Treat the Root Cause and Find Out What Your Symptoms are Telling You!
Functional medicine is like Chinese medicine with a microscope.
Functional Medicine (FM) is focused on the interaction of all bodily systems and finding the root cause of each individual person’s illness. Functional medicine is also leading medical science into the 21st century with open research, clinically proven therapeutic protocols and the most up to date lab testing available.
For any disease process to occur there has to be negative changes in one or more of the essential functions in your body. When there are systems in dysfunction there will be symptoms and any group of symptoms will eventually be diagnosed as a disease.
I have had patients who have gone to a regular doctor and be told that they are not sick enough to be diagnosed with anything. They are told to wait until they are sicker and have more symptoms and then come back.
Modern allopathic medicine begins with diagnosing a disease and then focuses on alleviating the symptoms.
In my experience focusing on reducing the symptoms of a disease is not effective in the long term. The only honest way to resolve poor health is to find the root cause and restore every necessary system to optimal function.
Unlike mainstream medicine, Functional medicine does not focus on your diagnosis.
Although a diagnosis can help bring some focus to a situation, it can also stop any sense of investigation. A diagnosis should be the beginning of discovering the precise systems in dysfunction and, if possible, the root Source Of Dysfunction (SOD). Ten people with the same medical diagnosis may each have a very different proportion of SODs. A VERY thorough medical history, a personal conversation about stress, and some laboratory exploration almost always indicate an appropriate and individualized treatment strategy.
The length of treatment can vary from a few weeks to two years.
It is always an amazing experience to review a patient’s lab tests and explain what is measurably happening in their bodies. Some clear and important scientific measurements can go a long way in motivating most people into changing their diet and lifestyle. Keep in mind that these measurements are not meant to be diagnostic, they are meant to indicate systems in dysfunction. Those who have more complex SODs will likely need regular supportive treatments as well as staying on a consistent supplement protocol.
This has been my experience after almost 25 years of practice.
Each of us is unique and the process of healing is different for everyone. Regardless of a person’s diagnosis, the real investigation begins with discovering why it is occurring. From this, we can discover what will work and what won’t.
Leading Edge Lab Testing
My Functional Medicine Practice
In my Functional Medicine practice, I focus on the gradual detective work of uncovering the root cause, or the ‘Why” a person is experiencing poor health. Mainstream medicine tends to focus on removing the ‘What’, or just the symptoms. After doing a thorough diagnostic process, including comprehensive and correlative questionnaires, a full medical history, and review of medications, I start my patients off on the most appropriate therapeutic protocol.
In some cases, especially when a patient has to be careful with their money, we focus on diet, supplementation, sleep hygiene, meditation, and an appropriate fitness program.
If they get better, the protocol was a successful kind of test.
With other patients, I recommend a common-sense approach to lab testing. If a patient is fairly healthy and just wants to improve their fitness or lose some weight, then I recommend my Metabolic Overview Panel (see below).
Metabolic Overview Panel
When things have been feeling off for a few months or years, but your doctor hasn’t found anything significant enough to find a diagnosis, you are likely at the beginning stages of Metabolic Instability.
Metabolic Instability is not so much a diagnosis, as it is more like a weather report. As normal health gradually shifts towards chronic illness, the combination of stress, processed foods, environmental toxins, stimulants and intoxicants, and the overuse of Antibiotics and other medications pushes most of our metabolisms over the edge.
This combination of tests will give you a clear picture of how your metabolism is responding to your life.
Comprehensive Saliva Test
This test looks at the balance (or imbalance) of stress and reproductive hormones, your melatonin levels, and the aggressiveness or exhaustion of your immune system. Specifically – Cortisol x 4, DHEA-S, Estradiol, Estriol, Estrone, Melatonin, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Secretory IgA.
Urine Metabolite Test
This test looks at how efficient your digestive system and liver are at breaking down proteins, clearing free radicals and maintaining health bile. Specifically – Lipid peroxides, and bile acids, indican
Approximate Fee For Both Lab Tests: $420 USD
(This Fee is For The Lab Only)
Gut Health and Immunity Panel
Hippocrates, the father of western medicine once said, “All disease starts in the gut”.
Chronic distress, overuse of antibiotics, alcohol, sugar and starchy foods can create some very serious imbalance in the human microbiome. You may have heard that children who grow up ‘close to the earth’, have better immune systems. Some bugs are good…
If you travel extensively, you are more likely to have parasites. Some bugs are bad…
If there is enough wear and tear to your gut, you may end up with Intestinal Permeability, or a Leaky Gut.
The above Lab Tests are still a good idea, but if you need to be careful with your budget then these three tests will clear up a lot of confusion in your gut.
