What is Functional Healthcare? Also called Functional Medicine, Personalized Healthcare, or Blueprint Medicine, Functional Healthcare is a different way of approaching disease than typical current allopathic Western medicine. IB Solutions is a Functional Healthcare clinic, where we focus on cause, not symptom. It is important to note that functional healthcare is not the same as the practice of medicine. Dr. Binley is not a medical doctor, and does not prescribe medications or surgery. Rather than treat any specific disease or symptom, he will search for its root cause, providing guidance for each of his patients to figure out how and why health got off track, and work to restore functionality. He treats the individual, not the disease. Functional healthcare requires a partnership between patient and doctor, as we work with the biological systems of your own body, using nutrition, diet, exercise and lifestyle factors to achieve wellness. It is systems-oriented “whole body” holistic healthcare.
In contrast, typical Western medicine focuses on symptoms (the “what”), especially in the treatment of chronic illness. Most often, a patient presents to a Western medical doctor with a symptom, and leaves with a prescription: “You have (this), so take (this).” The effort is in naming the symptom (such as irritable bowel syndrome, excema, psoriasis, migraine, anxiety, ADD, etc) and then trying to match a drug to it to shut that symptom down. Perhaps a recommendation for surgery is given as well. The appointment is typically rather short. Does this describe your experience? Are you frustrated with this typical process? Maybe you have taken those prescription medications, and then even more to combat side effects of the first medications. Nutritional deficiencies caused by these medications cause further problems. Furthermore, once multiple medications are in play, “polypharmacy” issues of unpredictable drug interactions must be addressed. Now you wonder how you got so far down this road of illness and drugs, and you still aren’t any healthier than when you first started looking for answers.
In contrast, Functional Healthcare focuses on the “why.” This makes our starting point different, and hopefully our ending point different, too: healing rather than management of symptoms. The philosophy of functional medicine recognizes that each patient is a unique individual with a unique set of genetics and biochemistry, as well as a unique set of environmental and lifestyle factors. These genetic/environment interactions are complex. For example, two people could potentially have the same health issues with completely different sets of causes. In other words, IBS isn’t IBS isn’t IBS. Treating everyone with IBS the same (dosing out the same prescription, for example) ignores the unique journey each patient traveled to arrive at their own IBS. Functional medicine approaches illness by identifying how a person’s genetics are at odds with their environment so that they can be educated on how to restore this balance with lifestyle interventions. Some of the components of the functional medicine approach include:
- Comprehensive health history
- Evaluation of the patient’s lifestyle and environmental factors.
- Functional outcomes-based laboratory tests to identify nutritional deficiencies, toxic environmental exposures, food allergies, digestive function, genetic factors, and more, doing research to understand the biochemical individuality of each patient.
- Education-based treatment so that ultimately the patient is less dependent on the doctor to maintain their health. The goal of the IB Solutions Method is for you to become your own Solution!
Who is a good candidate for success as a functional healthcare patient, and specifically for success using the IB Solution Method? Someone who is ready to make changes instead of excuses. Someone who is willing to take action beyond what is “moderate” or perhaps comfortable, and ready to do all that is necessary to heal. Someone who understands that in our clinic we do not treat any disease, but rather work as a team with the patient to co-create an environment of health, removing impediments to health, so that the body can heal itself of illness. Someone who is willing to learn how all disease starts and ends with digestion. Someone who recognizes that his or her functional healthcare doctor is a partner and a guide, but that healing outcomes are determined by the patient, not the doctor. The IB Solution Method works for people who are ready to commit to making long term changes to gain a transformative process resulting in health.