Is Functional Medicine Right For YOU?

By Debbie Haikal, RN,
Functional Medicine Specialist

Functional Medicine offers:
• Science-based medical alternatives, especially for patients with difficult to manage conditions or autoimmune diseases.
• Medical testing to evaluate the body as an interconnected whole.
• Dietary plans and natural compounds to address underlying causes and inflammation.

Functional Medicine is scientific. It offers alternative options for patients with difficult to diagnose conditions or for those whose disease process is not responding to traditional medicine, especially autoimmune conditions. Almost all noninfectious diseases are caused by an out of control immune over-response. Alterations in the immune system are the root cause of more than 80 diseases such as thyroid disease, insulin resistance, irritable bowel syndrome, post-pregnancy imbalances, arthritis, eczema, and MS to list a few.

Addressing vague and complex health issues that occur over a lifetime requires a special type of physician. Functional Medicine addresses the root causes, verses treating a set of symptoms. One example: immunology, endocrinology, and neurology must be evaluated as an inter-connected whole, not separately. Two brief case studies illustrate this point.

Case 1. Female with fatigue has sleep issues and suspects hormonal imbalances. Prior physicians could not determine the cause and suggested hormone therapy and sleep aids. Patient found these options unacceptable. Our Functional Medicine physicians determined through lab testing that this patient has elevated cortisol and low inhibitory neurotransmitters. Symptoms can sometimes appear as a hormone issue when, in actuality, the cause is a neurotransmitter imbalance. Patient was symptom free after adrenal and neurotransmitter support and repair.

Case 2. Thyroid patient felt like she was not getting better. Weight continued to be an issue despite working out with a trainer. Patient suspected some foods increased her fatigue so she gave up gluten and began to juice for breakfast. Our doctors tested and found undiagnosed anemia, inflammation in the gut and elevated cytokine levels (cytokines inhibit the conversion of thyroid hormones). The plan of care was: dietary changes to decrease cytokine levels and a supplemental protocol to control inflammation and correct the borderline anemia. The result? Her energy shot up and the workouts began to pay off.

If you suspect that you may have an autoimmune condition, Functional Medicine can help. We are Functional Medicine experts, and even though we have patients all over the world, we want you to know we are located in St. Louis. Functional Medicine provides education, support, lifestyle changes, advanced testing, and new integrative medical options. Health care should have long lasting positive effects and improve the quality of life.
Call Wellness Alternatives today. 636-227-4949. www.Stlwa.com