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Introduction to Functional Diagnosis

By Dicken Weatherby, ND

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Dicken Weatherby is a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of the best-selling book "Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis- Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective". To learn more about Dr. Weatherby's functional diagnosis books and sign up for FREE functional diagnosis tips, tools, and techniques, visit his web site at http://www.BloodChemistryAnalysis.com

NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint or the url to DrWeatherby@BloodChemistryAnalysis.com

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