Patient Centered Functional Medicine with Ken Warren
Saturday 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Chronic diseases are the cause of enormous costs in the US both financially and in suffering and early deaths of the affected people and their families. Chronic illnesses include hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, heart disease, cancer, obesity, autoimmune diseases, allergic conditions, fibromyalgia, psychological disorders, ADD/ADHD and autism. The current treatment for most of these conditions relies on the use of various medications but the majority of these diseases are preventable and often even reversible. Functional medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine using a holistic lens to view the patient and symptoms that differs from that of modern western medicine. It seeks to not just name a disease and treat it with a medication but rather to understand, with a patient centered focus, taking into account the multitude of interactions and interplay among the various systems in the body the underlying reasons that dysfunction has arisen. An oft repeated simple example of functional medicine asks whether depression is caused by a Prozac deficiency. Of course it isn’t. The use of a drug that increases neurotransmitters in the brain, mainly serotonin, fails to ask why there is an imbalance in the neurotransmitters to begin with. The answer varies from patient to patient and may include intestinal disorders, exposure to toxic chemicals, poor nutrition, genetic predisposition, stress, lack of movement/exercise and other factors and is most often a combination of several of these potential contributors. Each patient is unique as viewed in the functional medicine paradigm and this leads to differing treatment strategies in each patient even if the “disease” has the same name. A patient who’s depression that is caused by a disorder in intestinal permeability for instance is not treated in the same way in which the patient presenting with the same symptoms but who is found to have elevated levels of toxins in their body. In the first instance the focus will be on healing the gut and in the second case the focus will be on stopping continued exposure to chemicals and assisting the patient’s body in detoxifying and eliminating the existing toxins.
Ken Warren, APRN
Ken is a family nurse practitioner with 20+ years of experience treating people in a family practice environment. He seeks to help people with chronic health problems find healing. Healing is often not the result of conventional treatment of chronic diseases and this disconnect is what propelled him to seek a different model for treating these conditions. Something that promotes wellness and vitality, not just survival. He has embarked on a path of learning and practicing functional medicine.