What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is preventing, reversing and optimising health……Not the masking of symptoms.

Incidences of chronic disease is rising, and despite major efforts, the population is overwhelmed with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease and mental health issues to name a few. Functional medicine aims to meet the health demands of the 21st century. This ground-breaking approach is science and evidence-based. Advanced and leading research is emerging every day, keeping it up-to-date.

The following fundamental principles are at the heart of functional medicine:

  • Biochemical individuality:

    The nutritional and chemical makeup of each person is unique, based upon their own genetic structure, nutrition and environment; Understanding the individuals’ personal history and pairing this with cutting edge blood tests and genetics enables tailor made and individualised treatment programs at a whole new level.

  • Systems based biology:

    The human body functions as an integrated web-like network of systems. Using this knowledge allows a holistic approach to determine the root cause of problems, which does not simply focus on masking the symptoms.

  • Prevention of disease and optimising health:

    A decline in health precedes the onset of any disease. Appreciating that a mix of unusual symptoms, that do not fit a classic textbook diagnosis, needs intervention at this stage in order to reverse and prevent the onset of disease.

  • Chronic disease is reversible:

    Inflammation is at the root of most chronic disease. Poor nutrition, lifestyle and stress results in nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances causing inflammation. Using a holistic approach to address these underlying issues reverses chronic disease where possible.

  • Gut-Brain axis:

    Well established research suggests that the gut microbiota plays a crucial role in influencing psychological behavior. Using this ground-breaking development to help manage autism, depression, anxiety and other behavioral and mental health problems.

  • Person-centered:

    Emphasizing personalised care rather than disease care, following Sir William Osler: “It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has”

  • Mind and Body:

    Recognizing and accepting the mind and body as one entity. Stress is at the root of the 21st century health decline. Managing stress has the power to optimise mental and physical health allowing us to live fulfilling lives.

 

 “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

World Health Organisation (WHO).

After about seven years of slowly declining health with regular increases of thyroid medication, adrenal issues, lethargy, weight gain and what I should probably call depression, it was the growing joint pains that tipped the balance and made me look for a solution. I had always been interested in alternative health and had realised I had inflammation issues but really wanted to have tests done which would show in black and white what was going on. The results of this first round of tests showed that, due to leaky gut syndrome, I was allergic to all my favourite foods even though things like buckwheat and almonds would generally be considered healthy. After 6 months of eliminating the reactive foods as well as cutting out gluten and alcohol completely, my body had changed and I had lots of energy. There are still a number of issues I need to deal with. As the journey goes on, I will have to go deeper and especially make sure to give attention to the underlying mental and emotional issues. Throughout the whole process Dr. Gupta has been a wonderful doctor. While her experience will point her in the right direction, she investigates thoroughly and explains clearly what needs to be done. As well as being highly qualified and competent, she is a patient and compassionate listener which enables her to consider all aspects of a patient’s life. You come away knowing you have been heard and are valued and that is very motivating.
Bianka, London