Explore Functional Medicine, the Patient-Centered 21st Century Approach to Healthcare
Dr. Uday Jani presents a series of free talks in May, open to the community
The powerful, proactive and personalized practice of Functional Medicine will be fully explored at an upcoming series of library talks this month by Dr. Uday Jani, a board-certified internist who has completed advanced training in this emerging specialty. He will explain the principles of the integrated and highly effective approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by identifying the complex intersection of genetics, environment and lifestyle factors unique to each patient.
“This completely changes the way we do medicine,” asserts Dr. Jani. “Functional medicine replaces the outdated and ineffective acute-care traditional models of last century for preventing and treating chronic disease. By treating the whole system, not just the symptoms, patients and practitioners can work together to address the underlying causes of disease and achieve the highest expression of health.”
Science-based and patient-centered, functional medicine begins with a comprehensive patient assessment that includes listening to their histories and developing personal timelines. Laboratory tests, such as the familiar CBC (complete blood count) and less conventional (stool analysis) are conducted. The complex interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health are analyzed. Interventions are then individually tailored to restore wellness and balance, and can include drugs, botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs and counseling on lifestyle factors.
“When you look at functionality, you uncover many different ways of attacking problems. We are not limited to the ‘drug of choice for condition X,’” says Dr. Jani.
Lifestyle is a key factor. “Research shows that 70 to 90 percent of chronic disease is attributable to lifestyle* – what you eat, how you exercise, what your spiritual practices are, how much stress you live with and how you handle it. All are elements that must be addressed within the functional medicine approach.”
The functional medicine paradigm is often visually represented as a tree. The foundation, or the roots and soil are lifestyle factors, including sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, relationships and genetics. These are influenced by specific predisposing factors, triggering events and ongoing physiological process that may result in imbalances at the trunk, eventually resulting in disease, represented by the tree’s branches and leaves. Conventional medicine looks at symptoms (branches and leaves) first, resulting in a diagnosis of disease that is then treated with drugs. However, the more fundamental aspects of health, residing in the roots and trunk, are completely overlooked, neglecting individual differences among patients and the myriad possible causes of disease.
“Patients with chronic disease know all too well the unending cycle of diagnosis and drugs without ever really feeling better,” says Dr. Jani. “Functional medicine aims to restore health at the foundation, not by just treating symptoms.”
Recommendations for dietary and activity changes, combined with nutrients targeted to specific functional needs, allow patients to take charge of their own health and change the outcome of disease, says Dr. Jani.
“The therapeutic partnership is at the core of everything we do. The power of that partnership comes from the idea that patients who are active participants in the development of their treatment plan feel more in control of their own well-being and are more likely to make sustained lifestyle changes to improve their health,” he says.
As one of a very few physicians trained in functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Jani is blending both into highly individualized care at his private concierge practice in Milton.
“This type of medicine takes time…to listen to the patient, to collaborate on their individualized plan, to discuss challenges along the way and develop strategies for success. Making the change to a concierge medicine practice several years ago has given me that time, allowing me to provide patients with what I believe is the best medical approach possible,” he says.
Learn more about functional medicine at these informative events, free and open to the community:
Tuesday, May 17 – 5:30 PM, Milton Library
Wednesday, May 18 – 3 PM, Lewes Library
About Uday Jani, MD
Dr Jani, a board-certified Internist, earned an Integrative Medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona under Dr. Andrew Weil, recognized internationally as the leading integrative medical education program in the world. In 2016, he completed training at The Institute for Functional Medicine in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Jani’s concierge medicine practice, Shore View Personal Care, is located at 28312 Lewes-Georgetown Highway in Milton, Delaware. For more information, please call (302) 684-0990 or visit his website at www.udayjanimd.com.
*Modifiable behavioral factors, including specific aspects of diet, overweight, inactivity and smoking account for over 70% of stroke and colon cancer, over 80% of coronary disease and over 90% of adult-onset diabetes. Science Journal