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By Valerie Carlson, RN, CNP for Rejuv Medical

Tina Theimer wasn’t sick. She didn’t hurt. She didn’t have a disease.

But she also didn’t sleep. She felt anxious all the time. She wasn’t “functioning” right.

“I just didn’t feel good,” Tina said. “I had no energy, was always anxious and was not sleeping. I just knew something wasn’t right.”

Tina wasn’t looking for medicine, she was looking for answers.

She started her search for how to fix what seemed wrong in the functional medicine department at Rejuv Medical. “At the time, I was having anxiety daily,” Tina said, “I was sleeping less than four hours a night. Now I sleep 7 hours of solid sleep every night.” What did functional medicine do for her? Got to the root of her problems, which is exactly how functional medicine works.

The focus of functional medicine is on the patient as a whole person rather than on a list of isolated symptoms. The genetic, environmental, lifestyle and psycho-social factors that can predispose one to disease can be identified, and in time more effectively and completely treated. Treatments within functional medicine can be complimented by medication, but are rooted in sustainable, natural lifestyle interventions including nutrition counseling, supplementation and lifestyle modifications.

Tina’s issue surfaced in a hormone panel. “I saw Val Carlson at Rejuv Medical and she did a bunch of bloodwork and then went over about three pages of results with me,” Tina said. “During that first visit, I was surprised when it was over an hour with her. She took the time to listen.” Tina’s blood tests revealed that she had Hashimoto’s disease. Her immune system was attacking her thyroid which was messing with the hormones that coordinate many of her body’s functions.

“I was given several natural supplements and one prescription,” Tina said. “I was able to get the prescription through my insurance, but it took a few weeks to get it. After two weeks of just taking the proper supplements that my body needed, I was already noticing a huge difference. I feel like a different person, I really do.”

Val Carlson, RN, CNP at Rejuv Medical says that being a functional medicine provider at Rejuv Medical is deeply rewarding for her. “I see improvements in patients’ health that can be dramatic, and my greatest pleasure is when the patient comes back saying, ‘I feel better than I have for 20 years!’” Val said. “I explain that functional medicine as looking at the big picture of health and root causes that impact health, and then create an individualized plan to improve health with the patient.”

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) just released results from a first ever cohort study that shows patients who are receiving functional medicine care have higher outcomes for satisfaction than at a family health center. The study included 7252 people, 1595 subjects from a functional medicine clinic and 5757 subjects from the family health clinic. A survey that measures aspects of health care called PROMIS included physical health, functional health, pain and fatigue, as well as quality of life, mental health, and satisfaction with social and emotional health. The results show at 6 months there was a significantly larger improvement in outcomes of the PROMIS survey than the family health clinic and results lasted for 12 months.

“This study shows the possibility of improving global health care for patients! I hope this will open the gate for many more studies that will define the benefits of functional medicine,” Val said, “At Rejuv, it is my pleasure to provide functional medicine care with improved health for my patients, and with the rest of our functional medicine team we look forward to helping you feel great!”

If you have questions about how functional medicine can help you, please see the functional medicine team at Rejuv Medical:

Functional Medicine Team:

Paige Deters, PA-C

Dr. Michael Meighen

Lori Steinley, PA-C, PT, MS, ND

Valerie Carlson, RN, CNP

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