Uncover hidden issues with your health with functional medicine.
Functional medicine deals with improving health through correcting underlying causes of a person’s complaints by improving the body’s natural physiology (function) instead of just covering up symptoms. Most medications to treat symptoms do so by suppressing or decreasing certain body functions. Comparatively, functional medicine tries to rebalance your body’s ability to function or to get it to function better. Treatments using this approach are not based on a symptom because two patients with the same condition may have very different causes and would thereby require different treatment.
Functional medicine, as practiced by Dr. Walicki, consists of the following:
Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis
—A functional blood chemistry analysis entails looking for areas of dysfunction in a person’s metabolism by performing a comprehensive blood chemistry panel. The tests most often started with are listed below.
- CBC-DIFFERENTIAL & PLATELET Hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), red blood cell distribution width (RDW), percentage and absolute differential counts, platelet count, red blood cell count (RBC), white blood cell count (WBC)
- CHEM ADVANTAGE Glucose, Uric Acid, BUN, Creatinine, BUN/Cr, eGFR, Sodium Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, CO2, Phosphorus, Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin, A/G ratio, Total Bilirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase, LDH, AST/SGOT, ALT/SGPT, GGT, Iron & TIBC, UIBC, LDL, HDL, VLDL, Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Chol/HDL ratio
- THYROID ADVANTAGE TSH, Total T4, Total T3, T3U Uptake, Free T4, Free T3, rT3, TPO and Anti-thyroglobulin, Free Thyroxine Index (FTI)
- VITAMIN D-FLAM 25-OH Vitamin D, Homocysteine, CRP-hs
- ADDITIONAL BIOMARKERS Ferritin, Magnesium, Hemoglobin A1C, Fibrinogen Activity, Iron Saturation
- URINALYSIS Color, appearance, specific gravity, pH, protein, glucose, occult blook ketones, leukocyte, esterase, nitrite, bilirubin, urobilinogen, and microscopic examination of urine sediment
These tests will give information about a person’s blood sugar, kidneys, electrolytes, digestion, liver, cholesterol, calcium, proteins, red blood cells, immune cells, thyroid, blood clotting, inflammation, and vitamin/mineral status. Following is a quote from Dr. Kharrazian who teaches functional blood chemistry analysis.
“There is no general screening test that is more efficient, effective and affordable than a comprehensive blood chemistry panel. A comprehensive blood chemistry panel will allow the healthcare provider to quickly assess the degree of health or disease in a patient. It is the ultimate tool in biomedical laboratory sciences to evaluate new patients. It allows the healthcare provider to establish a baseline of biomarkers that can be used to track the patient’s health immediately and over time.”
So how is a functional blood chemistry analysis different than what is done routinely by your conventional doctor? One of the big differences are reference ranges. When you have a blood test done you are compared to a reference range. This reference range is based on an average of the individuals that had that test performed. Conventional reference ranges differ from region to region, are not standardized throughout the country (with exception of a few) and are not based on researched optimal or ideal. Functional blood chemistry analysis looks beyond these “sick” ranges and compares tests results to an “optimal” or “functional” range. It is a very common scenario to have an individual show symptoms yet their labs are reported as “normal” by someone untrained in functional blood chemistry analysis. When the labs are looked at through a different filter, however, the problem oftentimes becomes apparent.
—Functional endocrinology involves looking for altered levels of hormones that are not considered to be in a state of disease but may be trending towards future pathology if left untreated. Patients can present with a myriad of symptoms from being tired or having an inability to lose weight or fall asleep to feeling generally depressed. What’s different about using functional endocrinology to help someone is that while two people may present with the same symptom, each may have an entirely different cause. Functional endocrinology also involves getting to the root of the dysfunction but it takes being able to recognize a pattern of dysfunction in certain metabolic cycles to unwind which intervention can be used to correct the physiological imbalance that is causing the symptoms. Just like functional blood chemistry analysis, functional endocrinology includes work-ups that look beyond the conventional reference ranges. Below is another quote from Dr. Kharrazian.
“It is important to understand the functions and alterations in the metabolism and apply conservative therapies such as diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes to optimize and modulate physiology instead of supplying agents that dominate over physiology to manage symptoms.”
—Functional Immunology is a branch of biomedical science that covers the study of all aspects of the immune system in all organisms. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases as well as malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders (autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, and immune deficiency).
Like functional endocrinology, functional immunology involves the early or more critical detection of dysfunction in the immune system. One of the most common dysfunctions of the immune system is autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is the third leading cause of sickness and death today. Autoimmunity is when one’s immune system becomes overzealous and loses self-tolerance (attacks your own body tissues). Many individuals with chronic health complaints unknowingly have autoimmunity but do not get diagnosed in the conventional health care model until end-stage disease. Just like functional blood chemistry analysis and functional endocrinology, functional immunology includes work-ups that look beyond conventional ranges
At Advanced Chiropractic Center, we want to make a difference in your health through functional medicine. If you live in the Asheville, North Carolina area, contact our office today to set up your appointment.
Symptoms Can Be the Tip of the Iceberg