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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Functional Medicine May Save Your Life

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Author Topic: Functional Medicine May Save Your Life
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Functional Medicine May Save Your Life

Many of you may have already heard of the term "functional Medicine," an emerging buzzword in the arenas of health and wellness. That being said, you may still be slightly in the dark as to what this cutting-edge medicine is really all about, and how it can benefit you. The reason I'm writing this post is that functional medicine may literally save your life. Period.

This may sound like a dramatic overstatement, however, let me continue. I have been fortunate enough to have been trained by, worked with, and mentored by some of the most progressive/evidence-based and forward thinking doctors on the planet. Doctors such as Jeffrey Bland, Mark Hyman, Dicken Weatherby, Peter Osborne, etc. are all pioneers helping to pave the road for a health care model that helps identify the root cause(s) and triggers of chronic illness -- not merely suppress the symptoms.

It is outstanding physicians like these who gather a highly-detailed insight into their patient's underlying biochemical imbalances, thus allowing them to provide a customized treatment program specific to the needs of each individual -- not merely treating labels.

This is not intended to shun traditional western medicine (which is essential and highly effective in an acute care setting), rather, it is to recognize that we are living in the middle of a chronic disease crisis. Our current model is neither sustainable financially, nor is it getting ahead of the rising chronic disease statistics that are plaguing us on a global scale. Something has to give.

So what is functional Medicine all about? Sir William Osler, one of the first professors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and later its Physician-in-Chief famously said:

"The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease."

Simply put, your body naturally wants to be healthy and in a state of balance. However, despite our best intentions, many of us would agree that "life" happens at times, and our healthy habits can fall to the wayside. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.

It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st-century by allowing practitioners to spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that influence long-term health and chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.


As the above image of an iceberg shows, a specific disease such as Diabetes, Cancer, or Fibromyalgia might be visible above the surface, but using a functional Medicine approach, the real cause lies in the altered physiology caused by factors found below the surface and not easily seen. If the traditional health care model treats just the tip of the iceberg, it rarely leads to long-term relief, vibrancy and well-being. Identifying and treating the underlying root cause(s), as functional Medicine does, offers a more thorough approach and a much better chance to successfully resolve a chronic health challenge.

Another way of looking at this is when your "check engine" light comes on in your car. Should we simply unscrew the light bulb so the indicator light goes off? OR should we take the car in to the mechanic so they can lift the hood, run a set of detailed diagnostics uncovering the reason for the indicator -- then fix it? Sadly, I think most of us take better care of our cars than we do ourselves.

Functional medicine looks at your entire health picture by addressing fundamental factors of your biochemical, physical, and emotional well-being. Each of these three components are part of your optimal health spectrum, and each of these do not stand alone but rather all work together to keep us and our families looking, thinking, and feeling our best.

Everything I say is just my opinion!

Posts: 3529 | From Massachusetts Boston Area | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Interesting.. But exactly what is functional medicine and who do you go to for help? Maybe my brain didn't register what I read. Would you explain futher?
Posts: 1058 | From VA | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Huh??? I dont get it.....

do not look back when the only course is forward

Posts: 12262 | From texas | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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An example of a functional medical doctor would be LLMDs like Dr C who presents the C herbal protocol and Dr. H whom Dr C trained in using the herbal protocol. Both doctors address multiple health factors that might impede healing and cure. .. A non-lyme doctor that I really like is an anti-aging specialist, Dr. Shallenberger whom I studdied ozone therapy with.

The term "Functional Medicine" is fairly new

but the concept of Functional medicine is not new... but science is entering into it more fully these days, like never before.

Naturopaths practice functional medicine. Always, when someone is sick there are multiple factors that allow for that sickeness to be in the body.

A functional medicine doctor will seek the weakness and repair it.

It may require a multiple systems check and possible repair.

Naturopaths are leading in functional medicine as they developed the concept. There are alternative medical doctors who do it too... those are medical doctors who practice multiple aspects of natural medicine or electo medicine, herbology etc

Some LLMDs are turning into functional medicine experts for it is becoming clear to them that this is the only way to cure for some patients.

