In a functional medicine consultation I aim to diagnose what is going on and create a treatment plan, just like in conventional medicine, but with a difference!
I look at the root cause behind what is going on. I do this by looking back at everything that led up to this point in time, and organising that information on a timeline. I also work by identifying what is going on in the various physiological systems of the body such as the immune system, the detoxification system, the energy production systems and so on. There are in fact 7 of these systems, and we look at every one of these, every time.
This is very different to ‘What diagnostic label can we give this situation?’
Sometimes I do specialist laboratory tests to add to that information.
Once I can understand the root cause and how this is affecting the systems of the body, I can start to support and optimise those systems, so the body can heal and we can become well again.
The body has a huge capacity to heal. Every single system in our body has a 4 or more fold reserve in function. By the time you are experiencing symptoms, these reserves are quite depleted and things have probably been going astray for some time. The good news is that not only can we repair our systems but we can rebuild our reserves. In fact this is essential to building health resiliency for the future. This is what will give us our health span, as well as our lifespan.
And in Functional Medicine we look for natural ways to treat and heal the body whenever possible, but as a trained doctor I can also use conventional medication, depending on what is best in a given situation.
So who is Functional Medicine for?
People come to see a Functional Medicine doctor for all sorts of reasons. Let me take you through a few scenarios.
Manage your health in a more natural way:
You may have a medical diagnosis and been told you need to take tablets, possibly for the rest of your life. For example type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hypothyroidism, or depression. You are someone who wants to sort it out naturally, and even avoid medication if at all possible.
Or maybe you are going through the menopause and struggling with the many changes this can bring, and you are wondering how you can best look after yourself, without necessarily reaching for HRT.
You have exhausted what conventional medicine can bring, and you are looking for a fresh approach:
Perhaps this sound familiar? You have been struggling with symptoms for a long time such as fatigue, or aches and pains, or bowel symptoms that are the bane of your life. You’ve had all the tests, and been told there is ‘nothing wrong’ but still feel really bad. The symptoms haven’t gone away. Deep down you know something isn’t right. You feel foolish going to the doctors to say this because it sounds like you are questioning their expertise, and you don’t want to do that. You want to have a good relationship with your doctor. But inside you feel like no one believes you and it seems like your only option is to put up with things as they are. You tell yourself you just have to learn to cope with it. And it feels miserable. Maybe you have even got to the point of feeling like nothing can be done.
You are not going mad if this feels like you, you may just need a different approach to what conventional medicine offers you.
Or maybe you are a medical conundrum? And conventional medicine has not been able to come up with an answer.
Or you maybe have a number of seemingly unrelated diagnoses and you are wondering if they are somehow connected. For example, you might have asthma, eczema and chronic sinusitis. You take different medications for each condition, and perhaps even see different specialists. In FM we would recognise that the immune/ inflammatory system is messed up in each of these conditions and correcting that system could quite possibly resolve all 3 diagnoses.
Conventional medicine sometimes provides labels that are descriptive rather than truly diagnostic eg chronic fatigue syndrome. This simply describes what you are experiencing, in this case tiredness most of the time. But it doesn’t offer much as to why you have it, or even how you can start to turn it around. In Functional Medicine we look at the systems, and
future proof your health:
You may have seen a grandparent suffer with dementia, and decided that you want to protect your own health as much as possible. What are your risks? What is the best thing for you to do? How can you help yourself?
Or a close family member has been diagnosed with cancer and you are wondering how you can minimise your own risks?
Or you may have come through an illness of your own, but want to get your body as fit and hleathy as possible, with all the systems working in harmony.
Functional medicine is the medicine of the future. It is what is called 4P medicine:
Personalised, Participative, Preventative and Predictive
It is truly medicine with soul!
THE FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE SESSION
The first medical consultation is always done face to face, here at the clinic in Suffolk, UK.
Before I meet you will already have filled in some medical questionnaires.
This session includes:
- pre-session preparation of your medical information
- a 90 minute face to face consultation
- interpretation of the key issues from a functional medicine perspective
- an outline treatment plan
- recommendations for follow-up tests
Once we have discussed your individual situation and created an outlinetreatment plan, you can progress in one of two ways.
- Continue with step by step functional medicine support on an as needed basis.
- Transfer into a health coaching package where you will get the support, guidance and structure to implement the functional medicine recommendations with confidence and ease. This is the one I often recommend because it provides a really strong framework to get you the outcomes you are long for.
PLEASE NOTE: we are not currently taking bookings for the 1-2-1 medical assesment service, but health coaching is fully available. If you are interested sepcifically in the fucntional medicine doctor service, you can register your interest by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I anticipate the doctor this service will be available by early September 2019.
Still not sure?
Its quite normal to have questions! Ask away, but here are some of the things people often ask me.
Its a lot of money!
Ok, so let me ask you this: how much money did you spend on your last holiday? On your car? Or if you added up all the money you’ve spent on books, equipment, courses and you’re still struggling…
We all resist spending money that is ‘just for me’. Because we are ace at telling ourselves ‘ I don’t deserve this’. We happily give stuff to other people: our time, money, energy, attention. You name it, we give it away without so much as a second glance. But when we think about spending that kind of money on ourselves we run for the hills!
And think about this: what is it costing you to stay stuck in this place? What is it costing you because you don’t have the energy to go for that promotion, or go self-employed and live your dream life? What is it costing you in clothes every time you diet and then put all the weight back on again. Oh, and what about those gym memberships…Yes, Ive been there!!
Don’t worry. Its quite normal to feel all of these things. I know I did. But I do know that having invested in my health, it has opened up my life again.
I don’t have time
Someone once told me this:“If you don’t make time for your health now, you will have to make time for being ill later”. That sounded so depressing, but it holds a truth. And it echoes with what we just said: we are so good at giving our time away, and feel guilty when we say no to others and spend that time on ourselves for a while.
“No, Margriet, you don’t understand, I really don’t have time”
Got it. So my question to you is this: If you don’t do it now, then when are you going to sort things out? Because your body is really letting you know it needs something else.
What if I can’t do it?
My clients usually admit to this a few sessions into the programme!! “I was so worried that I couldn’t do it, that it would be too hard”. But then they tell me how proud they are of what they have already achieved and how excited they are about what is ahead. They felt exactly like you do now.
The thing in coaching is, its all about YOU. We start where you are, and we go at your pace. Its not about you obediently following a preset programme, it is about what YOU need, and we go from there.