Are you buying or using “prepackaged functional medicine…PPFM?” You know prepackaged foods are not healthy…it turns out PPFM isn’t either!
What do I mean by PPFM? This is when you are given functional medicine recommendations such as diet plans and supplements without first discovering the root cause of your health problem! PPFM is becoming very common these days and it is a violation of the #1 Rule of functional medicine…discover what is causing the health problem! In an effort to make FM cheap, “easy” and available to the masses we are losing the value and purpose of it. I will tie this into the Hacking Your Healthcare series that Dr. Mark Hyman has recently produced (which is very good by the way and you should check it out) as well as information that Dr. Tom O’Bryan at theDr.Com has been talking about.
How do you find out root causes without appropriate diagnostic testing? You can’t in most cases; you are simply guessing or assuming you have various root causes. You read a book or listen to a podcast and arrive at the conclusion you have “X” root cause and promptly begin a diet or taking supplements to “fix” that root cause. So, what do you do when you have followed the “diet” or taken “the best 3 supplements for problem “X”?” Now you need REAL FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE! You need to go back to Rule #1 of FM which is to discover the root cause of your health problem; not guess about it. If you are not testing, you are guessing!
Day 6 of Hacking Your Healthcare is where Dr. Mark Hyman discusses Diabesity. From his series he makes the following statement; “We have an epidemic on our hands. It’s a deadly disease that one of every two people have, a disease that’s making people fat, sick, and yet, 90% of people don’t know they have it. This disease is diabesity, the continuum of abnormal biology that ranges from mild insulin resistance to full-blown diabetes.”
Diabesity is a huge problem! Every 2 people have it! From a statistics perspective this would mean in your neighborhood, everyone show lives on your side of the street has it and everyone across the street doesn’t! So how do you know if you have diabesity? Testing is the only way to know; you need to see what is happening with your insulin levels, fasting blood sugar and your blood sugar average (HbA1c). Nobody wants to assume they have it, in fact, when I screen my patients for this most of them are shocked that they have it. They are sure they have been eating the right diet, taking the right supplements and getting sufficient exercise to prevent something like diabesity.
A True Story!
This just happened in my office this week! I saw a woman in my office who had been suffering with fatigue and severe brain-fog. She had been seeing a “functional medicine practitioner” not a FM doctor. She had been put on a “healthy diet” and was given the “5 best supplements” that were supposed to help her with the fatigue and brain-fog. She had been on this program for over 6 months and had seen no improvement! After consulting with her, what do you think I did next? I ran appropriate lab tests! And what do you think we discovered?
- Anemia (low iron)
- Low zinc
- Low vitamin D
- Low thyroid function
- Poor mitochondrial function (mitochondria make your energy)
- Elevated insulin and rising blood sugar (diabesity)
She did not know about any of these problems! The FM practitioner had not run appropriate tests and her primary care doctor said her iron was “almost” anemic and her thyroid levels were “normal.” Nobody was discovering the root causes for her fatigue and brain-fog!
This is a perfect example of using pre-packaged…or “canned” functional medicine. You don’t just follow the latest diet or take the “best” supplements for the condition you “assume” you have. There are no shortcuts in functional medicine. You must discover what problems you actually have so that appropriate and effective treatment can take place.
I wish you success on your quest for health!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.
This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.