Five Fundamental Questions
Ultimately, there are five questions we need to ask to holistically address any condition. They are:
- Is the condition associated with something the body needs? (examples: magnesium, electrolytes, B-vitamins, essential fatty acids, etc)
- Is it associated with something the body needs to avoid? (i.e. chemical sensitivity, food intolerance, caffeine, toxic environments, people or places etc.)
- Is it caused by something that needs to be eliminated/detoxified? (i.e. poison/toxic accumulation, parasites and other pathogens, even overgrowth of normal (good) GI bacteria, etc.)
- Are there other factors interfering and/or preventing healing and restoration. (examples: weak adrenals, hormone imbalance, scar tissue, physiological memory of pain or trauma, vertebral subluxation, emotional blockage or episodes imprinted into the autonomic nervous system)
- Are there any maladaptive emotions or core beliefs that impedes improvement? (i.e. excessive fear, catastrophic thinking, fear of normal movement, believe that one is not deserving of health, subconscious “desire” to remain unhealthy, et cetera)
Of course not every patient will require every aspect of these five concepts, but in the context of a doctor-patient relationship, we must at least consider them to bring about fundamental healing and a return to ‘natural balance.’
Testing NBW Doctors Use?
The first step to addressing any health problem requires finding the underlying cause for the symptoms. In today’s advancing genre of functional medicine, there are may ‘Precise’ diagnostics available that go far beyond examining blood chemistry and urine to eek out imbalances and deficiencies before “dis-ease” irreversibly sets in.
That is to say, tests that assess:
- Genetic weakness
- Functional nutrients via cell cultures and urine metabolites
- Metabolic assessments of organic acids, toxins, detoxification pathways, etc
- Heavy metals and other Toxins in the body
- Gut health, food intolerances/allergies, and proper nutrient absorption
- Neurotransmitters, hormones, adrenal and thyroid function
- Any number of other biological pathways worth examining on a case-to-case basis.
The main challenge is choosing the most appropriate test for an individual patient. However, once the required information is fully gathered in the context of a thorough history and physical exam we are able to design a ‘Precision’ diagnostic strategy appropriate to each individual patient.
“Why are standard lab values and normative data not always enough?”
The answer: “What is traveling in the blood is not necessarily what is being utilized by the tissues on a function level.” And while the two can be related, sometimes what is present at high concentration in the blood may actually point to deficits at the cellular level and vise-versa. Likewise, normal blood values may not reveal functional deficits at the cellular level where the “work of life” is actually taking place. Also, early imbalances and pre-disease states adversely impacting health are often too subtle to identify with standard diagnostics. Combine all of this with the fact that what may be “enough” for one individual, is not necessarily “enough” for another, and it becomes clearer why a higher level of testing is required.
An apt analogy: Cars driving on the highway (analogous to nutrients in the blood) function much different then cars on the side streets and in the driveways. Likewise, individuals commuting on that highway are functionally less important than people in buildings/houses carrying on the day to day activities of life (which is analogous to what is taking place in the tissues or individual cells). Bottom line, in functional medicine we are more interested in what is going on in the cell despite apparently normal blood values. By utilizing these concepts, subtle imbalances and pre-disease states are more apt to be identified. Conventional testing often identifies illness once illness has already occurred. In our clinical mind-set this is too late and remains one of the biggest fumbles of a purely “conventional” approach to diagnosing patients.
More information about tests NBW doctors order for our patients?
Our doctors order an array of functional, medical and genetic test. Insurance generally pays for these test when ordered by a physician and the testing laboratories we use are finding ways to make test that insurance won’t cover more affordable for patients as an out-of-pocket service; while conventional research catches up and confirms (what we already know) that these more advanced diagnostics, are in fact, very worthwhile.
Here is a list of the most common test along with pricing and insurance details where applicable.