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Without a proper diagnosis, rational treatment is impossible.

You can’t fix a problem until you know what the problem is. That should seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often I see patients, doctors, and healthcare practitioners begin treatment before they know what is really wrong. Often they just treat symptoms, trying to make them go away, but symptoms are NEVER the cause of someone’s health problems. In fact, symptoms are ALWAYS the body’s response to a problem, not the problem itself. Symptoms are the body’s attempt to restore balance and health, and if we suppress those symptoms, we do so at our own risk.

Our word “diagnosis” comes from two Greek words: “dia”, meaning through or completely, and “gnosis” meaning knowledge or understanding. So to make a diagnosis is merely to come to the point where we thoroughly understand your problem. The process of effective diagnosis begins with a

thorough case history, but may also include

laboratory tests to confirm or rule out a particular diagnosis.

There are two main types of health problems: diseases and functional disturbances. It’s not a hard and fast distinction but generally we refer to a problem as a disease when there is significant damage to the body’s tissues, and every disease will cause changes to the body’s ability to function on one level or another. But I see a lot of people who know that they are not well, even though their GP has not been able to find a “disease” in them. You might be experiencing fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel, digestive problems, increased stress, or loss of pleasure in life, and yet you are not suffering from a known disease process. Clearly you need help, but without a disease, your GP often does not know how to help you.

One of the many benefits of using a functional approach to medicine is that we can treat diseases and functional disturbances simply by improving your body’s ability to function. By improving function, your body is better able to correct functional disturbances and diseases itself. Improved functional capacity is at the heart of a functional approach to medicine.