant factors to the patients’ way of life, such as their lifestyle, traumas, physical activity, diet, and environmental influences. The specialist can then determine which factors may be contributing to the pain a patient is feeling.

Functional medicine experts believe that diseases often have more than one imbalance which must be treated to eliminate the disease or illness completely. For instance, obesity might be caused by multiple imbalances, such as diet, genetics, gut flora, physical activity, hormones, inflammation or exposure to toxins. Moreover, a single imbalance, like inflammation, might be caused by different conditions. 

These complexities and imbalances are examined in functional medicine and treated accordingly to restore the balance to promote health. This is typically done by providing personalized treatment plans for every patient, including:

  • Nutritional supplements or botanical medicines
  • Detoxification programs
  • Stress management
  • Lifestyle, exercise and diet changes

Benefits of Functional Medicine

There are numerous benefits of opting for functional medical treatments, such as:

  • Focusing on reinstating the balance in the patient’s body, which results in self-healing 
  • Enhancing the overall health and wellness of the individual
  • Maintaining the balance of the body for prolonged wellness and preventing the recurrence of the diseases
  • Encouraging communication between the patient and the health professional, enabling the patient to feel more in control of their own health and to understand their condition
  • Designing the treatment plan alongside the patient resulting in better outcomes

Who Should Opt for Functional Medical Screenings? 

Functional medical screenings may be beneficial for you if you experience any of the following conditions:

  • Hormonal Issues – menopause, chronic fatigue, and thyroid conditions
  • Skin Problems – eczema, acne, and psoriasis 
  • Autoimmune Diseases – celiac disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Digestive Disorders – acid reflux, chronic pancreatitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut
  • Psychiatric and Neurological Conditions – migraine headaches, attention deficit disorder, and depression
  • Cardiometabolic Conditions – heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes

It is best to consult with a functional medicine expert to determine the best course of action for your situation. 

What to Expect from Functional Medical Screenings?

The first consultation with a functional medical expert will mostly be about getting to know the patient, their illness, symptoms, lifestyle and other factors. The practitioner will also take the complete medical history of the patient, as well as the existing treatment they are currently undergoing. 

Based on the information gathered, the specialist will then determine which medical screening tests are right for the patient. These screenings typically include:

  • Nutritional tests
  • Organic acid testing
  • Thyroid tests
  • Hormones tests 
  • Gut function testing 
  • Other screenings – genetic tests, food sensitivity tests, toxin screenings and more

After the results of the screenings are collected, the functional medicine expert will create a customized treatment plan for the patient. Regular follow-ups are also done to ensure the treatment plan is working. During these follow-ups, more screenings may be conducted to monitor the improvement of the patient and determine whether there is a need to alter the treatment plan.

Functional medical screenings enable the health professional to get a complete picture of the overall health of the patient. This approach opts for natural remedies and customized treatments, which means the patient gets a more focused healing process instead of receiving the one-size-fits-all strategy of the conventional medicine treatment. 

Looking to begin your functional medicine journey so you can get better faster? Call our patient advocates today at (877) 333-NJSW to set up an appointment with our doctor of functional medicine, Dr. Riggi!

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