For instance, some people with lyme have great difficulty detoxing the toxins that lyme spirochetes put into the body... so the doctors will go about trying to enhance or repair pathways of detoxification.

Other patients may require nutritional fortification, and may have even been nutritioally depeted before lyme came their way. Nutrition and digestion may need to be repaired.

Other people may have a hard time getting over lyme because they also have cardiac disease or diabetes so treatments will be created to assist with that.

Negative Emotions can impair the healing process so a remedy will be developed for that.

Its not hard to comprehend... Just a new perspecitve that many doctors are clueless about, and many doctors will remain in denial about.. fortuantely it is starting to be taught in some medical schools or post grad seminars. I think doctors are starting to rebel against a failing medical system. [woohoo]

Posts: 803 | From USA | Registered: Oct 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Functional Medicine
Having studied Functional Medicine, Dr. Levitan has been trained to treat patients through preventive measures, as well as by treating the underlying causes of disease – as opposed to simply treating the symptoms of a condition. Dr. Levitan is trained to develop a close, therapeutic relationship with patients, taking many different aspects of a patient’s life into consideration when providing care.

Physicians that practice functional medicine are trained to treat the patient as a whole, identifying the underlying root causes of a condition in order to provide care (as opposed to treating just the symptoms of a condition, known as “acute care”). Functional medicine doctors are trained to take a wide range of factors into account when diagnosing and treating patients, such as:

diet, exercise regimen, stress levels, occupational factors, family life and history, medical history, environmental factors, and many others. Functional medicine doctors attempt to understand each patient’s unique biochemical physiology in order to provide the highest standard of care.

By moving from a disease-centric standard of care to a more patient-centric approach, functional medicine doctors are able to understand and connect with their patients on a more personal level. By having a closer, more therapeutic relationship, the doctor is able to understand more about the factors that may be contributing to the patient’s condition.

This close, calming relationship between physician and patient fosters a healthier lifestyle for the patient and provides the doctor with insight that would otherwise be lacking.

Many physicians that practice functional medicine agree that a healthy patient is not defined by the absence of disease, but rather by the patient’s attainment of social, mental and physical well-being. Because no two patients have the same day-to-day experiences, medical history, stressors, or biological factors, functional medicine doctors believe in highly individualized diagnostic procedures and treatment plans.

By identifying the root causes of a disease or condition, the physician is in a better position to provide a more biologically natural treatment: remove or inhibit the underlying cause, and the disease and related symptoms should subside or reverse.

Dr. Edward Levitan graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 2003. Dr. Levitan is licensed to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts. Dr. Levitan completed a residency in Family Medicine at Brown University / Memorial Hospital of RI in Pawtucket, RI.

Specializing in the field of Family Medicine, Dr. Levitan is prepared to provide comprehensive medical care for families and individuals suffering from all types of illnesses, disorders, conditions and diseases. As a family doctor, Dr. Levitan is usually the first point of contact for patients when they seek general medical care (categorized as a primary care provider) and can refer patients to specialists when necessary. Dr. Levitan is also trained to practice Functional Medicine and Allergy Medicine.

Dr. Levitan works with fifteen doctors including Dr. Margaret Gold and Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith.

Check out his web-site, I seen this Doctor about 3 years ago.

Everything I say is just my opinion!

Posts: 3529 | From Massachusetts Boston Area | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Steve did he help to get you well? Lyme literate?
Posts: 1748 | From United States | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I guess I seen him about 5 years ago, not three!!!

Ellen, I was seeing so many doctors back then I can't really say, but I think he did help. I think he may have helped me with all my Neurological problems.

I also did Acupuncture with one of his other staff members, and that did help me.

I was also seeing and treating with Dr. D. from Boston at the same time.

He is literate, you should always ask if/when anyone calls for informstion.

Everything I say is just my opinion!

Posts: 3529 | From Massachusetts Boston Area | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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