Welcome to my website and my first blog.
Let me introduce myself and tell you a little about me and why Functional Medicine means so much to me.
My ambition was always to become a doctor so for 16 years I have been a GP caring for patients. I love the essence of my job which is to help people get better. However, three years ago I started to feel increasingly frustrated. One day in surgery, I was reviewing my fifth diabetic patient of the day. They had been taking the latest drug on the market but as usual with new drugs, the side-effects were just as bad as the diabetic symptoms for some and my patients were just not feeling any better.
I started to think about why I was feeling so frustrated. I had always known that being a doctor and helping people was who I was supposed to be. I spent the next few months trying to figure out why I wasn’t enjoying my job any more, was it stress of work load or was I just not supposed to be a doctor?
One day, I came across the Institute of Functional Medicine website. I started listening to Dr Mark Hyman’s videos, a leading light in Functional Medicine. I was both fascinated and excited, here was this medical doctor (MD) telling us that he was able to get people with chronic disease better with diet, supplements, lifestyle changes and stress management strategies.
As a medical doctor, my first thought was where the evidence for this is, but still something inside resonated with me – clearly I could see from my own GP practice what we are doing now wasn’t working for patients.
That was the start of my journey.
I soon learnt the conflict of helping (or not really helping!) people the conventional way with just a 10 minute appointment versus really understanding their lives and how illness was affecting them; was the real underlying cause to my frustration and stress in my job as a GP.
The teaching I received at medical school was amazing and has brought me to where I am now. However, science has moved on and doctors like me who just want to understand why all these patients with chronic illness are not getting better – now have answers through Functional Medicine. Learning about the in-depth biochemistry, physiology, the micro biome and the effects these bacteria are having on us, for example; understanding that depression could be a symptom of underlying inflammation has opened my mind to a whole new world of practicing medicine.
I could go on talking about the fascinating things I have been learning but one thing that has stood out for me –
I am not the one with the answers to the problems patients are experiencing. It is the patient themselves that has the answers. I am the detective who has the knowledge, interest and ability to put the clues together and give them formula to follow so they can create a healing environment in their bodies.
We all know if we have x we take y, now lets ask the question’ why ‘ of chronic disease and challenge ourselves to understand about our bodies and the impact our environment ie food, chemicals, stress, trauma and infections is having on it. Health happens in your homes, kitchen and when you are going shopping. When you make decisions on what you eat and what exercise or movement that you do and when you learn how to react or respond to stress.
One word of warning though – this is not a quick fix – if it has taken us months to years to get to feeling the way we are then it is likely to take a while to reverse those effects. But it will be worth it.
“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”
William Osler (1849-1919), the father of modern medicine.
Welcome to the future of medicine and a world where patients take control of their own healing and health.