Dr. Stefanie Bennett has set herself apart in more ways than one, becoming one of the foremost experts in this field.
What is Functional Medicine?
So many patients in and around Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley come into our functional medicine clinic because they’ve heard of an amazing story from a friend. Still, they ask: What is Functional Medicine? Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach’s local Doctor Stefanie Bennett references Institute for Functional Medicine to answer this question: “One condition, many causes. One cause, many conditions.”
Functional Medicine is evidence-based healthcare that targets the root cause behind your symptoms rather than merely suppressing them. That’s why Dr. Bennett will find how and why your illness developed before restoring your health by addressing its root cause. This is the goal of our Functional Medicine and holistic healing doctor, to help Fountain Valley and the Hunting Beach area residents get to the source of their health problems.
To work on this deeper level, a functional medicine doctor must be a medical detective – searching for connections and dysfunctions. Between symptoms that appear at first glance to seem unrelated, but turn out to share the same root causes. Dr. Stefanie Bennett meets one-on-one with each patient and thoroughly reviews medical history, exam, genetics, and environmental factors to come up with a functional medicine treatment plan for holistic healing here in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. Next comes organ analysis with highly sensitive state-of-the-art labs using blood or urine, all leading to a treatment plan. It requires crafting whole-body treatments for your unique internal biology– not a surgery or drug cookbook.
Dr. Bennett has been a functional medicine doctor for 20 years – long before it was trendy. Over 10+ years of experience working side by side with Internal medicine doctors within a medical group. Through this practice, Dr. Bennett learned the importance of co-managing your care with your MD. She believes keeping an open dialogue with your primary care provider or your specialist is the best way to ensure you receive the treatment that best benefits you. Internists, pain management specialists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, and other types of MDs regularly refer their patients to Dr. Bennett or seek care.
COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
So many areas, but the most common are Hormonal, Digestive, Immune, and Detoxification. Our functional medicine doctor offers Fountain Valley and the Huntington Beach area a comprehensive plan to improve all four of these systems simultaneously using a nutrition plan, exercise, laboratory analysis, genetic testing, and provider-grade supplements.
Our functional medicine doctor at our Fountain Valley clinic will take a history and exam, just like any other doctor. We will look at your diseases, syndromes, symptoms, AND THEN start evaluating genes, environment, diet, and lifestyle. Advanced lab testing further isolates the extent of root causes and guides treatment. Functional Medicine has established that our modern diet, lifestyle, and environment change the expression of our genes—changes that give rise to diseases and syndromes.
Hormones act as the command and control system of the body and regulate energy production, fat burning, and mood. Hormonal imbalances are common among people suffering from weight issues, fatigue, and depression.
The immune system regulates the body’s ability to fight chronic or recurrent infections and the ability to repair cells (e.g., the immune system is addressed when an athlete wants to speed repair of muscle tissue to improve performance, and also when a person desires to prevent cancer, heart disease or diabetes.)
The digestive tract is responsible for our vitality via the breakdown and absorption of every nutrient that fuels our trillions of cells. Problems with the digestive system are typically experienced as bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. Many people have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort for so long that they have adjusted to it and think that their system’s poor function is normal. With healthy digestive function, a person will feel energized and revitalized after a meal for 4-6 hours and will not experience any cravings for sweets.
The detoxification system refers to the body’s pathways for eliminating harmful toxins such as mercury, various chemicals and the products that result from the breakdown of alcohol or medications. Our modern world is creating a level of chemical and heavy metal exposure that is taxing our detoxification system.
These four body systems all interact with one another. For example, if you eat a food, you are reactive to, it will cause inflammation in the GI tract, which impacts normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. The inflammation generates a hormonal response and as the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol rises, immune function lowers and your sex hormone levels drop. All this can happen simply because you had a pancake breakfast and a large glass of orange juice!