Comprehensive Health Assessment
From a functional medicine and naturopathic perspective, a health assessment is more than just diagnosing symptoms or conditions. The approach involves three main aspects: identifying the current condition indicating health risk and progression, determining the vitality or healing potential of the person involved and equally important is determining the true causal factors that initiated or aggravate the condition.
The aim of the assessment process is to link the patient’s subjective experiences and symptoms to what is happening on a physiological level. This is achieved by taking the time to listen to the patient’s story and to understand how their health concerns are impacting their life. In other words, we are trying to understand what condition this person has, but why.
Many questions are covered in the assessment such as
- Review of family history
- Past and present medical history
- Detailed review of symptoms
- Detailed information about nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle factors
- Discussion on the impact of emotional stressors and thought patterns
- Allergies and history of reactions to any medications or treatments
- Overview of different treatments
- Detailed questionnaires
After the assessment, Functional Medicine laboratory testing is likely needed to uncover and analyze digestion and absorption, potential nutritional deficiencies, metabolism and generation of energy, possible intestinal dysbiosis, and hormonal status. Investigation may include blood, stool, urine and saliva testing.
Patients return after an initial consultation and when all laboratory tests results have been received. At the stage a review of the testing and a plan is provided taking into account particular genetics, biochemistry, physiology, personality, lifestyle and preferences. Thus, a roadmap for diet, lifestyle and nutraceutical supplementation is unfolded. In follow up visits we discuss progress and make changes to the prescriptions as necessary.
It is important that the plan be followed for at least 6 months in order to see results.