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Ask The Expert

By Yamila Cruz

The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and doctors to work together as a team to address the underlying causes of a disease and promote optimal wellness. It relies on a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

The doctor performs a consultation, detailed patient history, examination and laboratory testing like blood, saliva, stool among others if necessary, and according to the results an individualized program will be made for the patient. Nowadays it has become more popular thanks to different practitioners like Mark Hyman, M.D., Amy Myers, M.D., Jack Wolfson, D.O., and Tom O’Bryan, D.C., among others that have made emphasis on the importance of looking the body as a whole and looking for the root cause of the problem.

In Functional Medicine we look for the culprit of the disease, not only to the symptoms. By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and/or one cause may result in many different conditions. Functional Medicine treatments target the specific reflection of the disease in each individual.

It deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic diseases, including, but not limited to endocrine disorders (Diabetes, thyroid), autoimmune disorders (like Hashimotos), hormonal imbalances (infertility, PCOS) and inflammatory disorders. Functional Medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes call “alternative” or “holistic” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Take control of your health in a natural non invasive way. Prevent future damage, live a longer and healthier life. Stop living in pain, with health issues progressing overtime no matter how many medications and diets you go through. Look for the root cause of your health problems, address them and enjoy the life you deserve.

Some facts:

• Chronic diseases account for 86 percent of all healthcare costs

• 50 percent of adults have at least one chronic condition

• one in every three kids are overweight. Obesity is linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure, among others

• People with diabetes have a 50 percent higher risk of earlier death, and the medical costs of people with Type 2 diabetes are twice as high as people without

• 24 million people are affected by an autoimmune disease

• The No. 1 cause of death in the United States is heart disease, the second is cancer

• Malnutrition (lack of proper nutrition either due to unhealthy diet or not absorbing the nutrients) is a global phenomenon

Yamila Cruz is a Chiropractor (DC), Functional Medicine Practitioner (FMP) and Autoimmune Protocol Coach (AIP Coach) at Aim High Chiropractic, Sloan's Lake office, 2532 Sheridan Blvd. Contact her at 303-458-0294 or