Functional medicine is the foundation of my holistic pediatric practice. It’s an increasingly popular term that you may have heard about from awesome docs like Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, and Dr. Oz.
So what exactly is Functional Medicine?
The goal of Functional Medicine is to help each individual body thrive to its fullest potential. Shouldn’t that be what medicine is all about?
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being,
And not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
(World Health Organization, 1948)
The World Health Organization GOT IT in 1948. But somewhere along the road, conventional medicine forgot it. When something goes wrong with our bodies, when our kids develop a chronic condition of any sort, conventional medicine looks at what’s going on as something to attack – something to wage war against with drugs and destroy. Of course, these drugs are sometimes necessary. But in many instances they’re not:
- IF we could figure out the ROOT CAUSE of why our kids are sick
- IF we could figure out how to build up our kids’ bodies so that they could truly HEAL from the inside out and come out stronger and healthier than ever
- IF we could figure out how to truly help our children THRIVE.
This is the promise that Functional Medicine holds.
Functional Medicine, like homeopathic medicine (link to blogpost), takes a truly individualized approach to our kids’ health. The Functional Medicine approach is very different from the conventional medicine approach that so many of you are used to when working with your regular docs. It is the future of medicine, at least that’s what I think it should be.
Functional medicine looks at our unique genetic potential and biochemical makeup. It is how our unique individual makeup interacts with all of the environmental and lifestyle factors that we are exposed to (from environmental toxins, to the foods we eat, the water we drink, and even the thoughts we have), that results in signs of wellness or illness.
When your child has a chronic health condition, functional medicine tries to figure out what went wrong. What on earth happened in the interplay between your kids’ genetic makeup and her environment to cause such imbalance that she is now sick – whether they have chronic constipation or reflux, eczema, autoimmune illness, or autism. Functional medicine tries to understand what the core clinical imbalances are in your child’s body. Once we know that, instead of fighting against your child’s body, we can figure out what to do to restore balance and heal your child from the inside out. This may include medications, but more often involves optimizing your kids’ diet dietary, nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, and lifestyle changes.
Your kid’s official “diagnosis” matters less to me than figuring out what went wrong in their little bodies to cause them to be sick, identifying the root cause of their illness. We can then use this knowledge to understand out how to reverse their illness and get them well.
It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease,
Then what sort of a disease a patient has
(Sir William Osler, famous physician in the 19th century, referred to as the “Father of Modern Medicine”)
Let’s take an example. If your child has eczema, your kids’ regular doc will likely recommend steroid creams, which can thin and discolor the skin, and in the worst case scenario, get absorbed into your kids’ body and stunt their growth or weaken their bones (yes – I have a little boy in my practice that this very thing happened to!). And if his eczema gets worse, then you’ll be asked to move onto a stronger immunosuppressant creams that could potentially cause cancer. These topical creams do nothing to cure the problem. They are only bandaids. It’s like pouring little buckets of water on a forest fire.
But, if we could identify what the core imbalances are in your kid’s body that is continuing to feed the fire, we could put the fire out from the ground up and prevent it from coming back!
What if we found that your kid had:
- A sensitivity to eggs and bananas (something called a “leaky gut”)
- An overgrowth of yeast in her gut
- An imbalance of essential fatty acids
And all we needed to do to cure her eczema was to remove eggs and bananas from her diet for 3 months and give her nutritional supplements like probiotics and a 369 fish oil blend? Would you be up for giving this a try so that eventually you could get her off all her steroid creams AND have her come out the other end even healthier than before?
If you answered YES!!!, then Healthy Kids Happy Kids is for you! Stick with me and we’ll help your child thrive together!
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