Most people who seek medical care,
especially from a practitioner trained in Complementary and Alternative
Medicine (CAM) do not have a clinically identifiable disease. Patients
coming to us have usually been told that everything looks normal
based on the standard tests routinely run by their doctor (physical
examination, urinalysis, blood tests etc.). As CAM practitioners
we know that most of our patients are by no means “normal”,
but are a long way from being in a state of optimal health. So why
use diagnostic techniques and standard interpretations that are
designed to identify disease states and pathology only? Shouldn't’
we use interpretative and diagnostic methods that can help us assess
a wide range of problems that are more suggestive of subclinical
or functional problems?
Many patients fall through the cracks of the current
medical paradigm because they are neither sick from a pathological
perspective (no tissue changes, no findings on diagnostic testing
etc.) nor 100% well. These patients fall into a gray area of medicine.
This gray area is the zone of dysfunction and Functional diagnosis
is one of the best ways to sleuth out what is truly going on. By
doing this we have an incredible opportunity to make changes long
before true pathology sets in.
An example of this is blood sugar dysregulation,
which is becoming an epidemic in Western industrialized societies.
Blood sugar dysregulation occurs along a spectrum of time. On the
one end we have the beginnings of hypoglycemia. On the other end
full blown type II diabetes. No one wakes up as a type II diabetic
without first traversing along this spectrum. However, there are
few testing methodologies used in standard Western medicine to help
evaluate where along the spectrum one might be. At some point a
doctor may tell a patient that they are pre-diabetic. This may be
too late. With Functional Diagnosis we can see the trend towards
diabetes very early by looking at the gray area. The blood glucose
levels are not so high that I am worried about diabetes yet, but
they are high enough, and there are significant signs and symptoms
of dysglycemia, that I want to begin a treatment plan to address
the tendency towards blood sugar dysregulation.
With Functional Diagnosis we can look for aberrations
in physiology, make adjustments in the treatment plan, check to
see we are going in the right direction, and make a significant
change in our patients' lives.
© 2004 Dicken Weatherby, ND