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The Power of Functional Medicine

Functional medicine could quite literally change your life, as it has mine. It's revolutionizing healthcare by focusing on the root causes of illnesses rather than just treating symptoms. Functional medicine is a you-centered approach, with the aim of restoring your body's natural balance for optimal and long lasting good health.

What is Functional Medicine?

the power of functional medicine

Functional medicine recognizes that you are distinct, and that you need a customized treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of your specific health issues. Rather than focusing solely on symptoms, functional medicine aims to identify imbalances within your body's systems and restore them, to help you to achieve peak health.

It's a case of a Holistic Approach vs. Symptom Suppression: Functional medicine looks beyond symptoms and finds the factors that influence your personal health. It recognizes that your biochemistry is unique, and it aims to create a personalized treatment plan, with an emphasis on preventive strategies and promoting overall wellness in the long term.

What I love most about Functional medicine - apart from the results - is that it encourages you to take an active role in your health journey. You become educated and empowered to make informed decisions about your own wellbeing, and that is quite addictive (in the most advantageous way), especially when you start seeing and feeling the results.

My Functional Medicine Experience

TL;DR Blood and food allergy tests revealed a host of issues I didn't know existed. I changed a few things in my diet and started taking recommended supplements, and within three weeks there was a noticeable improvement, and it just keeps getting better. THE;LONGer;STORY: I was referred to a Functional Medicine Doctor (or Integrative Practitioner) by a good friend who has been seeing this guy for years, and I literally jumped at the opportunity.

We made contact, I was sent about 4 pages of questionnaires to complete - comprehensive but basic and easy stuff to answer, such as your eating habits, sleep habits, exercise habits, how often you poop and the color and texture of it - you get the idea.

Based on that, I was then sent a list of blood tests to get done, and once the Doc had the results of those, an appointment was set.

Here's a breakdown of my results along with the corrective actions:

Ferritin severely elevated at 4x higher than normal (I was then also tested for Haemochromotosis and thankfully the result was negative)

Solution: Donate blood every 56 days (small dietary changes also help, which were advised and adhered to, but this was the fastest way to get out of the risk zone)

​Vitamin B12 low, at about 50% of what it should be

Solution: Supplement

​Estrogen/Progesterone/Testosterone/DHEA all very low

Solution: Bioidentical hormone creams applied once daily for the first three, 7-Keto DHEA capsules for the latter

​Vitamin D elevated to near toxic levels

Solution: Stop Vitamin D supplements, take Omega 3 (EPA/DHA)

​Food allergies: Gluten, banana and guar gum (E412)

Solution: Eliminate

And these are the changes I noticed the most:

The hormones were the first to kick in, and, oh boy! Within three weeks I was sleeping better, waking up happier, had way more energy during the day, and wasn't sweating the small stuff anymore. It was so incredibly liberating!

And while we're talking about the benefits of getting your hormones into shape, I'll leave the rest to your imagination... (the Doc also said, "you will thank me for this when you're in your 60's 😉).

The gluten allergy was a knock. I was one month into having eliminated it completely, and one cold night I really craved a comforting bowl of creamy mushroom pasta, so I ordered it from my local takeaway. How bad could it be, right? Wrong! It was fucking terrible. I won't go into detail, but much pain and suffering is involved in getting glutened.

One huge win from cutting out gluten, was that what I thought was Psoriatic Arthritis in my hands, disappeared. Why gluten? Because it is so inflammatory. Any type of inflammation is bad for your body, but gluten based inflammation can be worse for some more than others.

Is it hard to cut gluten out of your diet?

Or any other food that you might find yourself allergic to? I was understandably apprehensive at first. I mean, there are so many things with gluten in them - the basics are obvious, but there's a lot which you don't even realize (soy sauce for example).

Thankfully though, it's actually not that difficult to find substitutes for almost everything. Eating out can be a challenge at times, but more and more restaurants are providing substitutes and alternatives, and listing allergens on their menus. I was recently in Scotland and restaurants there are amazing, with full gluten-free menus which are almost as full as the non-gluten versions.

The bottom line for me is that the positives far outweigh the inconveniences.

The way forward

I'm getting my bloodwork done about twice a year now to make sure that everything is still on track, and tweaking a few things here and there along the way as necessary, but overall my health and wellness is in a much better place than before, and I'm so grateful to have found this solution.


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