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What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine provides a comprehensive approach to healthcare.

A Typical Story

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” Alyssa’s alarm went off for the 6th time in a row and she decided that she better not hit snooze again. A feeling of frustration washed over her as she realized that she spent yet another night tossing and turning in bed, unable to get restful sleep.

She hopped into the shower and tried not to cringe as she walked past the mirror, dissatisfied by the extra 30lbs that rudely displayed itself across her abdomen and wondering why she still had acne in her 40s. She made a vague promise to herself that soon she would work out and eat healthy.

She glanced at the clock and realized she was going to be late for work, so she quickly took her blood pressure, cholesterol, and thyroid medications and decided to go through her local coffee shop’s drive thru and get a large caramel frappe and a cinnamon sugar muffin for breakfast.

During her 10am meeting, the pesky headache that had been bothering her for months started to creep in like an annoying uncle who won’t go home after the party is over. Her brain felt foggy, as it usually did, and she wished she could think more clearly and sharply. She noticed that her joints had been aching lately too, and depression and anxiety were now a part of her everyday life.

Lunchtime rolled around and she decided to get a salad from the cafeteria, the iceberg lettuce marinated in an excessive amount of dressing and somewhat questionable looking tomatoes made her cringe, but it was healthy, right? So, she forced herself to eat it and found herself hungry and irritated a few hours later.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind… taking the kids to after school events, racing through the drive thru for a dinner that she knew would make her feel bloated and constipated, watching one too many episodes on Netflix, drinking one too many glasses of wine, and eating five too many cookies, and as a result, getting to bed much later than she had planned.  

She lay in bed, turned out the light, and started the ceiling. Hot tears streamed down her face as she realized that she had been fighting fatigue all day, waiting to get into bed and now here she was, unable to sleep… again.

But she clung to hope, that maybe, just maybe, tomorrow would be better.

Can You Relate?

It’s no secret that Americans are overweight (more than 1 in 3), chronically stressed, take at least one prescription medication daily (more than 55%), have high cholesterol (nearly 37%) have thyroid disease (estimated 20 million Americans), and high blood pressure (1 in 3 adults).

So, what the heck is functional medicine and how can it help you?

Let’s start by examining how functional and conventional medicine are similar.  They both:

  • Are practiced by licensed medical professionals
  • Utilize science-based evidence in their practice
  • Incorporate a variety of diagnostic tests

Conventional Medicine

Conventional medicine is wonderful and effective in treating acute and emergent situations such as broken bones, heart attacks, etc.… But when it comes to treating chronic issues, conventional medicine’s approach is to treat symptoms instead of searching for the underlying cause.

For example, in Alyssa’s case:

A cardiologist would prescribe her blood pressure medication, an endocrinologist would prescribe her thyroid medication, her family practice physician would prescribe her a cholesterol reducing medication and recommend she take a daily laxative, and these would help to treat her symptoms but NOT help to figure out WHY she is having these issues in the first place.

Functional Medicine

A Functional Medicine Physician would take into consideration Alyssa’s WHOLE story and analyze WHY she is experiencing these chronic symptoms. Through a research-based approach they would create a personalized treatment plan with the goal of restoring health and vitality, reducing prescription overload, and offering sustainable nutritional, fitness, and lifestyle suggestions to help Alyssa live her best life.

Functional Medicine provides a comprehensive approach to healthcare.

Functional Medicine Core Beliefs:

  • You are genetically and biochemically unique.
  • Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of vitality.
  • You are made up of body, mind, and spirit and are exposed to physical, social, and environmental factors that can positively or negatively affect total body functioning.
  • We believe it is essential to treat the causes rather than just the symptoms.
  • Your body has the ability to heal itself.
  • Our approach to medicine is patient-centered. We take time to listen to your story so that we can provide a treatment plan that is unique to you.
  • We strategically blend traditional western practices with science-based integrative medicine to focus on disease prevention through diagnostic tests, nutritional and exercise recommendations, stress-management techniques, and supplements/drugs as needed.
  • Our goal is to improve your quality of life and teach you what you need to do to remain as healthy as possible.

Your First Visit At Health Innate

I create a safe place for you to share your medical history, ask questions, and share your concerns. I  believe that we are made up of body, mind, and spirit and that we are all exposed to a variety of outside factors that can positively or negatively affect our total body functioning.

During your first 75-minute visit with me, we will take the time to comprehensively understand and review your unique story, analyze your functional imbalances, explain opportunities for lab testing, and provide a personalized treatment plan for you.

Here’s to living your best, most healthy, active, creative, and fulfilled life!  Schedule your 15-minute Strategy session with me by visiting:

Dr Lara Salyer Blog Author Photo

Dr. Lara Salyer

I am a Functional Medicine Physician, Speaker, Author and Mentor located in Monroe, WI.