A Functional Medicine Challenge
Functional medicine is the incredible practice of determining biochemical individuality. Just as we are all unique, the nutrient demands in our bodies can certainly be the same. And like maintenance on your car or home, blood testing should be done at least on a yearly basis to determine health status.
Although our health care system is not designed for the practice of functional medicine, it is really up to everyone to encourage their health care providers to be proactive in identifying and supporting health through preventative medicine. Frequent colds, allergies, eczema, swelling, nausea, bloating, low energy, bowel irregularities, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PMS, migraine headaches and yeast infections are all irregular signs of something not quite right in our systems. Although a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential to maintaining optimal health through prevention, sometimes knowing what to focus on with our diets can be a key factor to optimizing health.
Functional nutrient testing can be super fancy or super not …. so my suggestion is to start with some straight forward blood tests, such as a haematology panel (CBC plus differentials), liver (AST, ALT, ALP, GGT, Total Bilirubin, Total Protein, Albumin) and kidney (BUN and creatinine) function, electrolyte testing (K+, Cl-, Na+, HCO3-, Ca2+, Mg2+, P), hormone testing (DHEA-S and TSH), inflammation testing (CRP-HS and ESR) and iron testing (ferritin and iron panel). These are a great place to start for a functional baseline of your health. I think it’s important to have these done even if you don’t look at them right away, or if they are within the normal range. If something comes up in the future, it’s sure nice for a function medicine doctor, like me, to have a look at comprehensive historical results.