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The Microbiome & Functional Medicine

What is the Microbiome? 

The human body is a complex system made up of various organs and processes, all working together to keep us healthy and functioning properly. But did you know that there is another critical component of our bodies that plays a significant role in our health? That component is our microbiome.

The microbiome refers to the trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that live in and on our bodies. These microorganisms are essential to our health and play a crucial role in everything from our digestion to our immune system.

The importance of the microbiome has been widely recognized in recent years, and it has become a focus of functional medicine, a medical approach that seeks to identify and treat the underlying causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms.

The microbiome can have a significant influence on our overall health. Here are a few examples of how the microbiome affects different aspects of our health:

  1. Digestive health: The microbiome plays a key role in digestion, breaking down complex carbohydrates and producing important vitamins like vitamin K and B vitamins. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
  2. Immune function: The microbiome also helps regulate the immune system, training it to recognize and respond appropriately to harmful pathogens while avoiding overreacting to harmless stimuli. An imbalanced microbiome can lead to an overactive or underactive immune system, which can contribute to autoimmune disorders or infections.
  3. Mental health: Recent studies have shown a link between the gut microbiome and mental health, with certain strains of gut bacteria influencing anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
  4. Weight management: The microbiome can affect metabolism and energy balance, which can influence body weight. An imbalance in the gut microbiome has been linked to obesity and other metabolic disorders.
  5. Skin health: The microbiome of the skin plays a role in maintaining skin health and preventing infections. An imbalance in the skin microbiome can lead to acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.

These are just a few examples of the ways that the microbiome can influence human health. As research in this field continues, it is likely that we will discover even more connections between the microbiome and various aspects of our health.


Digital composite of highlighted blue healthy intestine of woman

The Microbiome & Functional Medicine

So, what exactly is functional medicine, and how does it relate to the microbiome? Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on treating the whole person, rather than just their symptoms. It involves looking at a person’s health history, lifestyle, and environment to identify the root causes of their health problems.

When it comes to the microbiome, functional medicine recognizes the critical role that these microorganisms play in our overall health. Dysbiosis, an imbalance in the microbiome, has been linked to numerous health problems, including autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, and mental health issues.

Functional medicine practitioners use a variety of tools to assess and treat the microbiome, including stool tests to identify imbalances and targeted probiotic and prebiotic therapies to restore balance. They also focus on lifestyle factors that can affect the microbiome, such as diet, and stress.

One of the most significant benefits of functional medicine is its focus on prevention. By identifying and addressing imbalances in the microbiome early on, functional medicine practitioners can help prevent chronic health problems from developing.

In addition to its preventative benefits, functional medicine can also be a powerful tool for treating chronic health conditions. By addressing the underlying causes of disease, rather than just treating symptoms, functional medicine can help patients achieve long-term, sustainable improvements in their health.


EvoHealth Kansas Functional Medicine & Gut Health

Gut health is a central focus in Functional Medicine as the gut is often considered the “root” of many health problems. At EvoHealth Kansas Functional Medicine we have the ability to assess gut health through various methods including, but not limited to: symptoms, stool analysis, breath tests, and food intolerance testing. The goal is to identify and address imbalances within the gut microbiome (microorganisms living in the gut) and the digestive system to improve overall health and alleviate symptoms related to gut-related disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other digestive issues.


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