Frequently Asked Questions
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Some more answers to your questions about functional medicine
Functional medicine’ seeks to find the root cause of the individual patient’s symptoms: what exactly is going wrong or is imbalanced in this patient’s medical condition. An individualised diagnosis can then lead to individualised treatment. Functional medicine tries to look deeply at the patient’s biochemistry: if possible is there a way to treat this patient with substances which are native to the human body rather than just suppressing disease process with powerful drugs.
As an analogy if we compare symptoms to there being a crack in the wall, functional medicine would recommend finding out (if possible) why there is that crack in the wall so that this may be remedied so that hopefully the wall is less likely to crack next time and then this is followed by filling the crack. Standard medicine’s approach would be to put some strong wallpaper over the crack so that it is not seen i.e. to use powerful suppressive drugs such as steroids. The problem though is if the crack is not dealt with the crack will eventually get bigger and break through the thick wallpaper resulting in an even bigger problem in the long run.
Functional medicine tries to work in harmony with the body, look in detail at what is going on and provide natural rather than drug driven solutions. It involves teamwork between doctor and patient. As well as biochemical interventions there will quite frequently be lifestyle interventions. I try to keep these as simple and manageable as possible but these are something which the patient must put in place themselves in which I cannot do for you. You the patient will have to put the effort in as well otherwise is not worth your time or mine.
About Bio-Identical Hormones
Hormones are complex messenger molecules carrying a message of instruction from one site of the body to another (the receptor site), via the blood. Hormone and receptor sites are like a lock and key; they are very highly specific.Bio-identical hormones are hormonal substances, identical to those normally present in the human body. This means that, in every respect the molecule of the hormone is the same as the human hormone.
It is best to follow nature as closely as possible. Bio-identical hormones do as Nature intended. It is critical to use dosages reflecting natural circumstances and cycles. Bio-identical hormones are most useful as part of a comprehensive, integrative approach to wellness. This strategy will yield the best possible results for the patient. Testing hormone levels before and during treatment is an important part of tailoring the dose to suit the individual patient.
Bio-identical hormones are usually presented as gels and creams facilitating direct access to the blood stream without having to first pass through the liver. This ensures that the liver does not chemically modify the hormones prior to them reaching their target areas. In contrast, tablets or capsules taken by mouth must first pass through the liver.
Bio-identical hormones are in use since 1982. Jonathan Wright MD reports that a 48-year-old woman seeking treatment for menopausal symptoms approached him: she wanted him to prescribe natural hormones for her. At the time, only patented synthetic hormones were available. The commonly used one was Premarin® consisting of horse urine estrogens. This lady declined the Premarin prescription. As a result, Dr. Wright got to work on the optimal ratios for bio-identical hormone therapy in women; and he based these on the amounts of each of the three primary oestrogens: oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol normally produced by healthy reproductive-phase human females.
In women varying blends of oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol (the three most important human oestrogens) are used along with bio-identical progesterone – the use of progesterone is essential. Bio-identical testosterone is also usually part of the combination. The blend must be individualised for the particular patient based on clinical response and monitoring of hormone levels.
Testosterone (in much smaller doses then the male) is essential to normal sexual functioning and maintenance of a healthy libido along with strong and healthy skin, muscle and bones.
The use of Bio-identical testosterone replacement in men is growing and there is much by way of observational study and clinical research to support it. As well as helping mood and libido problems, bio-identical testosterone assists in the maintenance of physical strength and general emotional wellbeing. Bio-identical testosterone replacement in andropausal males may act as a mood elevator and is associated with a significant improvement in cognitive function and verbal memory. Contrary to conventional medical wisdom, testosterone may in fact benefit heart and circulatory health. Despite its usefulness, just like any other treatment, bio-identical testosterone works best as part of an individualised patient-specific wellness plan. Proper medical supervision and check-ups including regular blood testing is an important part of maximising patient benefits and minimising any potential downside from bio-identical testosterone replacement therapy.
About Hair Loss
Therapy hair multiple tiny, tiny injections of vitamins, minerals and growth factors are injected electronically into the scalp at high speed.