What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is all about personalisation and strengthening the body as a whole.
When your body isn’t functioning efficiently you can experience a host of life-sapping symptoms. Belly fat. Low mood. Anxiety. Brain fog. Bloating. Skin problems. Aches and pains. Insomnia. Exhaustion. And the list goes on, typically signs and symptoms characteristic of busy, tiring and stressful lifestyles. It's also your body's clever way of telling you that something isn't right, and that something needs to change.
True physical and mental wellness is a natural outcome of balance, in your body and life.
Functional medicine recognises that the mind and body are connected and seeks to determine where the roots of your symptoms lie before placing emphasis on working to restore, plus protect those underlying triggers of imbalance.
Here’s 10 common triggers that can affect your overall health and where functional medicine can help:
1. Gut microbiome – parasitic infections, fungi and bacterial imbalances in the gut have been linked to everything from hormonal issues to weight-loss resistance as well as digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut syndrome.
2. Inflammation – a core natural defense mechanism, but chronic inflammation is a driving factor behind almost every health complaint. For example, arthritis, asthma, skin problems.
3. Stress – irrelevant of the source of psychological stress, what starts in the mind ends in the body. The gut-brain axis is directly affected during times of increased stress, which inevitably puts pressure on your mental, emotional and physical health.
4. Toxin overload and food intolerances – harmful chemicals in your food and immediate environment can place a huge burden on your body’s ability to function properly. Just because you're eating what's deemed to be "healthy" foods, it doesn’t mean you're eating foods that make your personal body thrive. And while finding ways to reduce the amount of environmental toxins you’re exposed to in today's world is possible, it's not easy.
5. Blood sugar imbalance - insulin resistance underpins a plethora of health issues, not just diabetes and heart disease.
6. Viral infections - viruses can be a huge missing piece of the health puzzle. Often laying dormant in the body for years before awakening and triggering a cascade of health issues and uncomfortable symptoms.
7. Hormonal imbalance - when your sex hormones are out of whack, it can upset your body in many ways. Depending on what stage in life you're at, hormone imbalance can show up as infertility, PMT, PCOS, menopausal symptoms, weight gain, weight-loss, libido and so on...
8. Fatigue – psychological and physiological stress from things like infections, metabolic dysfunction, hormone imbalance and auto-immune disorders can deplete your adrenal glands causing symptoms like brain fog, low energy, depressive mood, food cravings and lightheadedness. Often we forget about biochemical stress, but it too alongside everyday stressors places unnecessary burden on the body.
9. Thyroid dysfunction - Thyroid hormones are the queen of all hormones, and all the cells in your body need them to function properly. Unhealthy thyroid function can trigger autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, and even unrelated issues like depression.
10. Autoimmune conditions - Your immune system is designed to defend your body from foreign bacteria and viruses in order to fight off disease. Autoimmune dysfunction occurs when your immune system decides to attack your own healthy cells. It’s like a case of mistaken identity. The list of autoimmune disorders is wide-reaching and long, including conditions like, endometriosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Can you relate to any of the above triggers? Are you struggling with compromised health and wellness that's affecting your quality of life?
If so, functional medicine's integrative-style approach can give you significant insight and direction to help you progress towards achieving your health goals in a confident, clear and meaningful way.
To learn more about how we can work together for your better health and wellness, go to Functional Health Coaching.