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Working With a Functional Medicine Doctor

Functional medicine is not really a specialty. It’s an updated way of organizing medical information and practicing medicine. It enables those clinicians that are trained in its methods to understand each individual patient as a complex whole and find the underlying causes of disease and dysfunction.

Functional medicine is based on the philosophy that everything in the human body is intricately connected in ways that we are still learning more about every day. A good functional medicine practitioner will spend time with their patient and look past the simple answer — which is often wrong, since our bodies are not simple — and take a comprehensive view at environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors.

Environmental Factors:

Environmental factors include the quality of food, air, and water available to you, along with toxins and traumas you have been exposed to.

Lifestyle Factors:

Lifestyle factors include the obvious things, like diet and exercise, but also some of the less obvious things, including beliefs. Your mind is a powerful organ, and the things you think and feel have physical side effects.

Genetic Factors:

Your DNA is not a static book of prophecy about what diseases you will and will not get. That being said, it can provide doctors with invaluable clues about why your body might behave in the ways that it is.

Emerging research also shows that how genes express themselves can be changed over time by your environment, experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That is to say there are ways to change how your genes behave. Since this can happen intentionally or not, functional medicine doctors focus on what factors might be modifying your genetic expression.

By understanding the genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors unique to each person, a Functional Medicine clinician is able to identify which bodily processes are affected. Some occur at the cellular level and involve how cells function, repair, and maintain themselves. Others are related to how your body processes and uses nutrients.

  • How your body rids itself of toxins
  • Regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
  • Immune system function
  • Inflammatory responses
  • Digestion and absorption of nutrients and the health of the digestive tract
  • Structural integrity
  • Psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • How you produce energy

Any one of these processes being interrupted or negatively affected can trigger a cascade of symptoms and disease.

It’s the functional medicine clinician’s job to find these patterns and look for interventions to restore your body’s natural balance.

The good news:

The good news is that functional medicine opens the door to treating things that may have once been labeled as “untreatable.” It also places a stronger emphasis on prevention, which is nearly always far less expensive than late stage treatment — not to mention, much more effective.

Patient first:

According to many who have been treated by a functional medicine clinician, the best thing about it is the way it focuses on them as a patient.

To a functional medicine doctor, you are not just a series of checkboxes on a clinical chart. A good functional medicine doctor will take the time needed to get to know you as a whole person, and treat you in the context of your unique situation.

MaxWell Clinic, located in Nashville, TN has pioneered a revolutionary approach to healthcare, which we call Personalized Systems Medicine. Rather than simply suppressing your symptoms, we seek to understand why those symptoms are there. Our unique model of care combines proven functional medicine with aspects of both conventional care and cutting edge research.

Whether you’re ready to find and address the root causes of a chronic disease, prevent illness and suffering down the road, or Maximize your potential Wellness, the MaxWell Clinic team is ready for you. If you are interested in becoming a patient at MaxWell Clinic please visit: or schedule a call with our New Patient Coordinator by clicking here.

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone immediately.

Dr. David Haase

Dr. Haase is the Founder and CEO of MaxWell Clinic- a Collaborative-Care, Functional Medicine Clinic. He is committed to finding and addressing the underlying causes of illness in his patients.