What Tests Are Involved in a Functional Medicine Assessment?
Functional medicine is a personalized approach to healthcare that focuses on the individual patient when trying to identify the root cause of disease or other dysfunction. This is accomplished by trying to understand the underlying imbalances within the body’s systems, instead of simply treating all symptoms with prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
This might be a different way of approaching a patient’s health, but it is designed to get to the root cause of what is going on with an individual. Denver functional medicine takes various factors into account that may be contributing to their condition, focusing on the individual’s symptoms and health history. Medical tests can be intimidating, but the functional medicine assessment will often lead to a personalized treatment plan.
Detailed Health History and Lab Tests
The assessment will usually start with the doctor uncovering your health history – talking about current symptoms and your past medical history. This will also include questions about diet, sleep patterns, stress, etc. There is generally a standard physical examination that will assess your current overall health. The doctor can also run tests on food sensitivity to uncover how your body reacts to specific foods – which can pinpoint triggers to many chronic conditions.
There can also be some laboratory tests, such as blood tests to assess various markers – such as liver and kidney function, blood sugar levels, and other hormonal levels. This can potentially lead to other tests, such as urinalysis and stool testing to help uncover information when assessing digestive disorders. Another option may be genetic testing to examine genetic variations that could predispose individuals to certain health conditions.
Specialized Tests & Assessments
There may also be some specialized functional medicine tests, depending on the condition. For digestive problems, a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) can provide detailed information about the gastrointestinal tract. An Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) test evaluates particular hormone levels throughout the day to address adrenal gland function and how stress impacts your body. There are a number of other specialized tests that are also directed at various other conditions.
Functional assessments can be performed to evaluate various systems in the body. Movement assessments identify musculoskeletal imbalances or weaknesses. Cognitive assessments can test cognitive function, especially in cases of suspected cognitive decline or other neurological issues. Functional medicine will also perform a dietary analysis to unearth potential nutrient deficiencies, and stress assessments are also common. These will determine how stress impacts your overall health.
It’s important to understand that not every patient will undergo every one of these tests. The personalized approach of functional medicine allows the doctor to get started with a simple patient interview. From that information along with your health history, functional medicine works down the path of treatment – meaning each patient is only exposed to the testing that their body needs to understand what’s going on. For more information on how functional medicine might help you, reach out to the Center of Functional Medicine today.