Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease and addresses it as a whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Practitioners spend time with their patients and use cutting-edge functional testing to listen to their history and look at the interactions among genetic, nutrition, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.
Optimal health involves complete physical, emotional, and relational well-being. It’s not just the absence or prevention of disease but taking an active role in the vitality of those parts that make up one's whole. This highest form of health is unique to every individual. In the way of optimal health often stand common chronic health diseases, such as gut health issues, hormone-related diseases, and autoimmune diseases. Other health conditions include constant headaches, resistant weight loss, cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart disease.
Read on as Functional Medicine practitioner Dr Menka at NutraNourish brings us through how Functional Medicine can help with these diseases and ensure optimal health.
What approach does functional medicine take to help ensure optimal health?
Functional Medicine adopts the approach of tackling the root cause of health issues to ensure optimal health. Rather than focusing on the treatment, it focuses on looking at the small imbalances and deficiencies in the body through thorough testing and developing preventive measures.
How does functional medicine help to fight against chronic diseases?
By looking at the body as a whole, Functional Medicine practitioners can connect with the person, know their lifestyle in detail and understand the person in-depth. This can help practitioners unravel the root cause of chronic health diseases. By understanding and testing an individual in-depth, practitioners can analyse a patient and identify the contributing factors to the disease.
A common chronic disease that practitioners often come across is diabetes. By applying the fundamentals of Functional Medicine, practitioners will seek to understand the root cause of diabetes by going deep into the patient’s nutrition and exercise and other potential triggers, such as stress hormones or vitamin deficiencies that can trigger insulin-related issues. Therefore, addressing these issues can be a preventive step and a step in the right direction in the fight against diabetes.
Also, by working with top functional labs in the world to conduct very specific functional tests to understand a person better, practitioners can personalise the treatment and handle the root causes of the disease better. For example, tests such as gut microbiome testing can help to identify the root cause of gut health problems and supplement the body with the right nutrients before it leads to any further health issues. Similarly, genetic testing is also done to better understand an individual’s optimal health through a better review of their sports profile and diet profile to develop a personalised programme. This ensures the right lifestyle programme is provided to gain optimal health as per their genetics and to improve long-term health.
How is functional medicine different from other common approaches, such as western medicine?
A common point of confusion is the difference between Western Medicine and Functional Medicine. Simply put, Western Medicine is more symptom-based, while Functional Medicine is more patient-centred. Functional Medicine places heavy emphasis on providing an individualised program for the patient and bringing the necessary changes to the patient as a whole.
Under Western Medicine, a person might see a psychiatrist for anxiety and be administered medication based on the symptoms they have been exhibiting. In Functional Medicine, practitioners look at the person as a whole and identify their triggers of anxiety, such as hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. rather than knowing what symptoms a patient has, we seek to know what kind of patient has these symptoms.
Are there examples of how functional medicine has helped people with their health or deal with chronic illnesses?
Dr Menka shared her experience handling a patient with resistant weight loss.
"The patient had experimented with various methods of weight loss with no positive outcome. I went into a detailed history taking, examination, and in-house testing to find out more about the root cause for her inability to lose weight. I also recommended her functional tests with top functional labs in the US and Europe to know more about her subtle hormonal imbalances. I also did genetic testing to personalise her nutrition, supplement, and exercise plan as per her genetics. Within a few months of a personalised programme, she started dropping weight and improving her body composition. She reached her target weight and got her confidence back in life."
Who should seek out/can benefit from functional medicine?
Functional Medicine is easily accessible to anyone and is suitable for anyone looking for optimal health and improving their performance and for people who are suffering from any chronic health diseases.
Transform your health with Functional Medicine. Work with the top functional medicine practitioners in Singapore to improve your health.
Nutra Nourish’s Dr Menka is the first (only) Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP) in Singapore and South Asia. She has helped many achieve optimal wellness in issues related to Stress, Insomnia, Digestive disorders, Fatigue, Weight Loss, Hormonal issues, Thyroid, PCOS, Diabetes, Cholesterol, Autoimmunity, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Nutrigenomics, Eczema, ADHD, Autism etc.
She has more than 20 years of experience in the health and medical field. She completed her Master's degree in Personalised Nutrition in the UK and has trained in Functional Medicine since 2012 from the esteemed Institute for Functional Medicine in the US.
Dr Menka's background is as a Medical Doctor. She has worked in leading hospitals in London, Singapore and India in the field of General Medicine, Gastroenterology and Gynaecology. As an NLP practitioner, she engages with her clients in a therapeutic partnership and coaches them towards optimum health and well-being. Her unique combination of qualifications and knowledge makes her Functional medicine programs complete and successful.
Find out more about Dr Menka and Nutra Nourish on their website, Instagram, and YouTube.