The current medical approach is one-size-fits-all, disease-oriented model. When a physician runs standard blood work, they are looking for an already-established disease process such as thyroid issues, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. They use reference ranges that do not reflect your overall health. This is a reactive approach, and it does not work.
Functional Medicine practice is personalized and wellness-oriented. Functional Medicine lab testing looks between the lines. It assesses patterns of imbalance that can cause troublesome symptoms but have not become a “disease state” yet. It is ideal, though, that one address these imbalances before they become a disease, for at that point it can become much more difficult to reverse without lifelong medications, surgeries, and/or treatments.
Laboratory reference ranges refer to the upper and lower limits that a laboratory establishes for its version of normal. When a blood test measurement is higher or lower than this range, the lab reports it as abnormal. However, laboratories mainly determine reference ranges for what is pathological, not functional. This means that the levels are reported as abnormal only when they are well past the point of disturbed function, when dysfunction or a disease has already become entrenched.
Here’s the scenario most of you are accustomed to: Your doctor gives you the results of your recent blood work. He or she has browsed your results and compared them within the designated reference range. There is no “flag” for a result out of range. Therefore, your doctor says everything looks good – keep up the good work! Great news – you’re healthy!
Or maybe a specific biomarker or lab value is out of range. Your doctor decides to “keep an eye on it” or writes a prescription to reverse or normalize that value. Your doctor has determined that these blood levels are abnormal according to established reference ranges that are on the laboratory results pages. These reference ranges are established according to the widest ranges for people who are sick.
In other words, if your results fit into these wide sick ranges you are generally considered “healthy.”
What are Functional Reference Ranges?
Non-diagnostic reference values are provided for today’s preventive physician and health professionals. They have been selected from those tests that have a high degree of sensitivity and relate to known mechanisms of chronic disorders. The reference values have been averaged and calculated from the midline of standard lab reference values.
They’re used from recommendations of respected resources and practice-based master functional medicine nutritionists, physicians, clinicians, microbiologists, and physiologists. The use of this methodology is to better probe for the metabolic strengths and weaknesses for prevention and total health, not the conventional and reactionary symptomatic treatment of disease.
In other words, a functional analysis of blood chemistry uses a narrower reference which will reveal the presence of abnormal function before a disorder has evolved into symptoms or full-blown pathology, as well as help reveal the causes and nature of poorly defined disorders. Wellness Warrior Rx provides:
- Functional lab references
- Credible, evidence-based analysis
- Graphical, color-coded summaries so you don’t miss anything important
- Easy-to-understand language so you aren’t intimidated or overwhelmed
- Personalized health improvement plans based on your results
- Progress tracking, so you can see your improvement
Unlike the disease-specific approach, which is geared to suppress the expression of symptoms, Functional Medicine physicians understand that many symptoms or conditions have various underlying causes which, when found and corrected, have a dramatic impact on your health and wellness.
We present a functional analysis of your blood test results which gives an indication if there is any dysfunction that exists in the various physiological systems in your body. We use this information to put together your Wellness Warrior Rx, designed to bring your body into a state of functional health and optimal performance.