You have a window of time. A time you can choose to change things or choose to continue down the path you are on.
If you choose to continue living the way you know is not best, ignoring what your body is telling you and forgetting the impact your daily habits are having on your life, the window may close and you can be left wondering how you could have made a difference.
Disease works this way. Disease does not develop in your body overnight. It is an accumulation of how you have been living for days upon months upon years. But you have the choice today to make a change, to put yourself first, to listen to your body, to stop ignoring symptoms and to prevent a future outcome of poor health.
How can you do this? You can take the effort to explore your body and to see what it is telling you. To understand its areas of weaknesses, to learn how you can better support your functioning and health.
It is funny to me that we so easily pay high amounts for insurance, deductibles, pay for drugs, and pay for surgery when the time comes, but hardly think about how we are investing in preventing these sometimes drastic and harmful approaches from occurring.
It is expensive to get sick! If you have ever had to have surgery, take time off of work because of your health, or pay high rates to specialists, all of which I have had to do, you understand that it can be devastating to your pocket. Not to mention so often I have ended up with zero answers, help, or anywhere to go besides taking a prescription drug. The average medical cost per person diagnosed with diabetes is about $13,700, that does not sound cheap to me!
But with a functional medicine approach, we are changing this paradigm. We are shifting from the thought process of “let’s label this sickness, let's try to treat or cover up this disease,” to the motto of “Let’s prevent disease, let’s not only prevent disease but let’s live vibrantly and of optimal health.”
With the assistance of functional labs, I assist my clients in doing this every day. Functional labs help show us what is going on in our body while we are still in that window of change. Instead of the “black or white” approach that diagnostic tests give you, which are just looking to label you with or without a full-blown disease, we can see where your body is malfunctioning, what patterns may need to be corrected before a full-blown disease shows up on a diagnostic lab.
Functional lab testing also helps me give truly personalized health care to my clients. Our bodies are so unique and we all may have a different underlying cause to similar symptoms. So often I see women struggling with issues with their cycles and PMS symptoms, never do these symptoms have the exact same cause or developed the same way. Three women may all be having irregular periods and painful cramps, however one woman it may be because of a viral or bacterial gut infection, the other woman it may because of poor liver function and hormone clearance, the third woman may be experiencing these symptoms because of a diet high in inflammatory foods, poor blood sugar regulation, or insufficient thyroid function. Without functional lab testing to actually see all of these factors you may be spinning your wheels looking for relief and answers.
Investing in functional testing will help you finally overcome chronic health issues and symptoms as well as prevent disease and help you learn how to live to better support your body. This information is invaluable and is the future of health care.
A test I commonly use with clients includes looking at their gut health, a full panel showing the good bacterial makeup, possible bad bacteria, dysbiosis, fungal infections, parasitic infections and immune activity. Knowing the gut makes up 80% of your immune system, addressing any infections or imbalances can be the key to achieving health and finding answers. Other tests available include discovering your vitamin and nutrient levels, and if they are actively used inside your cells; knowing your unique genetics and if you may have pre-dispositions or areas of weakness that need to be supported; and learning your hormone levels, not only your cortisol and stress hormones but how they are actually being metabolized in your body, as well as your estrogen and its metabolites, your testosterone, DHEA and melatonin.
Even just these 3 comprehensive tests, when paired with your history, symptoms, and personal experiences, can provide mind-blowing insight into how your body is operating and what you need to do to bring it to a place of peak functioning. That’s because the focus is on YOU. It’s not about trying to give you a label, it's not about waiting for things to get bad enough for serious or irreversible repair, it’s about helping you now. There is a wide range of functional tests available depending on your need, including thyroid testing, leaky gut testing, organic acid testing, heavy metals or oxidative stress.
I encourage you to look more into an approach of supporting your health with your future and quality in mind. Because it is not about just living a long life, but living a vibrant life.