Functional Medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness. Functional medicine seeks to answer the question “why are you ill?” so you can receive personalized, effective care based on your needs.
Why It’s Important To Understand The Root Cause Of An Illness
When it comes to illness we often overlook initial signs that something is off until it can no longer be ignored. Symptoms naturally arise as indicators that something is off in our body that needs to be addressed. With symptoms being our body’s natural warning system it’s understandable that we tend to seek out eliminating these symptoms rather than asking where they are coming from. Though it’s important to evaluate the symptoms a person is experiencing as this provides greater information into what is going on, just looking at the symptoms and not the root cause can be unproductive or leave us worse off than where we were before. In order to truly address an illness, it’s important to understand the root cause that is producing the symptoms we are experiencing so that our bodies can function at their optimal.
What Are Some Ways To Identify A Root Cause
Identifying the root cause of an illness requires gathering as much data as possible. Many illnesses have similar symptoms so just looking at the symptoms alone is not enough to establish the root cause. To determine a clear picture of what is causing one’s symptoms a professional healthcare professional can look at a number of triggers; some of which include poor nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, gut dysfunction, and genetics.
Poor nutrition– Poor nutrition can lead to a variety of health problems and illnesses. Obesity, tooth decay, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, eating disorders, and even some cancers can be brought on through poor nutrition.
Stress– It may surprise you to hear but chronic stress can lead to heart disease like high blood pressure and other heart problems. It can also lead to issues with asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature death.
Toxins– It’s possible for toxins in the body to build up due to a stagnant lymphatic system but generally speaking, they are either introduced chemically, biologically, physically, through radiation or behaviourally.
Allergens– Allergic reactions essentially begin in the immune system causing it to overreact and cause a variety of symptoms. Our immune system is designed to protect our bodies from invaders. Since the immune system perceives allergens as invaders it naturally does what it is designed to do. Understanding what your body is allergic to is vital in finding out why you are experiencing the symptoms you have.
Gut Dysfunction– Gut dysfunction can lead to a vast number of illnesses. GERD, PUD, Gastritis, Stomach Flu, Gluten Sensitivities, Celiac Disease, IBD, IBS, constipation, hemorrhoids, Diverticular disease, and gallstones are just a few health issues associated with gut dysfunction.
Genetics– What we are prone to or not prone to can be affected by our genetics. For example, women with mothers or grandmothers that have had cervical cancer are more prone to getting cervical cancer themselves. Likewise, those with mental health issues in their family history have higher odds of dealing with mental illness. The size, shape, and capabilities of our bodies are all affected by our genetics therefore looking deeper into our family’s history can tell us a lot about what our own bodies may currently be experiencing.
A Healthy Life Starts With A Plan
Identifying triggers help in customizing a plan per individual. Everyone is different so the same approach will not work for everyone. By gathering all the needed information an individualized plan can be established in order to move forward towards a person’s optimal health. Depending on the person’s needs different tests can be run to learn more about what is going on within their body and to establish the root cause. From gut diagnostics, cardiac panels and hormone and wellness testing, Functional Medicine Partners will provide you with the knowledge and tools to living a healthier life.
If you have been experiencing symptoms over an extended period of time and have yet to understand the ‘why’, call Functional Medicine Partners today to book an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!