Functional Blood Chemistry
For many practitioners blood chemistry and CBC analysis is a matter of comparing a test result with the conventional laboratory reference range. These conventional reference ranges are designed to identify and diagnose disease states and pathology. Those that fall within the reference range are assumed to have no signs or symptoms of illness and are considered “normal”.
Unfortunately, this method of assessment allows a large number of people with signs and symptoms of disease being told they are healthy because the dysfunction has not yet developed into a disease state. Also, because the reference ranges are based on a bell curve distribution, the “normal” ranges get wider and wider as people become sicker, making the definition of abnormal or disease states relative.
In our experience, many people who seek medical care do not always have a clinically identifiable disease. As a result they are told by their doctor that they have “normal” lab results. These labs may be normal compared to the rest of the sick population, but they are a long way from optimal health.
Functional medicine doctors use optimal ranges to detect changes in physiological function. Evaluating chemistry shifts, enable us to treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction long before there is a diagnosable disease.
|Pathological View||Functional View|
|The body is viewed as separate systems and treated as individual parts.||The body is viewed as a dynamic and complex machine, when one system or part fails the whole body feels the effects.|
|Emphasis is placed on the identification of disease or pathological tissue change.||Emphasis is placed on identification of areas of imbalance or dysfunction of normal physiology.|
|Diagnosis is generally based on a single specific test.||Diagnosis is based on integrative data from several different systems and methods.|
|Treatment is based on reducing symptoms.||Treatment addresses the underlying cause of dysfunction.|
|Major focus is spent on how the patient is doing based on charts, statistics, and against a statistical “normal population”.||Major focus is based on the concept of physiological function.|
|Relies on late stage development of disease as a marker.||Allows for an early prediction of dysfunction.|
|Health is measured as an absence of disease.
As long as you do not have a disease, you are healthy.
|Health is measured on a wellness continuum, which is a spectrum moving from health to disease. Intervention can be made at every stage of the spectrum to restore and/or improve health and wellness.|