In the previous post on Functional Medicine, we discussed the difference between functional and conventional medicine approaches.
Choosing a practitioner is your next step.
You may have researched all about functional medicine and you know that you would like to see if it would help you in your quest to address that chronic health condition.
You’ve had enough of feeling sick and you’re ready to try and uncover the underlying cause of your health problems.
With all the information out there it can be really confusing trying to find a highly skilled practitioner.
How do you find that special someone? What questions should you be asking? Are there certain qualities you should look for?
- who will listen to your story
- who will recommend the right functional lab tests
- who will put all the pieces of the puzzle together
- who will write your personalised programme
But choosing a practitioner can seem an overwhelming task –particularly if you’re suffering from fatigue, digestive issues or constant headaches due to your chronic health condition.
Watch out for practitioners offering these strategies – they don’t work!
- Relying on a special diet alone to fix you
You may already have been down this road and tried different eating plans such as low FODMAPS, SCD, GAPS, auto immune pale. It’s so confusing to know which way to go. Yes diet is one of the main foundations of health but it’s not the whole story.
Alongside diet there are other pieces of the puzzle that need to be addressed. So if a practitioner focuses solely on diet then you are probably not going to resolve your chronic health issue.
- Supplements alone are not the magic bullet
Supplements are exactly as the name suggest –supplemental to any programme and should support a holistic approach to healing.
Supplements are not the complete answer and keep away from practitioners who just try to recommend a long shopping list of products to you and nothing else.
- Crazy, off the wall treatments
Watch out for those weird and wonderful treatments that promise to “cure” you.
Coffee enemas, colonic cleanses, juice fasts. Again these things are not the “magic cure” to your problems and in some cases may be dangerous unless the person knows what they’re doing
- Stop Chasing Symptoms
The basis of functional medicine is to stop chasing symptoms and look for root cause.
So many clients who come to see me say things like
“I had all the symptoms of candida, I’ve been on a strict anti-candida diet and have taken anti-candida supplements and I’ve still got problems”
“I read on the internet all about SIBO and I am convinced that is my problem”
Really you have no proof of either of these conditions without specific testing.
You may already have spent hundreds of pounds and many months or even years trying out different strategies with various practitioners chasing symptoms and not getting any better.
Test, Don’t Guess!!
Yes, symptoms cannot be ignored and can often give a clue to the root cause but often they may not even be related to the problem.
2 things to mention:
- Beware of choosing a practitioner who just addresses symptoms
- Make sure any testing you are doing is from a reputable lab
Choosing a practitioner? What makes them great?
When you embark on your quest to find a practitioner bear the following things in mind
- They have an understanding of interrelated body systems
They have an understanding of how all the body systems inter-relate and they can assess the right lab tests to order to assess which systems may be imbalanced and contributing to your chronic health issue.
The basic tests a skilled practitioner may suggest should cover the 3 main body systems for initial findings
- Endocrine System (Hormones) – stress hormones and sex hormones
- Digestive system
- Detoxification system
These tests can be done in the privacy of your own home and can provide initial findings to assess how each system is working and identify areas of imbalance that can be corrected
If necessary further advanced testing may then be suggested to look for deeper root cause issues if necessary
Take a look at our Functional Test Menu for more information about specific tests
- They understand complex chronic health issues
They understand that it is more than likely more than one system is imbalanced and they can identify the one area that needs to be worked on first
For example you may have gut issues such as IBS but you also have had various stressful triggers (this should be uncovered when your chosen practitioner has taken a complete health and lifestyle history and listened to your story) so your practitioner may recommend that you work on hormonal balancing first as this could be inhibiting any gut healing you may do.
Another example is an auto-immune condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. A skilled practitioner understands that just focusing on thyroid alone will not give you the results you are looking for. This type of chronic illness is multi factorial and typically involves altered gut permeability (aka “leaky gut”) along with chronic stressors, genetics and environmental influences and your programme should take into account all these areas.
The right health practitioner for you should be your health detective
They should understand the right tests to recommend to uncover which one or more of your body systems have crashed and what is the root cause of your health condition.
They can then prepare your individualized programme that should be a combination of specific dietary recommendations, specific lifestyle changes and supplements needed to help you recover from or reverse your chronic illness
Many practitioners will run the laboratory tests we have described but a great practitioner will treat the person not the test result. All aspects of a person’s life should be uncovered during the initial case review –this should include a person’s background, experiences, genetic biases, spiritual and emotional state, environmental circumstances, etc. –this is why it is so important for a practitioner to listen to your story.
Once any test results are received they can then be looked at in relation to the client’s unique “story” and any clinical correlations can be made
There is no standard programme or protocol –one size does not fit all – a great practitioner recognises biochemical individuality.
- Personal Connection
Finally, it is important to find a health practitioner whom you feel comfortable with. Remember this is a partnership, it requires commitment on your part as well so make sure from the beginning that you can work with each other.
Have you spent years looking for help and tried lots of different approaches?
I would love to help you
- I am trained in the functional medicine approach
- I understand your issues and have worked with many clients with chronic health problems
- I can help you get the right testing done with reputable laboratories
- My programmes are based on a holistic approach –diet, lifestyle, supplements, stress management
- I recognise that “one size does not fit all” and you will receive your own individualized programme
I am happy to offer you a complimentary 20-minute telephone strategy session.
You can tell me exactly what your health issues are and I can explain the support I offer. This is also an opportunity for both of us to decide if we are a good fit to work together and you are under no obligation to proceed.
Stop chasing symptoms and address the underlying causes
Book your strategy session now by clicking the link below and I look forward to talking with you very soon
If you want to discuss your own health issues in more detail and find out how functional medicine can help you Reclaim Your Health click the image below to book your complimentary 15 minute strategy session:
About The Author
She has been helping clients Reclaim Their Health for the last 12 years Her holistic approach to building health can be complementary to and easily integrated with most conventional medical approaches in use today.