Functional Medicine: from sick care to well care
Hello, I am Dr. Leah Griswold and I have been practicing Functional Medicine for 25 years. Functional Medicine is a defined as a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of a disease. It is the science of creating health, not the science of disease and the understanding that when health is created, often disease goes away.
Functional medicine practitioners take a personalized approach knowing that there are endless variables when considering an individuals’ health status, to include different genetic makeups, medical histories, life events and lifestyles. Therefore, no one solution necessarily fits all who might have the same disease. It encompasses the understanding that one condition can have many causes, as well as one cause creating many conditions. For example, someone may be diagnosed with depression. The cause of one persons’ depression may be due to too much sugar promoting pre-diabetes, another may have insufficient Vitamin D, another may have taken an acid blocker for decades causing B12 deficiency, another a lack of good bacteria in the gut, not to mention contributors such as genetic inheritance, childhood and life experiences or a low functioning thyroid. Although there may be a short list of drugs used for depression, there are far more causes.
According to the CDC 6 in 10 adults have chronic disease and 4 in 10 have 2 types of chronic disease. Also, more than 40% of school-aged children and adolescents have at least one chronic health condition, such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer are also the leading causes of fatality in the US. According to the CDC, the key lifestyle risks for these chronic diseases are tobacco and alcohol, lack of exercise and poor nutrition. Yet despite this very clear connection between lifestyle and chronic disease/fatality by the CDC, there is little to no focus on this in a conventional doctor visit.
So where can one find a Functional Medicine practitioner? Functional Medicine practitioners can be found in various fields of healthcare to include, but not limited to, Medical doctors, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Nurse practitioners. A typical visit with a Functional Medicine practitioner is lengthy, as the practitioner will review and discuss data collected from conventional medicine, as well as additional history taking to include past history, lifestyle, patient goals, etcs.. Functional medicine is particularly helpful for chronic complex conditions, not to undervalue the benefit of finding the root cause of less complex conditions, before they become more serious and more complex.
For anyone interested in learning more about Functional Medicine and how it can help them personally, please sign up for a free consultation at SL Studio. I was lucky enough to meet Jeffrey Bland in 1986, when he spoke at the Chiropractic school I was attending. Jeffrey Bland is a Biochemist and is considered the Father of Functional Medicine. He created the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is the gold standard for education and information on the subject. You can visit www.ifm.org to learn more. I have worked with many patients over the years, many whom could not get well through conventional means, who benefited from this holistic approach. You can also visit my website, www.gvcwellness.com for more information. If you would like to set up a free consult, contact Dr. Leah Griswold at 301-865-6534 or email at email@example.com.