What is Functional Medicine?

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Functional medicine is a growing movement in the health care system. Many different types of practitioners can seek additional training in functional medicine, which aligns with emerging integrative and holistic approaches to treatment. Functional medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. This creates opportunities for different providers to collaborate in order to create the best care for patients. For example, a functional medicine physician might partner with an acupuncturist and a registered dietitian nutritionist to create a functional medicine practice. Many providers can use this approach as a stand-alone, and it essentially means that the work is informed by a holistic approach and often uses specific laboratory tests to determine which course to take. Functional medicine often considers lifestyle influences, genetics, and the environment. Often times this course is considered non-traditional, or off the beaten path. However, functional medicine approaches are making their way into mainstream medicine, as evidenced by the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

 

What is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist?

 

A functional medicine nutritionist is an individual who works alongside a functional medicine team, or can operate independently. It can be a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) but there are many other kinds of nutritionists who use this approach. The largest organization of RDNs in this specialty is known as Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, which Nutrition in Recovery founder David Wiss is proud to be a member! Dr. Wiss presented for this group at the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo in 2019. The key tenets of functional nutrition are the same: to take a holistic and passionate approach to health and healing by tailoring treatments to address an individual’s unique needs. A functional nutritionist will focus on positive vitality rather than just the absence of disease. We focus on the social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of wellness.

 

Is Functional Medicine Quackery?

 

According to Wikipedia, functional medicine is highly controversial due to the potential for many of its treatments to be non-evidence-based or even harmful. While at Nutrition in Recovery we are endorsing a functional nutrition approach, we also acknowledge the potential for many practitioners to use this term to oversell testing services and supplements. The term is being abused, and unqualified individuals are seeking profit at the expense of public health. In Los Angeles (and California as a whole for that matter), anyone can practice functional nutrition, and there are no licensing restrictions. For this reason, it is very important to find a functional medicine nutritionist you can trust. Reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions and address any concerns.

 

Is Personalized Nutrition the Future?

 

Dr. David Wiss says YES. And guess what? The future is now. Let’s get started on your personalized nutrition plan. At Nutrition in Recovery we offer blood testing for food sensitivities, blood and urine testing for micronutrient and antioxidant analysis, stool testing for microbiome analysis, and saliva testing for genetic analysis. When combined, all of these tests give a comprehensive overview of one’s health which can clearly indicate the next steps. There will always be some trial-and-error but with personalized nutrition using functional medicine approaches, we can remove a lot of the guesswork. Watch a video on David’s Instagram about personalized nutrition.

Dr. Wiss has received additional training from the Institute of Functional Medicine (AFMCP) and Psychiatry Redefined (Depression Intensive).

 

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