Functional medicine is an integrated, personalized approach to health. Licensed functional medicine doctors work to understand, prevent, and manage the root causes of chronic illnesses. Usually, it is offered by naturopaths and in chiropractic wellness centers around the world, and it is rapidly evolving to be the medicine of choice in the 21-st century.

Functional medicine takes into account the most recent scientific findings, your genetics, your lifestyle, and the environment in order to effectively diagnose and treat diseases. It is a radical departure from the traditional way that diseases are treated. Moving away from “disease-centered” treatment, functional medicine doctors focus on patient-centered treatment as opposed to disease-centered treatment. 

While traditional medicine usually aims to put a bandaid on the problem (by masking the symptoms), functional medicine focuses on addressing the root of the problem.

5 Principles Of Functional Nutrition

One of the concrete principles of functional medicine is functional nutrition. The main tenets of functional nutrition are:

  • Fill Up On Essential Nutrients

You are what you eat, so why not eat the best? Nutrients like vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, probiotics, and complex carbs are all exactly what your body needs to keep going. Give your body green vegetables, plenty of fruit, good sources of protein, and healthy doses of quality carbohydrates.

  • Avoid Toxically Grown Food

As we’re so incredibly disconnected from the food we eat every day, it’s critical that we understand what our food is grown in, and what it contains. Most food today is grown in factory-farmed conditions and is GMO foods laced with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These were not designed for human consumption, and are something that even up to 80 years ago, humans had never been exposed to. We don’t exactly know what it does to our health, but we know it’s not good. Functional medicine professionals encourage people to buy their foods from quality farmer’s markets and from producers that they trust.

  • Avoid Processed Foods

The human body is designed to eat foods that, shortly before consuming, were alive. Contrast that with some foods frozen for years, or highly preserved foods, and you get foods that are likely just not good for you. Functional medicine understands that pouring processed foods into your body is like putting toothpaste into your gas tank. It just. Won’t. Work.

  • Catch Digestive Problems Early

No matter how healthy the foods, if your gut isn’t healthy, you’re probably not processing those foods in a healthy way. That means being on the lookout for digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, and more.

  • Gut Health Is Key

More and more, we’re discovering that the gut's microbiome is one of the keys to immune health as well as overall health. Eating probiotic-rich foods, like greek yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha, are critical to maintaining healthy gut bacteria levels.

The Functional Nutrition Approach

Functional medicine utilizes the Functional Nutrition Approach to view the body as a whole and to develop a customized approach to achieving overall health. An example of this approach is as follows...

  • Taking a comprehensive look at patient medical history
  • Reviewing the organ systems
  • Chronicling medication and supplement history
  • Reviewing diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits
  • Reviewing conventional lab results that the patient may have already undergone.
  • Testing current nutrient levels and genetic markers to search for underlying or existing deficiencies. 

If we find the patient’s gut health is less than optimal, or that the patient suffers from some other nutritional deficiency, some of the recommendations may include:

  • Eliminating processed foods, gluten, and dairy from the diet.
  • Providing the patient numerous ways on how to better manage their stress.
  • Providing patient strategies on how to help them prepare their nervous system for mealtime.
  • Recommending specific supplements that improve food digestion, restore good bacteria, and decrease digestive spasms.

Your Local Functional Medicine Experts

Discover Life Chiropractic is Loveland, CO’s certified nutrition specialist, and by educating our patients, we help them develop strong, effective functional medicine and nutrition habits they can carry with them forever.

Ready for an evidence-based approach to improving your overall health? Call Discover Life Chiropractic at  (970) 622-0075  today!

*Note: Discover Life Chiropractic does not take Medicaid or any other types of insurance. We are a cash-only business.