WHAT is functional medicine ?
Functional medicine has gathered speed over the last few years. The concept arose from the realisation that, when it comes to chronic disease, conventional medicine is limited to treating symptoms, e. g. controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, or pain – usually with drugs – without wondering where they are coming from. It is like wallpapering over the damp spot, rather than find out why the wall is damp in the first place.
Functional medicine asks the question: “Why are you ill?” It sets out to find the root cause(s) of your illness or symptoms. Quite often, there is more than one, but if you know what you are dealing with, you can address them one by one. This would correspond to finding the leaking pipe or the hole in the roof – or both – and fix it, to remain with the comparison above, thus eliminating the damp spot for good.
To get to the bottom of your health issues, functional medicine practitioners like me spend time listening to you, gathering your medical history, perhaps run some functional tests. This information, helps me identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as inadequate nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, genetics and your microbiota (the bacteria living in and on your body).
Once I have found the triggers, I can design a health plan for you. Your plan will address many aspects of your life, from physical needs, including nutrition, exercise and sleep, to mental, emotional and environmental stressors. The basis of functional medicine is the use of food as a first-line therapy, based on the most recent scientific research. The right nutrition, combined with lifestyle and behavioural interventions, helps you take charge of your health.
Could I sign up for a single session instead of a programme?
I no longer offer individual sessions because it would not be fair to my clients. When my clients contact me, they often tell me that they have been battling with digestive problems, fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness, or hormonal balances for quite some time, sometimes years.
These problems did not occur overnight, and by the same token they are not likely to disappear that fast either. Although nutritional intervention can have astonishingly quick results, it often takes longer to achieve all the client’s goals. Yet, along the way, minor but annoying symptoms that were not the main issue also disappear unexpectedly; a bonus that keeps my clients highly motivated.
For most people, optimising their diet and changing the habits of a lifetime, takes a little time. Trying to do everything at once can be overwhelming, so we are breaking the journey down into manageable stages. For that reason, we need to work together for several weeks.
In functional medicine, information gathering is the first important step. To get to the bottom of your health issues, I need to see the full picture.
When you decide to work with me, you will receive a health questionnaire containing questions about your personal and family health history, medication or supplements you may be taking, allergies, intolerances, dietary and lifestyle habits.
The initial consultation is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. I will ask further questions before I outline the plan, and we agree on the first steps. You will walk away with nutrition and lifestyle recommendations and a meal plan to get you started.
After the initial consultation, we will meet up every few weeks in follow-up consultations to talk about how you are getting on, monitor your progress, tweak the plan where necessary or move on to the next steps.
Need more information ?
Contact me, I will be happy to answer you.