The Integrative Medical NY Functional Medicine Way
The Annual Preventive Exam
Today’s traditional medical exam is focused simply on disease detection and relies on the treatment of symptoms without identifying the cause of those symptoms. We don’t do that. We identify the underlying medical problems, go upstream to the source of your symptoms, reverse disease, and defer aging.
The Medical History
Unfortunately, taking a complete medical history is NOT how most physicians are trained. Our usual training teaches us to take a “focused history,” one limited to the patient’s complaint. However, the real root cause of your problem may be missed. As Functional Medicine providers, we look back at ALL the significant events in a person’s life. This is important because each event, whether it’s a medical, psychological, or structural problem, leaves an imprint in us and on us that can manifest in illness years or sometimes decades later. We log all of the events chronologically, and then we interpret them by what we call “connecting the dots medicine” to see how these events have in their cumulative fashion, led to a patient’s current condition. By providing this extended context, we identify all actionable steps which can support the challenge of making chnges and truly healing.
The Physical Exam
Unfortunately, the classic physical exam of today’s medicine has been replaced by reliance on imaging and the structural information imaging provides. Conversely, we, as Functional Medicine physicians, are “detectives,” and combining the extremely detailed history and extensive physical exam, we realize that the patient’s body can provide a wealth of clues, both structural and functional.
It is estimated that close to 90% of people have underlying medical conditions that are often either unknown or unrecognized, which affect the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, in today’s world, most physicians are not trained in the early diagnosis of these conditions. This is futher complicated by the fact that blood tests rely on “normal” values, which is very often misleading. Simply stated, what’s normal for one person may not be normal for someone else. Medicine should not be a “one size fits all” proposition, and thus we treat every patient individually. This concept of Bioindividuality is ofter where traditional medicine misses the mark.
Conventional testing provides a snapshot of an individual’s health. On the other hand, Functional Testing looks at complex metabolic intermediaries and patterns to identify active treatable problems that often are missed with conventional testing. We often go so far as to perform DNA analysis which provides to us much more sensitive and specific insights into any problems that have arisen or problems in the future so we can treat before serious issues arise. This is the preventative health aspect of our practice which is not yet valued in today’s healthcare system.