Dr. Erin Emley completed her functional medicine training through the Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine master’s program at University of Western States, in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a modern approach to addressing chronic disease, and it offers an alternative to the conventional medical model of addressing illness. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease by taking a comprehensive approach and shifting the focus to a patient-centered model of care, rather than disease-centered focus. This type of medicine looks at the inter-connections of genetic expression, lifestyle, and environmental factors to determine how they collectively can influence a person’s short-term and long-term health. Functional medicine offers a unique and individualized approach to each person’s illnesses, health concerns, and goals.
What Does a Functional Medicine Visit Look Like?
When an individual seeks a functional medicine approach to their health concerns, an extensive health history is conducted through various questionnaires, forms, and one-on-one collaboration with the practitioner. There is no one-size-fits-all model for functional medicine, so the amount of time and effort conducting the history intake is based on individual needs. The practitioner performs a physical exam pertinent to the person’s complaints, and then a dialogue is opened between the doctor and the patient. Various treatment options and interventions are discussed, as well as the possibility of lab testing to help diagnose underlying causes of disease, as well as to establish a baseline of the patient’s health status before beginning therapeutic interventions. The doctor and patient then are able to begin a supportive journey to restore health and vitality, as well as outline steps to reach the patient’s individual goals for care.
What types of lab testing may be performed?
- Routine blood work and health screens
- Food sensitivity and allergy testing
- Nutritional deficiency testing
- Adrenal health and stress response
- Stool analysis
- Neurotransmitter testing
- Hormonal testing
- Gastrointestinal and digestive symptom testing