Best Acupuncturists Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach Dr. Stefanie Bennett

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

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.

“In Functional Medicine, I dig deeper to identify the root causes, the key organ dysfunctions, and the underlying reason for the disease. Then our custom treatment plan can begin.

Dr. Stefanie M. Bennett, LA.c, Ph.D.

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.

Hormonal System

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.

Immune System

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.)

Digestive System

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.

Detoxification System

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!

1.) Diet changes: What foods to eat and what foods you need to avoid, and when and how much to eat in order to maximize the efficiency of your unique biochemistry. Food allergy testing, hormone assessments, and learning your metabolic type enable us to discern how to meet your unique needs.
 
2.) Supplement programs: What exact nutrients are you deficient in and what supplements will have a therapeutic benefit for you to promote your transition to a healthier body? Lab results for all body systems matched with your clinical presentation of symptoms enable us to discern what supplements will be supportive in this process.
 
3.) Exercise, lifestyle, and stress management advice: I can direct you to establish an appropriate exercise program drawing on strength training, stretching, and cardiovascular exercise. I will also suggest lifestyle modifications such as changes to your sleep patterns, water intake, or daily work schedule. Examples of stress management vary widely. Some people need more time with family, more sleep, or more connection to their spiritual life. The chronic stressors we all experience are often a major source of our health complaints and need to be addressed as part of a comprehensive plan to restore health.
 

Lab testing

Natural therapies have advanced to the point where we can now use the perfect blend of science and nature to create lab-guided, doctor recommended supplement programs. This can be done by using advanced clinical laboratory testing to create individualized nutrient programs. Lab testing results can be applied to a wide range of health concerns, from weight loss to hormone balancing. Using the latest technology, we can now accurately assess specific nutrient deficiencies, measure hormone levels and determine the best therapeutic protocol for correcting many chronic health conditions. This technology can also be used on a preventive basis, to maintain healthy functioning in those without any current health problems.
 

Supplements

As part of your program, I may recommend that you purchase nutritional supplements. These may include specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural plant-based hormones and many other products. All of the supplements I recommend are from nutrition companies that only sell their products to physicians. These are the highest quality products available. They contain only the purest pharmaceutical-grade nutrients (nutraceuticals), and each product’s potency is guaranteed. In the past when designing nutritional programs in an effort to save clients money, many doctors have suggested that patients purchase products at local health food stores. While this seems to save people money in the short run, the results of these programs have been inconsistent and less than would be expected had we been using physician-only brands. Therefore, it is in many ways more sensible both financially and in terms of consistent results to use the highest quality products available.
 
You may purchase most of your products directly from our clinic. In so doing, you can be assured of consistent results – if a specific protocol is not working, we will know it is not the quality or potency of the nutrients that is slowing the healing process. All of the supplements I carry have been proven clinically effective by hundreds of naturally oriented doctors. They have been shown to help resolve patients’ health concerns with predictable outcomes. In addition to proven clinical results, these products have also been carefully scrutinized for effectiveness based on lab testing. Over the last 20 years, thousands of physicians have used laboratory tests to determine nutritional deficiencies. Doctors have determined which brands and specific nutrients and herbs are consistently clinically effective through follow-up testing. The vast majority of supplements on the market are ineffective, as evidenced by a lack of patient improvement on follow-up lab testing.

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