Functional Medicine – What is it?
At Four Health Medicine we take a Functional Medicine approach with our patients. This is a true healthcare approach, which promotes wellness and facilitates prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Functional Medicine blends the best of conventional and holistic medicine in a science-based manner.
This is the future of medicine.
Functional Medicine looks at the human body as a universe. Within this universe, there are varieties of chemical reactions, interactions, communication systems, pipelines, electrical systems, energy production, nutrient use, detoxification, waste removal, transportation networks and many more functions that can affect your entire universe. The human body really is more than compartments of cardiology, neurology, etc.
When your universe goes awry, how do we figure out what is happening?
What is the underlying cause? Can we make changes at the source of the problem?
Functional Medicine begins by viewing the human universe in this way.
- How one condition (depression) can have several causes.
- How one cause (inflammation) can cause multiple conditions.
Graph courtesy of https://www.ifm.org/
The above is one example. Potentially there are different or more causes and conditions involved in your case.
Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine
Functional Medicine is about preventing or fixing multiple leaks in a boat instead of the conventional medicine approach which often amounts to bailing out the water without fixing the multiple leaks.
Don’t get me wrong. Conventional medicine has done much for our health; so many life-saving approaches, technology, and treatments.
The see-saw has dipped towards ‘band-aids’ and away from prevention, improvement, or resolution; not treating the underlying cause.
Conventional medicine depends heavily on highly expensive and profitable medications; medicines that for some people, are a true benefit, but for many others, a cause for significant side effects and compounding problems while the underlying cause remains active.
- Collaborative, patient-centered model
- Biochemical individuality
- Relieves symptoms by addressing cause
- Preventative approach
- High-touch and high-tech
- Expert, doctor-centered model
- Everyone treated the same way
- Suppresses symptoms with drugs
- Early detection of disease
Chronic disease is rampant today endorsed by the fact that 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese, 10% of adults have Type 2 Diabetes, and 1 in 4 teenagers have Type 2 Diabetes. The American Heart Association has noted that 20% of children (2 years to 19 years) are overweight, 20% are obese and 6% are severely obese. For adults 30%-42% are obese. Chronic diseases account for 86% of all healthcare costs. Autoimmune disorders are rampant, and toxin-based disease is increasing due to plastics, pesticides, and herbicides in our soils with food grown in those soils.
Adults ingest on average 152 pounds of sugar a year, leading to obesity and diabetes. Children on average take in 81 grams daily or 65 pounds per year with beverages potentially 47% of this.
The food industry developed a term called the ‘bliss point,’ which is the perfect blend of sugar, fat, and carbohydrates in their packaged products (chips, etc.) to trigger and hook your brain’s addiction network to increase their sales and make more money.
Who is in charge here? You better be!
Chronic Disease Occurs from Chronic Inflammation.
Chronic inflammation may be from the food you eat (exp, sugar, gluten, etc.), eating the wrong foods for your ancestry, food sensitivities that are not outright allergies (exp, eggs, soy, etc.), toxins (exp, plastics, mercury, mold, etc.), smoking, alcohol, infections active and hidden (exp, Lyme disease, etc.), past infections (exp, mono, strep, etc.) trauma, emotional stress (loneliness, guilt, building a house, an argument with your spouse, PTSD, etc.), poor sleep, lack of or too much exercise, travel, etc. This is a short-list of contributions to chronic inflammation which leads to chronic disease.
Chronic inflammation creates oxidative stress (a toxic state) in your body and brain. It affects your immunity, cognition, gut, energy production, muscle function, and more. Chronic inflammation and disease affect your ability to feel good and enjoy life. It also costs you money.
Our job is to help you get your health and joy back by recognizing the triggers, finding the root imbalances in your body, brain, and lifestyle, then treating appropriately.
So how do we get you well? Where do we start?
We support your wellness through the Power of Immunity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Recovery, and Sleep. We utilize specialized labs to individualize treatment and wearable technology for trends to understand sleep, fitness, and health. We follow science-based recommendations for nutrition, supplements, recovery, and mindfulness techniques.
Four Health Medicine Clinical Keystones
1. Supporting Your Wellness with Power
Immunity, Mindfulness, Movement, Nutrition, and Sleep
These are the foundation to wellness and maintaining wellness. When you are lacking any of these components, there will be a profound effect in your body’s ability to fight chronic inflammation, illness, immunity failure and injury. These are the basis of your skill set for a lifetime. The typical labs at this point are related to food sensitivities, and gut function, though other obvious issues may be addressed now through lab work. Typically, this process may take up to 4 weeks.
2. Relief of Your Symptoms
Digestion, Inflammation, Nutrition, and Stress
Focused nutrition to support deficits, to correct digestive issues, and inflammation. Ongoing stress will be identified, and recommendations for remedies provided. Symptom relief will start at the same time as the first step above. Lab work for nutrition, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction if not already completed. Typically, it may take up to 4 weeks to see improvement.
3. Concentrating on the Root Cause
Gut Infections, Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain, Liver Congestion-Detox, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction
The Root Cause is the underlying issue(s) contributing to your symptoms. We tackle the 5 key hubs to evaluate and address these, together or one at a time.
- Gut Infections (exp, intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO), imbalance),
- Leaky Gut (exp, barrier failure, food sensitivities, autoimmunity, skin rashes),
- Leaky Brain (exp, anxiety, depression, brain fog),
- Liver Function and Detoxification, and
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction (exp, brain fog, general fatigue, pain).
It may take up to 3 to 6 months to see improvement.
4. More Tuning
Hormone Balancing, Immune Health, Fine Tuned Nutrition
At this time, clients who begin to feel much better may just need minor adjustments, such as reductions in supplements or reminders in the power of mindfulness practices on the mind, and relationships.
Those who are still challenged may need additional testing to uncover issues not yet discovered that may still having chronic affects. Testing may include hormonal, for example, thyroid including antibodies, sex hormones with metabolites, and 24-hour cortisol testing. It may require looking into immune health, for example, hidden infections (Lyme, etc.), biotoxins (molds), or man-made toxins (pesticides, herbicides, jet fuel toxins from extended travel, etc.) If hidden disease or toxins are found, the treatment can take months.
5. Maintaining Health
Lifetime Skills and Wise Health.
Maintenance is the goal and typically takes six to twelve months to reach, depending on the difficulty to treat, the number of issues, your ability to follow the plan, and any setbacks.
You now know that the Power of Immunity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Recovery, and Sleep is imperative to your health, joy, and relationships.
You have practiced mindfulness, a lifelong skill, that imparts an enormous positive impact on your health, relationships, and life.
You know that next to nutrition, stress is the most important cause of chronic, whole-body-brain inflammation, which leads to symptoms, and reduced capacity for an energetic, joyful life. You know that chronic inflammation also leads to chronic disease, and a shorter life.
You have built the skills necessary to recognize the trends signaling stress in your body, mind, emotions, and life. You have also built the skill set to recover your health.
It is time to shout from the rooftops how good you feel!
We are on your team!
We would like to share treatment, trends, and lab results with your PCP and specialists.
We encourage you to maintain conventional health care with your primary care physician (PCP) and your specialists, and to keep an amicable and open relationship with them. We may refer you to a specialist or PCP based on any concerns or findings.
We do not specialize in primary care health or specialty health management.
We do Functional Medicine,
And we love doing it!
Get in Touch & Learn More
To learn about the process of becoming a client go to our What to Expect page here.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-631-7315.