Intestinal Permeability Test: One of the biggest factors in the progression of chronic, inflammatory, degenerative and autoimmune diseases is a Leaky Gut, also known as a permeable bowel membrane. This tests uses a spcific combination of undigestible carbohydrates to assess the integrity of your mucousal membrane.
Bowel Pathogen and Immunity Test: At present, 80% of people living in the developed world have some form of intestinal pathogen or parasite and 99% of people living in the developing world has some form of parasitic infection. Many people who have eaten a lot of sugar, alcohol, and/or a lot of bread are more likely to have Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the balance of microorganisms in their gut. Those who have needed or overused antibiotics are clinically at risk for gastro-intestinal problems if they do not restore the balance of good and bad bacteria. Identifying and resolving these infections or imbalances is crucial to any person’s ability to heal.
Food Sensitivity Test: The difference between having an immune sensitivity or intolerance, and an actual clinical allergy is profound. This test is a great and inexpensive start to removing foods that are causing your immune system to be overly reactive.
Approximate Fee For These Lab Tests: $780 USD
(This Fee Is Only For The Lab).
Complex and Chronic Illness Panel
If you are a patient with many years of chronic health problems, then it may be time to go deeper than the above testing options.
As you age, or as your health and adaptability decline, you are going to experience more complex changes in your immune system. If you are feeling like your health is degenerating and your present mode of self-care is not working, then it is time to take a deep and thorough look at what is ACTUALLY going on inside of your body.
Dutch Metabolic Pathways Test: This is a urine test that evaluates a large number of metabolites that indicate the health of most of your hormones and how well your immune system and detox pathways are doing.
Intestinal Permeability Test: One of the biggest factors in the progression of chronic, inflammatory, degenerative and autoimmune diseases is a Leaky Gut, also known as a permeable bowel membrane.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Test: Almost 75% of your immune system protects from the moment-by-moment activity of your digestive system and all of tissue waste from all of the billions of bacteria in your gut. If your immune system falters and your gut health has crisis you may find yourself with one of the most challenging chronic digestive, mood and neurological conditions in the modern world – SIBO. This test often explains A LOT of weird migrating symptoms.
Organic Acid Testing (OAT): An OAT test is a urine test that looks at over 70 unique metabolites. These metabolites are the waste products of biochemical processes that are inherent to good health. If your results demonstrate that one or several of these processes is out of balance, you will know where to start at stabalizing your regulatory systems again.
There are many other more precise lab tests, but they are specific to a medical condition or disease process.
Approximate Fee For These Lab Tests: $780 USD
(This Fee Is Only For The Lab)
My Clinic Fees
Functional Medicine is a Process.
When I engage with patients in this way, we begin with the understanding that the first three appointments are dedicated to the same objective. Forward momentum with a focus on investigation, clarity and self-care.
This whole process involves:
- An initial assessment of medical history, review of medications, previous Lab Test results and an initial dietary, supplement recommendations and lifestyle protocol. We will collaborate on choosing the most important lab testing to pursue. (About 90 minutes).
- If you order one of my preset panels, then we will beging with those Lab Results.
- After two to three weeks, we will reconnect and review your Lab Results, present symptoms, and experience. Depending on your response to your initial protocol, we may choose to stay the course or invest in some more specific lab testing to look for a deeper root cause that would explain what is still in dysfunctionng. If you are doing profoundly better (as many people do), we will continue to use the protocol as our guidance. (45 min)
- After another 2 – 3 weeks, we will review any new lab results and the specific dietary, supplement and lifestyle recommendations (20 min). If lab testing was not required, we will review your progress and determine if the protocol is going to work by itself or needs to be adusted.
Initial Assessment, Protocol and Lab Work Review, and Suggestions.
90 Minutes ~$300.00
Review of Lab Results and establish the necessary changes in your protocol:
45 Minutes ~$75.00
Follow Up Consultation –
20 Minutes ~$45.00
This Service is Also Available Through Skype, Zoom or By Phone.
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition is an approach to Functional Medicine that is elegantly streamlined for people who are looking for a clear process of investigation.
I recently took this course as part of my continueing education and decided to join the FDN family. Reed Davis is a VERY experienced consultant and has created a very accessible program. FDN is an organic and systematic approach to being an effective health detective. You can approach this training in a ‘diagnostic’ sense if you already are a appropriately licsenced health professional. If you are not a clinician and feel called to support people as a Health Coach, you can still use this training to help peple find measurable healing opportunities from some common sense lab testing.
It is amazing how fast the world of functional lab testing evolves and changes.
If you are interested in shifting your career towards helping others, then I encourage you to learn more about the Functional health movement by clicking on the image below.