Functional Medicine

The Functional Medicine Approach to Assessment

As a clinician trained by The Institute for Functional Medicine, Dr. Lo assesses the patient’s clinical imbalances through careful history taking, physical examination, and laboratory testing. She will consider factors including:

  • Environmental inputs – The air you breathe and the water you drink, the particular diet you eat, the quality of the food available to you, your level of physical exercise, and toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced all affect your health.
  • Mind-body connections – Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all can have a profound influence on your health. Considering these areas helps the functional medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just your physical symptoms.
  • Genetic makeup – Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchanging blueprint for your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.

Through assessment of these underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction, the doctor is able to understand how these key processes are affected:

  • how your body rids itself of toxins
  • regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
  • immune system function
  • inflammatory responses
  • digestion and absorption of nutrients and the health of the digestive tract
  • structural integrity
  • psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • how you produce energy

These processes are influenced by both environmental factors and your genetic make-up; when they are disturbed or imbalanced, they lead to symptoms, which can lead to disease if effective interventions are not applied.

 A Comprehensive Approach to Treatment


Most imbalances in functionality can be addressed; some can be restored and others can be substantially improved.

  • Prevention is paramount. Identify long-term disturbances that preceded the illness and manage it effectively.
  • Changing how the systems function can have a major impact on the patient’s health. 
  • An expanded toolkit. Treatments may include combinations of drugs, botanical medicines, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets, or detoxification programs. They may also include counseling on lifestyle, exercise, or stress-management techniques.
  • The patient becomes a partner. You become an active partner and this allows you to really be in charge of improving your own health and changing the outcome of disease.

If you are ready to take over your wellness with this approach, fill out this form today to schedule a complimentary 15 min phone consultation with Dr. Onna Lo.