Poor gut health is the root cause of many chronic diseases. Pinnacle Integrative Health now has a way to test for that. By using Functional Medicine, they can determine the underlying cause of a disease and make a personalized solution. It often includes lifestyle analysis and changes, testing and acupuncture. 

By using this assessment, the practitioner can address the source of the issues, rather than just treating the symptoms. Daniel Rasmussen from Pinnacle Integrative Health joins us on New Day to talk more about this new approach to wellness.

"The training in the conventional or standard model is to diagnose a disease, and then find a corresponding drug for that disease," said Rasmussen. "It works well for acute diseases..emergencies, traumas, infections. But where it's failing is in the treatment and resolution of chronic conditions, which affect over 125 million Americans, and it's getting worse every year." 

 According to Rasmussen, Functional Medicine is a systems-based approach where a biological system that has gone into a state of malfunction is found, diagnosed, and treated. 

"When we find that, that approach resolves a chronic condition, the symptoms resolve as a byproduct of it," said Rasmussen.  

Functional Medicine Infographic
Functional Medicine looks for the underlying causes of chronic disease
PInnacle Integrative Health

Examples of these chronic diseases are Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions. Tackling them requires a lifestyle change on the part of the patient in addition to the changes that are being made in medical care. 

"It's the only way I've seen that can actually resolve chronic disease patterns long term," Rasmussen said. "How do we know what lifestyle changes to make? We have got to do the correct testing. Our medical team orders up blood samples, stool samples, hormone testing, genetic testing--and then we put a puzzle piece together that helps us determine why that person has a chronic disease."

Functional Medicine Testing
Functional Medicine testing is different than you might encounter at an annual exam
Pinnacle Integrative Health

These tests are different from the tests you might take at your annual exam. 

"We work with laboratories that do what are called 'functional lab markers.' Anything outside an optimal zone we call non-optimal, which means that person will be exhibiting symptoms which will eventually lead to a chronic pattern," Rasmussen explained. "Then, we work with teaching and guiding someone through a comprehensive individualized wellness program." 

The five pillars of health are referenced when creating an individualized program: 

  1. Detoxification and gut health. 
  2. Customized nutrition, by doing proper testing of food allergies and food intolerances. 
  3. Customized fitness. 
  4. Re-balancing the whole endocrine and hormone system naturally without resorting to hormone replacement therapy
  5. Addressing brain health and rejuvenation of the brain function. 

Research shows the link between gut health and brain function. "The barriers that protect are in the gut. That's a primary barrier that when it becomes inflamed and compromised, it becomes more permeable allowing things into the body that shouldn't get in the bloodstream. That same barrier is what protects our brain, called the blood-brain barrier."

Functional Medicine Lifestyle Changes
Patients need to be committed to making lifestyle changes.
Pinnacle Integrative Health

Patient compliance is a vital part of the process. Patients need to be diligent about following their customized plan and being committed to making the lifestyle changes.

"When we combine these treatments on a regular basis with the lifestyle modifications and all the five pillars of health, our patients are able to see results in a matter of weeks instead of months to years." 

This segment is brought to you by Pinnacle Integrative Health. Watch KING 5's New Day Northwest 11:00 weekdays and streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with New Day via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram