Doctors who specialize in functional medicine, like the team at Ballantyne Medical Associates, take the time to truly communicate with patients so they can uncover and treat all the underlying causes of pain, sickness, and disease.
Where conventional medicine looks at symptoms, makes a diagnosis, and prescribes treatment, functional medicine looks at symptoms together with all the unique features of your life that interact and contribute to symptoms, including genetics, lifestyle, diet and nutrition, medical history, and environmental influences.
As our doctors practice functional medicine, they evaluate the whole person because all of the systems in the body work together, and dysfunction in one system may cause symptoms in another system. If only the obvious symptom is treated, the original dysfunction may be missed until health problems arise down the road.
Nutrition is at the heart of wellness and disease prevention. Your body can’t function unless you have adequate calories, macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Foods consumed during childhood set the stage for health or disease in adulthood. In many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, proper nutrition doesn’t just play a supporting role, it’s the key to preventing or managing the disease. Nutrition often affects the outcome when you’re sick. For example, poor nutrition lowers the chance of survival in cancer patients.
The doctors at Ballantyne Medical Associates believe it’s vital to assess your nutritional status and to incorporate functional nutritional therapy into your wellness plan. We may test your levels of micronutrients or run tests to see if you’re sensitive to specific foods. Then we’ll create a plan using a balanced diet, and dietary supplements if needed, to correct nutritional imbalances and improve health.
In functional medicine, your treatment may include multiple therapies that will all be tailored to your overall health and medical condition.
If you need medication, we’ll write the prescription, but only after talking with you about the options and explaining which choice is best for your entire body. Your treatment plan may include dietary intervention, nutritional supplements, botanicals, stress management, steps to improve sleep, or mental health therapy. The doctors may order a diurnal saliva test, which checks levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. Chiropractic treatment to maintain balance in your muscles, bones, and nerves may be beneficial for your health condition. The doctors may refer you to specialists offering alternative therapies, such as massage or acupuncture, which may help relieve fibromyalgia pain.
No matter what elements the treatment plan includes, the doctors at Ballantyne Medical Associates will ensure the plan is comprehensive to help heal the whole person.