Functional Medicine

Together we will evaluate how the three main systems of your body are working by discussing your health and lifestyle history and specific lab tests. The three systems Nathalie Trees, L.Ac. focuses on are the hormone system, the digestive system, and the liver detoxification pathways. When these systems stop working, endless symptoms and seemingly unrelated problems can arise.  Instead of chasing individual symptoms, together we will find the system that has stopped working and repair it using natural therapies and lifestyle modifications. Functional medicine is unique by focusing on restoring physiological function, which can produce lasting changes, instead of just “feeling better” now.

 

Why am I feeling this way?

why do i feel this way trees acupuncture

Functional Medicine

is a systematic approach to healing the three main body systems.  The three main body systems include the (1) adrenal system, the (2) digestive system, and the (3) detoxification pathways.  Every symptom you experience is influenced by one or more of these three systems, including depression, constipation, weight gain, and lowered libido.  With Functional Medicine, specific laboratory based tests are used to determine which of the three body systems is “broken”.  Once the “broken” body system or systems is identified and a custom lab based supplementation program is started, the road to healing is short and predictable.

 

Three Body Systems

 What are they and why do they matter?

3 systems - hormonal, digestive and detoxification

Hormonal System

Your complete health analysis begins with measuring the hormonal output of your adrenal glands. The Adrenal Stress Profile test uses saliva samples collected over the course of the day to determine the production of the two main adrenal hormones, cortisol and DHEA.  This test measures how well your body is adapting and managing daily cumulative stress.

The most common symptoms of adrenal stress include fatigue, depression, inability to lose weight, sweet cravings, lowered sex drive, insomnia, poor memory, anxiety, inability to concentrate, PMS, weakened immune system, recurrent infections, and joint or muscle pain.

The Adrenal Stress Profile measures your body’s response to stress caused by lifestyle issues such as working long hours, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, lack or rest, or periods of intense emotional upset, like the stress of a divorce or the death of a family member.

The results of an Adrenal Stress Profile help us to identify what the best nutritional supplementation program is for you.  We will also discuss specific dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes to restore your body’s natural function.

Digestive System

Your complete GI Pathogen Screen starts with a stool test and an enzyme response test.  The foundation of great health is the strength of the digestive system.  Without proper digestion, we are unable to extract vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins required for vibrant health.  Bacterial overgrowth, invasive yeast, and fungal infections are frequent causes of digestive stress.  The GI Pathogen Screen will alert us to the presence of parasites, fungus, bacteria, or yeast that are pathogenic in nature.

Digestive Acid and Enzymes

The inability to digest proteins may reflect a low production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.  A simple and easy test to determine the need for digestive enzyme and acid support is called the “Zypan Challenge Test”.  Without sufficient acid and enzymes your body cannot breakdown the food you eat for assimilation.  Low gastric acid will prevent proteins from being completely broken into their amino acids and absorbed by the small intestine.  These amino acids are critical for rebuilding tissues and neurotransmitter production, to name a few.  If you have low levels of digestive enzymes, the food you eat is not completely absorbed.  This is an easy test that is done at home.

Parasites

Many people think of parasites as a problem when traveling abroad.  However, through recent improvements in diagnostic testing methods, doctors are discovering high levels of parasite infections in the US.  We can become infected eating at a restaurant were the staff has poor hygiene, eating from salad bars or buffets where food is left sitting out, contaminated foods, handling money, shaking hands, and using public restrooms.

Fortunately, everyone will not have the same susceptibility to parasites.  When several people are exposed to a pathogen, one person may fight it off while two others may become infected.  The difference in susceptibility reflects the health of our immune system.  Healthy gastric acid levels will “kill” off most foodborne pathogens.  The other line of defense is our mucous membranes, from the nasal passages and oral cavity to our intestines, the lining of our membranes secretes a special immune compound called SigA.  SigA can be measured in the saliva.  Stress hormones have a direct effect on how much SigA is produced.  This is one explaination for the relationship between stress and our immunity.

The Detoxification System

The Metabolic Assesment evaluates your level of free radical damage, oxidative stress, and your liver’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful substances.  Inadequate detoxification can lead to allergies, asthma, joint pain, skin problems, headaches, inability to concentrate, and alcohol intolerance, to name just a few.

Sources of Toxins

Our bodies modulate toxins that are produced internally as well as externally.  One source of toxicity is a poor diet.  Other dietary factors that contribute to toxicity can include hydrogenated fats, alcohol, coffee, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and the use of multiple medications for a prolonged period of time.  Much of our food is unfortunately laced with hormones, preservatives, and dyes.  Heavy metal toxicity from dental fillings, contaminated food and water and other environmental toxins add to the toxic burden on the body.

The Metabolic Assesment includes a measurement of your level of free radicals and determines at which level you need nutritional support and exactly which products are appropriate for your metabolism.

Are you taking unnecessary vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant supplements?  Not everyone needs anti-oxidants, for example, and taking them unnecessarily can cause muscle weakness and fatigue.

If your detoxification abilities are over taxed, these destructive chemical compounds can build up your body.  In total, 46 test parameters are measured to test for energy production, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, B vitamin production and more.