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Functional Medicine

My Story, Dr. Gary Plummer

Simple but not easy solutions for health care illnesses.

Everybody knows that being obese makes a person at higher risk of heart disease and other ailments. I did a test on myself. I had my triglycerides evaluated with lab work then that night I ate a huge cheeseburger–God, I love cheeseburgers. I had my triglycerides evaluated the next day and my value was so high that I was at extreme risk of having a stroke. My choice was change my diet or take anti-triglyceride medicine. I chose to do both.

When a patient is in a hospital the food is generally healthy. Many patients improve just by eating healthier and sleeping properly. I think we can all assume if the best hospitals in the country offer healthy food.

There are hundreds of laboratory tests that will pinpoint unhealthy values that cannot be seen but can be measured. For people who want it, I will order the necessary tests and if there is a natural way to treat the disease, I will work with you for better health. I believe in good science. But sometimes just changing the little things can do a lot of good.

Is Functional Medicine right for you?

Functional MedicineThe number of individuals who suffer from complex chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders is on the rise.

The conventional care provided by allopathic medicine is oriented toward acute care and the diagnosis of trauma or disease of limited duration, such as a broken limb or heart attack. Medical physicians practicing in this model typically prescribe drugs or surgery with the goal of ameliorating the immediate condition and symptoms.

Why Functional Medicine?

The acute-care approach is ill-equipped to handle the multifaceted issues that accompany most chronic diseases. It’s also a model that fails to address the unique genetic background of each individual. It also does not take into account the impact of modern lifestyles and environmental factors that can lead to an increase in chronic diseases. These factors include diet, exercise, exposure to toxins, and stress. For these reasons, most doctors are unequipped to assess the underlying causes of disease. They do not know howto utilize diet, exercise, and nutrition as preventive factors in combating chronic disease.

From a chiropractic perspective, seeking to discover the underlying causes of disease by examining how structure impacts function is a foundational principal for the profession.

Practitioners of FM develop individualized treatment programs that address the interaction between the external environment and the internal environment of the body, including the immune, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems.

How is Functional Medicine different?

From an FM perspective, the primary factors considered during a patient assessment include foundational lifestyle factors: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress level, interpersonal relationships, and genetics. These primary factors are, in turn, influenced by certain predisposing factors, ongoing physiological processes, and discrete events that result in an imbalance in the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis.

Conventional medicine focuses on the constellation of symptoms the patient presents with and the grouping of these symptoms under the label of a diagnosed disease. The diagnosis is then accompanied by the prescription of a drug (or group of drugs), and in some cases therapy, in an attempt to mitigate or ameliorate the patient’s symptoms. Beyond this point,traditional medicine finds itself at a loss. This approach to the treatment of disease neglects fundamental aspects of health that are often the underlying cause of the patient’s condition. It also groups patients together who present with similar signs and symptoms, and thus neglects the differences between patients as well as the multiple potential causes that a “disease” may have. Critical information is collected about underlying factors that may be contributing to the patient’s condition. These include an analysis of the patient’s lifestyle,daily living habits, history of trauma and prior illnesses, environmental exposures, and genetic influences.

Patients are often asked to complete extensive questionnaires that cover topics not usually addressed in a traditional medical setting. These include toxic exposures in the home and workplace, a daily diet history, and a specific history of the characteristics of both the patient’s acute and chronic symptoms. The responses provided by the patient offer the clinician insights into health-related information that might not be easily gathered during a typical patient history.

FM practitioners may also recommend laboratory testing, including routine tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC), as well as less conventional tests, such as stool, saliva, hormone levels, and genetic testing. These tests help determine which biological processes may be functioning at less than optimal levels. This information is then compiled to develop a comprehensive customized plan of care to restore the patient to good health.

FM therapies may include chiropractic adjustments,nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, botanical medicines, bio-identical hormones, detoxification programs, and therapeutic diets. A regimen of care will also typically include lifestyle counseling relating to exercise and stress- management techniques. The goal is to empower the patient to be active in the healing process and to improve their own health to change the course of their underlying dysfunction.

Functional Medicine in clinical practice

Functional medicine
Chiropractors have long known that chronic disease is driven primarily by factors related to lifestyle choices. New approaches to prevention and health management are required to turn back the tide of chronic disease that is now on course to outpace deaths from infectious disease over the next decade.

This can be accomplished by integrating what both chiropractic and allopathic practitioners know about how the human body functions. This results in a level of care that is both patient centered and science based, that addresses the causes of chronic disease rooted in lifestyle choices, environmental exposures, and genetic influences. This is precisely what FM does and it is perfectly aligned to address the health challenges confronting the majority of our population today. FM integrates the art and science of healthcare. There is extensive research and science-based evidence that supports the collaborative approach at the foundation of FM. Research shows outcomes are improved when an effective therapeutic partnership exists between doctor and patient. This partnership engages the body, mind, and spirit. It encourages deep insight and a more comprehensive answer to challenging and complex health problems. One way to increase your satisfaction in practice is by providing your patients with answers that are unavailable to them elsewhere. FM may provide you with a source for those answers.

Call 941-460-0287 today for an examination and blood work.


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