Don't Guess- Test!Oct 26, 2022
5 Benefits of Functional Medicine Testing
Are you stuck on the medicine merry go round?
It might feel like this:
You have a concern about your health, maybe you're feeling more tired, having trouble sleeping, gaining weight. It's frustrating and affecting your personal life, maybe even your work. You go in to your doctor to get some help. Maybe you get some bloodwork done. They give a name to your set of symptoms, calling it a diagnosis. Maybe they right you a prescription for a pill. You start taking it but maybe you get some side effects. You go back in and get other pills for your side effects. You feel modestly better in the best case scenario. You continue to feel worse and worse in the worst case (and typical) scenario. And the cycle goes round and round.
It probably doesn't feel so merry.
You may feel depleted, experience frustrating symptoms that come and go as they please, feel disconnected with and betrayed by your body. You may feel frustrated with the medical system, always being sent from person to person with little time and attention given to your concerns and little one-on-one support for what you're going through.
Did you know there's another option?
Functional Medicine provides an alternative to the merry go round with specialty testing designed to get to the root causes of conditions and give you the support, dignity, and attention you deserve. Here are 5 ways that Functional Medicine Specialty Testing could benefit you and get you off the un-merry go round.
1. Getting to the Root
Most of the tests doctors run in traditional medicine are designed to help you get to a "diagnosis". This is a name given to a specific set of symptoms that you may be experiencing. What a diagnosis doesn't tell you is why. Examples of diagnoses may be obesity, chronic fatigue, migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS, or even cancer. What those diagnoses miss is why do you have obesity or fatigue or migraines or fibromyalgia or you name it. Functional Medicine specialty testing fills this gap. It helps identify why your body is doing what it's doing.
Bodies are intelligent, wise, and intentional. The symptoms you experience are serving some sort of purpose for your body as it tries to maintain homeostatic balance. Homeostasis is essentially the medical term for wellbeing. When your body is in homeostasis, you feel well, you can connect with others and the world around you in meaningful and beautiful ways. Whenever your body is out of homeostasis, it is trying to get back in purposeful ways. It's in those out of balance states that you experience the symptoms that may feel frustrating or burdensome.
Being able to understand the why- the root causes- gives you opportunity to work with your body to get back to homeostasis, wellbeing, and joy.
2. Precision Action
Once you have an understanding of the whys, you can start taking precision action. You're no longer guessing wildly and blindly about what might be going on. You can start personalizing aspects like your nutrition, movement, stress management, and supplements to exactly what is causing your body to be out of balance in the first place.
Responding to your specific whys with precision is powerful. Often more powerful than taking a pill could ever be. Consider for a moment a diagnosis like depression. The "gold standard" of care is to offer you an antidepressant and have you attend counseling. Antidepressants have modest benefits in the best case scenario. Imagine that you got specialty Functional Medicine tests that identified things like that you have deficiencies in several B vitamins, high levels of inflammation, dysbiosis, infections in your gut, and several well known neurotoxins. Suddenly, you don't just have two options for treatment- you have 5 that are directly related to the reasons why you may be experiencing a low mood. That's powerful. That's real medicine.
3. Compassion + Understanding
Often, chronic symptoms feel so deflating. There's an immense sense of guilt, shame, and self blame that may come with them. Consider for instance, the stigma of being overweight, the mis-guided assumption that it's your fault (I promise you it's not!), the shaming of your inner critic "how come I just can't make better choices", the guilt of not being able to do the things you want with your loved ones because you worry your body can't do it.
Imagine that you've gotten testing and have identified why you are feeling the way you do. Suddenly, your body makes sense. Now you know that you are struggling with weight because your hormones are out of whack and you have specific micronutrient deficiencies. You realize that your body has been trying to save and preserve you. It's been intelligent and wise. Empathy kicks shame to the curb. Shame can't exist in this space of wisdom and understanding, it just doesn't have a place.
I've seen this over and over. People struggling with low energy, frustrated by belly fat that they just can't lose, racked with guilt over cravings that they just can't say no to. And when they get answers, I see the "aha" moment spread across their face. I see their body relax. I hear the change in their tone and how they talk about their experience and body. Understanding makes a huge difference.
4. No More Wasting Precious Time, Money, + Energy
We've all done it. Tried to DIY our health plan and fix problems ourselves. It's easy to get free "advice" on social media. There are rampant posts about what supplements you should be taking if you have X symptom. Maybe you have a supplement graveyard. Maybe you've bought some over the counter testing that promised you answers only to feel more confused by the results. Maybe you've tried all sorts of hacks promising relief from TikTokers like dunking your face in ice water only to find that you feel exactly the same.
Those things aren't working because they aren't tailored to your whys. It's a waste of your time, energy, and hard earned dollars to pretend that those are real solutions.
It's true that specialty testing costs money. Most of the time it's not covered by insurance. But cost is not the same thing as value. There's a real cost to the DIY method. The cost of peeing out supplements that your body doesn't need, the cost of sitting in endless doctors offices not getting solutions, the cost of mounting frustration and symptoms. For every day you're not getting better, you're probably getting worse and it only gets harder and harder to come back from the deeper you get. Specialty testing provides immense value by cutting through all the crap and noise so that you only spend your precious time, energy and money on things that will work for you.
5. Rekindling Hope + Restoring Power
Illness and symptoms take a huge toll. I often hear people who feel hopeless, who feel powerless, who feel traumatized by their experience of illness.
Understanding why, finally getting to the root can help rekindle hope. It opens up possibilities. It gives you some power back because you start to see where you can have choice and control. It helps correct the imbalanced equation of illness so that you have things you can do to influence how you feel and maybe even reverse conditions once thought irreversible.
Functional Medicine is a rapidly growing field and I believe it's the future of medicine. Gone are the days when everyone gets the same treatments and bandaided with pills. You can start experiencing the benefits of modern, personalized medicine by working with a Functional Medicine provider and get the testing you need and the answers you deserve.
If you're interested in learning more about how Functional Medicine Testing can make a difference, check out my free How to Hack Your Hormones Webinar and start getting answers today.
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