Understanding the 5 Components of Functional Medicine

There are countless benefits and advances for which we have traditional, evidence-based medicine to thank, from vaccines to chemotherapy. However, many times it’s better to look more deeply into an individual’s health condition in addition to treating a set of symptoms. 

This is where functional medicine comes in. This approach focuses on the root cause of your health problem from the perspective of your overall health, as well as taking a preventive approach. Think about it. What conditions might never be diagnosed in the first place if a patient’s lifestyle supported optimal health?

Dr. Mandeep Walia, Dr. Jeremy La Motte, and the caring team at Gain Wellness Center treat you holistically, not as an isolated condition. The practice offers a complete wellness evaluation to patients, which forms the backbone of functional medicine-based care

Becoming familiar with functional medicine

As we noted, we’re interested in pursuing the underlying causes of your symptoms and dig deeper to find systemic imbalances by performing advanced testing, having in-depth conversations with you about your health history and lifestyle, providing education, and partnering with you to work toward better health. 

We also use progressive treatment methods like regenerative medicine, which harnesses your body’s own healing capabilities to heal you, and chiropractic care, which focuses on the health of your spine, muscles, and nervous system. 

This care model means that we develop a relationship with you that’s based on trust, and you never feel hurried through an appointment.

The building blocks of functional medicine

Patients visit us because they’re often, as the saying goes, “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” They might come in with a specific issue like digestive problems or something more general like persistent malaise. 

To understand how we care for you, it helps to learn about the five components that form the foundation of functional medicine:

1. Functional nutrition

You may notice the word functional is used here again, and that’s because, to be properly fed and fueled, your diet needs to be targeted to your lifestyle, constitution, and even your genes. Your health history and current conditions with which you’re living should also influence what you eat.

The ideal nutritional plan is highly customized, and the furthest thing from one-size-fits-all. Dr. Walia formulates different eating plans for the person with leaky gut syndrome, someone living with diabetes, and an individual who’s feeling low-energy. Their needs are distinct, and she honors that.

2. Detoxification 

Your digestive system never stops working throughout your life, and as your body’s primary filter for toxins, your liver also faces constant demands. It’s busy processing nutrients that you take in and breaking down toxins so your body can secrete them.

We believe in giving your liver and digestive system a brief break, so they can recalibrate and strengthen themselves. We do this by prescribing a tailored mixture of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  

3. Addressing hormonal imbalances

The amazing endocrine system sends chemical messages throughout your body via hormones that are produced by your organs. Your hormones prompt everything from how your body grows and your metabolism’s behavior to fertility, mood, and sleep patterns.

If your hormones get out of whack, equally diverse symptoms arise. We help balance them through diet, exercise, stress reduction, cellular detoxification, and removing environmental toxins from your home or office.

4. Fitness

Our bodies were meant to move, but unfortunately, our modern lifestyle has made us markedly more sedentary. When we treat you, we look at your current level of activity and set goals together.

Again, fitness programs should be customized and take into account what activities you enjoy and what conditions might prevent you from participating in certain activities. For example, swimming would be a better choice than running for someone with osteoarthritis-related knee pain

Upping your activity impacts your mood, reduces stress, and helps with weight loss, among other benefits. 

5. Gaining control over stress

You’d be amazed at the health conditions caused by chronic stress: high blood pressure, insomnia, autoimmune problems, infertility, depression, and more. 

We help you examine the causes of stress in your daily life and develop practical steps you can take to alleviate it, from working toward more work-life balance, engaging in mindfulness practices and activities you enjoy, and again, good nutrition and exercise. 

We consider ourselves not just physicians, but healthy lifestyle coaches and confidantes who are invested in helping you achieve optimal health, which is attained by traveling your own path, nobody else’s. 

Call our office to schedule a free wellness evaluation with Dr. Walia, or book one online.

Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP, is the founder of Gain Wellness Center in Poway, California. At the integrated medical practice, one of Dr. Walia's, greatest goals, as a health care provider, is to provide her practice members with alternative, but healthy and safe choices that will enhance their health and well-being. She likes to motivate and educate her practice members to take charge of their health by providing them with evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own personal health and take control of their health. Dr. Walia was born in India and raised in Canada before moving to San Diego. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada for her Master of Science degree with specialties in Biology and Physiology. She had various publications in research articles during her time at McMaster University funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has three kids and enjoys cooking, hiking and going to the beach with her family.

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