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What is Functional Medicine?
Quality functional medicine in St Louis is finally here. Functional medicine is the future of medicine. It is a method, a map, of finding the root cause of chronic illness. Traditional medicine is about finding a name for your disease and then prescribing a medication to suppress the symptoms. Above all, functional medicine is the medicine of why. Why are you have these symptoms? What is the underlying cause?
Functional medicine is a way of navigation through a landscape of illness, through mechanisms not diseases, through patterns. Understanding connections and patterns in systems allows us to personalize treatment to the individual. Therefore, it is a medicine of connectivity. It connects the dots of problems in physiology.
Therefore, medicine is good at naming what I want to find out why.
For example, most patients that come to us have been sick for years. Most (80%) have a diagnosis. These usually fit into one of these general categories:
But the above is just a name for their constellation of symptoms. To get to the underlying cause it is necessary to investigate. Functional medicine investigates in these areas to dig deeper to get to the cause. Only then can the proper treatment begin, personalized to the individual.
Finally, we will NOT tell you the pain is all in your head, you need anti-depressants, you need more medication, you are depressed, you need to exercise more or you just have to live with it. There ARE answers to chronic health problems!
Digging Deeper to Find the Root Cause.
Functional medicine digs deeper into the cause of chronic illness. Only by in depth evaluation can the root cause be determined. These are the areas we evaluate.
- Diet / Nutrition (with in depth lab testing)
- Mindset (stress, sleep patterns, etc.)
- Toxins (from diet and environment)
- Evaluation of metabolic pathways through in depth lab testing.
Most patients with chronic illness had a major stressful event that triggered their illness. Hence it could be any of the following or something different.
- loss of a loved one
- loss or change of a job
- relocation w/o support
- financial problems
- chronic inadequate sleep
- starting a business
- chronic illness
- antibiotic use
- pain reliever use
- exposure to toxins
These stressful events can tip you over the edge. As a result, the hormonal changes that stress causes can lead to a cascade of changes in the body as it tries to adapt and survive. Therefore, a wide variety of symptoms can result. This stress must be dealt with in order to treat chronic health problems. There are ways of dealing with chronic stress through lifestyle, diet and nutritional supplementation. I have learned through years of practice that no two patients are the same when it comes to stress. This area is where our health coach is invaluable for helping patients walk through the valley of stress. Certainly, an Optimistic Mindset is the first pillar of health.
Diet / Nutrition
Sometimes the stress is years and years of an unhealthy, Standard American Diet. (SAD) Subsequently, this causes.
- vitamin deficiencies
- mineral deficiencies
- changes in gut bacteria
- accumulation of toxins
- diarrhea and leaky gut syndrome.
Above all, diet can be very confusing for patients with chronic illness. It gets very complicated and we are bombarded with conflicting information. Therefore, which diet is right for me?
- low carb
- low fat
- high fat
So you get the idea. There is so much information. How do you sort it all out? Most of our patients have tried one or more of these diets without success or limited success. In addition, a “diet” is almost always broken eventually.
The Functional Medicine approach is different. Our office performs new, state of the art, food allergy testing. Food allergy testing has had advances through the years. Certainly, this is not the food allergy testing of five years ago or even one year ago. Our office measures 90 different foods.
For more information click here: Dietary Antigen Test
Testing food allergies is a necessary step for getting to the root cause of your problem. Furthermore, disease is a downstream effect of an upstream problem. Food allergies are an upstream problem. Therefore, correcting food allergies will solve problems downstream, like pain and inflammation.
Unfortunately, our modern world is full of toxins. Our food has preservatives, food coloring, additives, emulsifiers, binding agents, and on and on. Look at any processed food and it reads like a chemical factory. When these “additives” get into the body, your liver and kidneys immediately start trying to get rid of them. One of the tasks of good bacteria in your gut is to metabolize toxins in your body. This can cause inflammation to your system if this process is overburdened.
Therefore, one of our jobs as Functional Medicine practitioners and health coaches is to help you to recognize and eliminate as many toxins from your environment as possible. More importantly, the effect of these toxins is cumulative. These toxins include but are not limited to.
