What Is It?
Functional Medicine focuses on the health of the cell in order to best support all body systems. The cells require a range of nutrients to work effectively. Nutritional Supplementation requires taking therapeutic doses of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids) based on individual needs.
Ideally, people would get nutrients from the foods they eat. However, our nutrient-poor modern diet combined with low-nutrient farm soil makes this very difficult.
As the gut heals, supplementation may be reduced or eliminated. But in cases where there are ongoing dietary, metabolic and/or genetic issues, supplementation may be required long-term.
Nutritional supplementation is not a substitute for good diet.
Who Is It For?
Nutritional Supplementation can optimise cellular health and therefore works to both treat and prevent a range of conditions including but not exclusive to;
ADHD, Allergies, Anxiety, Asthma, Autism, Behaviour, Cancer, Celiac, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive Disorders, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Eating Disorder, Eczema, Food Intolerances, Heart Disease, Infections, Learning Delay, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pyroluria, Schizophrenia, Sensory Integration, Speech-Language Delay.
Children especially may benefit from supplements because it helps to ensure that the body and brain have essential nutrients during critical developmental periods.
What Are the Benefits?
According to the Functional Medicine model, Nutritional Supplementation supports cellular health by increasing the absorption of nutrients while blocking out toxins. The benefits may include improved metabolic, immunologic, neurologic and digestive function.
Nutritional Supplementation is designed to target individual needs and to treat the core cause of illness at the cellular level. It is important that a trained Functional Medicine practitioner oversee supplementation to ensure the patient is receiving appropriate supplements at appropriate therapeutic doses.
In some cases, supplements may reduce or eliminate the need for medications which reduces costs as well as the risk of potential side-effects.
Nutritional Supplementation may also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which in turn could reduce symptoms of allergies, arthritis, asthma, ADHD, Autism and a wide range of disease.
What Are The Costs?
Costs of supplementation vary and are best assessed by a skilled Functional Medicine practitioner. They would likely include consulting fees, lab tests and the supplements.
Where can I find a practitioner?
Finding a well-trained Functional Medicine practitioner requires research. You can reference the lists below for one in your area and should consider checking references and interviewing several before you select one.
Defeat Autism Now! trains Functional Medicine practitioners (and carers) around the world who specialise in childhood neurobiological disorders (Autism, ADHD, allergies), but who would understand Functional Medicine as it relates to all disease. If they cannot treat you, they might be able to refer you to someone who can. A list of trained practitioners can be found at the Autism Research Institute.
The World Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine can help you find Functional Medicine practitioners throughout the world.
The American Academy of Anti-Aging has a directory of doctors, spas, clinics and products that support Functional Medicine treatments for all disease.
The American College for the Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) trains practitioners in complementary, alternative and integrative medicine. which incorporates Functional Medicine.
Australia & New Zealand
The Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) trains practitioners in Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (incorporating Functional Medicine) in Australia and New Zealand.
The Australasian Integrative Medical Association (AIMA) has a membership of Functional Medicine Practitioners in Australia & New Zealand.
Mindd Foundation trains practitioners in Integrative Healthcare and Functional Medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
Where Can I Find Support?
Detoxification & Healing
Children with Starving Brains
Changing The Course of Autism
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics
What’s Biomedical Treatment (Generation Rescue)