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What is Functional Medicine?

In Ireland, we are living longer yet sicker.  The HSE announced 1 million people are living with chronic disease and rising, many still are undiagnosed!

Despite new drugs and high end procedures, incidences of chronic disease are on the rise in Ireland and globally.  More and more people are suffering with complex, chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and autoimmune disorders (thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis etc). With many that are still undiagnosed! It is bankrupting our country and we need a solution!

Functional and Lifestyle Medicine has emerged as a promising model to support the rise of chronic inflammatory disease. By taking a systems approach to the health of an individual, partnering the practitioner and patient in a collaborative mission to re-establish true balance and well-being.

Root Cause Resolution

Functional Medicine asks how and why illness occurs. It restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual rather than only addressing symptoms. It is about personalised protocols with educating and coaching the client back to optimal health.

Functional medicine is a science-based approach to healing that is based primarily on natural health solutions to common problems. It combines the best of many worlds, laboratory tests, findings from research and science for analysis along with a treatment delivery focused on lifestyle changes and natural solutions to solve what we uncover.

The use of the word “functional” is to describe problems related to function. For examples, situations where the bowel simply isn’t working properly. As opposed to “structural” disorders, which we can see (e.g., blockages, malformations), and which therefore are often considered more “real.” But functional gut disorders are real problems with very real causes — and sometimes sinister consequences. Many diseases that seem totally unrelated to the gut, such as eczcema or psoriasis or arthritis, are actually caused by gut problems. By focusing on your gut you can get better.

Lab Tests

Many Functional Nutrition and Medical practitioner often use lab tests that help identify key imbalance in the body systems. It’s a systems oriented way to look at the whole body. Rather than addressing “high blood pressure” being the problem we may look at the entire cardiovascular system. Could this be a magnesium deficiency causing the rise in blood pressure? Could it be stress? What else can drive a spike in pressure?

A major part of this process is coaching patients through lifestyle changes they need to adopt. As people heal we celebrate and then encourage patients to engage more fully in life. What I have noticed is that when one person begins to make healthier decisions in the household the entire household becomes healthier naturally.

One thing has become evident is that the body can and will heal itself when given the right circumstances. It is fulfilling when a previously unhealthy and tired patient regains their health. They then have the strength and energy to make decisions that will change their lives whether it be in their personal life, career or relationships.

Maev Creaven, Nutritional Therapist, specialises in Functional Nutrition / Functional Medicine www.nutritioncentre.ie

Expand your knowledge of lifestyle-related illness from cardiovascular, diabetes to other chronic diseases. Listen to world class medical professionals that challenge common beliefs regarding health and nutrition. 
In Galway November 3rd and 4th meet with the global leader in Functional Medicine Education. They are joining speakers Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, Professor Vascular Surgeon Sherif Sultan and others to discuss heart health and the future of Ireland. www.fmcireland.com

For more information visit The Functional Medicine Conference Webpage

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