Functional Neurology
of Middlesex County
Gregory Symko, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.
747 Main Street Suite 205
Concord, MA 01742
978.369.7070
Directions & Office Hours

Functional Medicine: What it is and What it is not.

Image result for functional medicine

Since practicing Functional Medicine, I have met quite a few patients who have a misconception of what Functional Medicine (FM) is. And it makes sense.  Even though practicing health care in this way isn’t completely new, it is still a relatively new way of looking at and naming health.

What is in a name?

The name Functional Medicine Practitioner can be deceiving. We tend to hear it and understand the “medicine” part because that is what traditional doctors do – they prescribe medication. But the “functional” part is what people don’t tend to understand and is what needs more clarification.

Simply put, Functional Medicine is medicine by cause, not by symptom.  An FM Practitioner does not treat a disease but rather your body’s ecosystem as whole.  Nothing in the body functions alone; everything is interrelated and FM digs deep to find the root cause so all related parts can be addressed and treated as well.

There are many practitioners who claim they practice FM when in fact what they do falls short of that. It is important to educate yourself about just what a FM doctor does and doesn’t do in order for you to get the care you need, and deserve.

Is your doctor Functional?

Your practitioner is not practicing Functional Medicine if:

  1. They never asks about the quality of your bowel movements and the quality of the results of your bowel movements.
  2. Prescribes hormone replacement therapy, no matter what the source of the hormones.
  3. Puts you on more than six supplements that have no stop date.
  4. Never talks about food and how it affects your health.
  5. They do not investigate how hormones are working in your body and doesn’t do important and complete hormone testing.
  6. You have  the sense that they are just trying to sell you supplements.

Your practitioner is practicing Functional Medicine if:

  1. They want to get to know you and how your body is functioning or not functioning, and become familiar with your individual issues.
  2. They begin the process of discovering why certain parts of your body are giving you trouble – this can be from your brain to your bowels.
  3. They order tests that are designed to look at the complete chemistry process of your body. They are looking for clues as to what might be wrong.
  4. They always start with food. Chances are food is playing a major role in how someone feels.
  5. Supplements may be prescribed, but they are what is called targeted supplements. A Functional Practitioner would prefer the problem be solved with food.  What I like to tell new patients is that my goal is to have them feel the best they can with as little outside intervention as possible.
  6. The feedback and information they give you is all specific to you and your particular makeup.
  7. They want you to live a happy and healthy life to the fullest.  It is not about money, selling you a lot of supplements or unnecessary treatments.  It is about how you can live a healthy life free of pain, brain fog, or chronic fatigue.

Functional Medicine, like Functional Neurology, is one of the most important discoveries in healthcare. It truly speaks to what makes a person healthy.

Does FM sound like something you could use to help you heal?  We can help! Connect with us:  978-369-7070 or drsymko@gmail.com.  Your health is our concern.