What is functional medicine?

What is functional medicine?


You might be wondering – what is functional medicine?
And, what is functional blood chemistry?

But first! 

What is conventional blood chemistry?


Conventional lab ranges, the ranges you see on your yearly blood test, are based on a bell curve representing 95% of the population.  These ranges represent values averaged from people who are healthy, people who are ill and people who are in-between.

When a blood test is read conventionally, a marker may be within this wide normal range.  But, even if you don’t feel good, even if you’re symptomatic, because your blood value is within normal range on the wide range of a conventional test, you are not considered ill.

Lastly, there are only a small number of tests that conventional blood chemistry provides, such as limited CBC (white blood cell count, hemoglobin, etc.), lipid panel (cholesterol, etc.), CMP (glucose, sodium, etc.) and limited thyroid and inflammation markers such as TSH and T4 and maybe CRP for those with a history of cardiovascular disease.

If you ‘pass the test’ on these values, then congrats!  You’re not technically sick!
But, what if you still don’t feel good??

Functional blood chemistry to the rescue!


Functional blood chemistry is based on appropriate ranges for healthy populations…not on an average of values from our modern population.

(For instance, the functional range of serum glucose is 80-95 mg/dL.  The conventional range of serum glucose is 65-100 mg/dL.  The smaller range seen in the functional value helps me to make sure that your blood sugar stays balanced according to current research on healthy individuals.)

Functional ranges also allow me to find imbalances before my clients are considered ‘sick.’  Pathology isn’t a state that simply shows up one day out of the blue!  There is a process of becoming sick, and narrowing the range of blood values allows me to find problems before they are considered a diagnosable disease.

And, functional blood chemistry involves looking at values that help me to see your full picture of health.  I want to know if you have hidden anemia, if you have hidden thyroid issues, if you have issues with your immune system or digestion, if you are zinc deficient, have hormonal imbalance or inflammation.  By looking at the full picture of many values I can see so much about what is needed to support you back to optimal health.

Functional means practical, and that is what functional medicine and functional blood chemistry truly are.  They are practical, logical ways of supporting the body to achieve optimal function.  Optimal function means you feel great!