In functional medicine, the focus is not on the pathology, but on function. It is based on the understanding that biological change precedes pathological change. It therefore investigates the cause and mechanism of the illness, rather than the body system or organ involved.
In medical school, doctors are trained to make a differential diagnosis in order to decide on the appropriate medication to use. This focus on diagnosis and use of a single drug, or drugs, as treatment does not take into account the continuum of events and biological changes that have lead to the development of the illness – and thus does not address the cause.
In Naturopathy and in Functional Medicine, the aim is to gather enough information about the person to understand the predisposing factors (eg genetics, family history), the triggers (eg specific life events) and the mediators (biological changes caused, for example, by nutritional imbalances) that together have contributed to the illness.
Unless the causes are properly investigated and addressed, complete healing is unlikely, leaving the only other option – treating the symptoms – as the “solution”.
Functional Medicine Laboratory tests seek to investigate the cause of illness as well as providing tools for the prevention of disease and premature aging.
Assessments are available to investigate endocrine, gastrointestinal, immunological, metabolic and nutritional balance.
These tests include but are not confined to:
- Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
- Intestinal Permeability Test
- Organic Acids Test
- Adrenocortex Stress Profile
- Comprehensive Parasitology Profile
- Allergy Testing
- Mould/biotoxin Panel
- Tick-Borne Disease Immunology (eg Lyme Disease)
- Autoimmune Assessment
- Comprehensive Cardiovascular Profile
- Neurotransmitter Profile
- Environmental Pollutant Exposure Panel
- Amino Acids Assessment
- Hair Mineral Analysis
- Heavy Metal testing (pre and post chelation)
- Genomic Assessments (eg cardiac DNA profile)