- food coloring
- trans fat
- food coloring
- trans fat
- cleaning agents
- processed foods
- sugar free anything
- pain relievers
Toxins are not always something external you put in the body. In addition, your body has to detoxify dead cells, used enzymes and hormones. Above all, this can add to the toxic load.
Organic Acid Tests which is a urine lab test can determine if environmental toxins are a problem in your condition. It also can tell us how efficient your body is at detoxifying these chemicals.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis: As a Functional medicine doctor, I realize health begins in the gut. Therefore, this test measures the gut bacteria, inflammation markers, how well you are digesting your food and much more. For more information on the comprehensive stool test click here. Click for study on IBS And gut microbiome
Movement / Exercise
Gradual introduction of mild exercise is essential to restoring health. This, of course, varies with each patient.
So Functional Medicine is the opposite of dysfunctional medicine.
We are not super specialists but super generalists.
Certainly, to heal chronic illness, you can’t treat one thing, you have to treat everything.
More importantly, reversing chronic disease is a reality.
I have helped thousands of patients in more than 30 years in practice. Call to see if we can help you. Take advantage of functional medicine in St Louis.
Fill out our New Patient Application to see if our office can help you.
Midwest Functional Medicine in St Louis treats many digestive conditions. Digestive conditions respond so well to functional medicine for many reasons. First, health begins in the gut. So when health problems arise they often show up in the gut first. Second, advances in stool analysis give us tons of information about how to treat. These tests measure inflammation, good and bad gut bacteria, how well you digest food and how well you detoxify. All this from a stool sample! We treat sucessfully conditions such as: irritable bowel syndrome IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease IBD, constipation, and diarrhea every day.
Comprehensive lab testing
In addtion to the comprehensive stool analysis, several other tests help us to find the root cause of your problem. Food allergy testing is very helpful for finding inflammatory foods. Foods can cause inflammation up to 72 hours after eaten. I will test for several different types of food allergies.
Organic Acids test shows us how different metabolic pathways are working. In other words, how is your body making energy, how well is it detoxifying? In addition, what are your vitamin levels? How are your neurotransmitters working?
By putting together this information we can target very specifically the areas we need to work to regain your health.
So, continue reading our site and learn how functional medicine can help you.
Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis RA, fibromyalgia, lupus, diabetes and thyroid are also treated at Midwest Functional Medicine in St Louis. These conditions happen when your body thinks a part of your body is foreign and starts to attack it. When there is a foreign substance in your body such as a virus or a bacteria, your immune cells kick in and attack that foreign substance.
Sometimes your immune cells start attacking normal tissue. For example, this can happen with leaky gut syndrome. In this condition, food is not digested completely. Consequently, larger particles of food enter the bloodstream. Your immune subsequently attack these particles and can mistake normal tissue as foreign.
Therefore, it’s important to eliminate allergic foods and heal the gut to reduce autoimmune conditions.
Midwest Functional Medicine treats autoimmune conditions without drugs using a natural approach.
Above all, nutritional counseling is very important for chronic health problems. Elimination of allergic foods and the introduction of healthy non toxic foods is essential for healing the gut. Combined with pharmaceutical grade supplements matched for your specific metabolic tests and you will be on your way to a healthier you.
Midwest Functional Medicine treats chronic health problems by getting to the root cause.
Individualized Treatment Plans
All programs at Midwest Functional Medicine St Louis are based on individual lab testing. The dietary changes are also based on in depth dietary antigen tests. (food allergy)In addition, the recommended supplements are based on stool analysis and the organic acids test.
Most importantly, we believe that dietary changes and supplementation should have a rational scientific reason for implementation. It should be tailored to the individual.
Test. Don’t guess!
Certainly, genetic testing is rapidly becoming an answer for many chronic illness. It is the medicine of the future. For genetic testing, we have you analyze your DNA through Ancestry.com or 23andme. We take the raw data from that test and have it analyzed for SNP’s or single nucleotide polymorphisms. (pronounced snip) SNP’s can tell us if you have a genetic tendency for problems in certain areas of your metabolism. The most well known SNP is associated with the MTHFR gene. This gene is involved in folate metabolism. For more information see the Genetics testing tab on our website.
Midwest Functional Medicine in St Louis treats chronic illness.