Functional Medicine and Wellbeing


Spending all the time we live in the healthiest and most meaningful way is perhaps what we all want most. Today, as chronic diseases unfortunately continue to increase, “health”, “wellbeing”, “personalized preventive health” have begun to be talked about much more. When it is possible to maintain and even improve the state of health, “disease” ceases to be an issue to be considered.

Functional medicine, which has been practiced in our country for the last five years and is actually not new in the world, is a new perspective to protect and even reverse health with new assessment methods and treatment plans that include lifestyle. For those who are not familiar with it, it is an approach that evaluates six biological systems and plans specific improvements in the five lifestyles of the person, where nutrition is the basis, supported by personalized supplements and monitored with blood, urine, etc. tests that we all know.

Because it focuses holistically on both the systems in the body, our mental health, our emotional health, our spiritual health and, for me, the health of the whole family, it tries to support the state of well-being that we call wellbeing throughout life.
In order to live a healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling life, we must first find the reasons that compel or prevent us from doing so. Here we should prioritize the reasons that challenge us physically, chronic diseases, chronic fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies that we are not aware of, weight problems, sugar and eating problems, and many similar problems.
In order to find the sources of these problems, the digestive system, the energy production that our body needs every second, the detoxification system, which we will define as the purification of all the residues released from this energy production, immunity, hormonal balance, metabolism and the circulatory system are among the systems that we emphasize in each patient.

At the end of the evaluation by tests and clinical complaints, a completely personalized plan should be prepared together with the doctor, nutritionist and functional life coach. Especially when evaluating chronic diseases, the digestive system should be emphasized. For this, it is necessary to use tests, determine the nutrients to be removed accordingly, use the necessary supplements, renew the diet for at least three months, and make recommendations according to the other metabolic indicators of the person, even during intermittent fasting.

We now know that lifestyle is 90% of the cause of all our current problems and 90% of all the health problems we will experience in the future. With the new science called epigenetics, which means beyond genes; diet, sleep patterns, the exercise we add to our lives, the way we perceive life and stress, our reaction to stress, meditation, relationships and belief system as a whole affect our health and more importantly the satisfaction we get from life.

For physical well-being it will be very beneficial to try to keep the above systems healthy. These systems need to be evaluated at certain intervals and with tests according to your family history and age, and of course according to existing health problems. But to give some general tips; a plant-based diet, adequate and peaceful sleep, adding exercise to your life as we always say, being more aware of our stress responses, making changes in our daily routines and trying to get rid of bad habits in this regard until you find the best way to eat again can be very effective.
Although the use of supplements is one of the most asked and confused issues, supplements such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Omega 3, Zinc, Magnesium, Turmeric, Grape Seed are among the supplements that can be used regularly and in consultation with a doctor or nutritionist.

One of the most important health issues after the pandemic we are experiencing is our emotional and mental health. This issue needs to be evaluated in functional medicine or any other holistic approach.
Breathing exercises, readings, balance exercises, awareness exercises to be done together with the Wellbeing Coach are very effective here, as well as some herbal adaptogenic agents (saffron, lemon balm, rodiola, etc.).
However, it is extremely important that these practices are done with the recommendation of a medical professional.
In addition, our emotional and mental health is the most important supporter and at the same time the same as our physical health. I wish you to look at your health and life as a whole and add goodness to it.

Dr. İrem Ergün 

 Specialist for Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition