Nutritional Therapist

What are naturopathy and functional medicine?

Functional medicine

Functional medicine is the medicine of the future. The traditional medical approach of treating the disease and the symptoms does not address the root cause of the problem. Finding and addressing the root cause is the only way to achieve long lasting positive health outcomes.


For example, depression can have many underlying causes: Omega3 deficiency, low thyroid function, vitamin D deficiency, insulin resistance, antibiotic use, gut dysbiosis. By addressing most of the causes, a healing can take place.


Functional medicine principles:

  • The individual is not a disease but a person.
  • Functional medicine is evidence-based
  • The human body is self-healing
  • People have the potential to heal disease commonly associated with aging
  • Health is more than the absence of disease


Naturopathy

Historically, functional medicine started from naturopathy, so they simply can be considered as two schools sharing similar philosophy. They both believe in evidence-based and patient centered care, a whole person approach and treating the cause rather than just the symptoms. In naturopathy, practitioners facilitate the innate healing ability of the body by removing the obstacles to cure and giving it what it needs – nutrition, supplements, herbs, lifestyle interventions. Optimizing the “terrain” or the inner environment of the body is a major goal in achieving health. Naturopathy also works to restore harmony in the body and to prevent disease.


Naturopathic principles:

  • First, Do No Harm (Primum non nocere)
  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis medicatrix naturae)
  • Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle causam)
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
  • Treat the Whole Person (Tolle totum)
  • Prevention (Praevenic)


Functional testing

Functional testing is different from the standard medical testing in that it is looking at the function of organs and systems. It seeks to identify the core biochemical and metabolic imbalances that may be at the root of a disease process. This may include:

  • Digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances
  • Detoxification and biotransformation imbalances
  • Deficiencies in mitochondrial function
  • Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Immune and inflammatory imbalances


There is also the concept of optimal reference ranges which are different than the standard lab reference ranges. The reference ranges you see in a lab report are average values, based on the population that has performed the test. Usually those are people having a disease or a disfunction. The lab ranges reflect a diseased state, not a healthy state. Naturopathic and functional medicine practitioners, use ranges that reflect what is the optimal value for being healthy.

To find out how you can improve your diet and support your health schedule a free consultation today.​

Ginka Kostova is not a medical doctor but she has trained and works in the Naturopathic and Functional medicine model, using the same principles to support her clients in restoring optimal health. She does not treat diseases but rather supports the body to achieve a balanced state.

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