1. The doctors you see say “you have nothing wrong” with you because your lab tests are normal. At the same time, you feel horribly fatigued, unable to function, and eager to find answers.
Unfortunately, I hear the above-mentioned statements too often. I encourage you not to give up and to look for a functional medical practitioner that can help. My client’s symptoms are more important than the lab markers and lab reference ranges for ‘normal status’. For example, just in the last few years the normal range for the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) marker was decreased from 10 (the upper limit of normal) to 2.5 for pregnant women and 4.12 for everyone else (Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hypothyroidism in Adults: Cosponsored by the American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association). This is just one example of how the lab ranges can drastically change, as more research comes in. So, looking at the whole picture of lab results, person’s symptoms, lifestyle, and diet can help to see the whole picture.
2. You have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition.
- Hashimoto’s and Grave’s autoimmune disorders of the thyroid.
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Impaired digestion
- Multiple chemical sensitivities
- Psoriasis and Eczema (autoimmune skin disorders)
- And .. the list goes on
3. You are open to changing your lifestyle and diet.
If you do not want to make any changes in your diet and lifestyle, then functional medicine may not be the right choice for you. In this case, the prescription medications could at least cover up the symptoms just like band-aids cover up scratches and minor wounds. The only problem is that the cause of the symptoms does not go away.
The change is hard and, believe me, I went through a lot of it and it does not come easy. Sometimes, we need to make big changes and get small results, but at times small changes will cause huge improvements. It is hard to predict due to the differences in our genetic makeup, triggers that caused our symptoms, and our environment. A disease is one of a number of symptoms that manifests in the person. TEN people with the same ulcerative colitis or atopic dermatitis may have TEN different root causes.
When NOT to See a Functional Medicine Practitioner:
A conventional medical approach is amazing and highly advanced in the U.S. If I get hurt and am bleeding out, no doubt, I do not want to be seen by a functional medicine practitioner. If my finger or hand is lacerated and needs stitches – take me to the Emergency Room at the nearest hospital or to the Urgent Care. If I am having signs of heart attack and clasping my chest, because I cannot get enough air – again, take me to the ER to get some blood tests, an EKG, and, possibly, an MRI.
But if I am diagnosed with pre-diabetes, hypertension, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), autoimmune disorder, such as eczema, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I will go to the Functional MD/FNP/Naturopath. If I develop any other chronic disease or I feel unwell and the conventional doctors I have seen state that “You are ok, it is just new motherhood taking its’ toll on you”, I seek a system approach to discovering the root cause of my symptoms.
If you need more help in figuring out the underlying causes of your hormone imbalance, thyroid problems, stomach issues, make an appointment at Sprouts Health here: