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Functional Diagnostic Medical Testing

A Breakthrough in Eating Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Dawn Bantel of Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers, describes how recent advances in laboratory testing can improve our ability to diagnose and treat eating disorders.

One of my favorite things about Mirasol is the food. It not only tastes great, it's also the most effective medicine we can give our clients. It's amazing to see the changes that can result from even a few weeks of good nutrition. Every one of our clients has nutritional deficiencies. This is one of the unfortunate consequences of eating disorders. Of course, this can have a significant impact on one's physical, mental and emotional health.

Many of our clients restrict whole categories of foods. For example, anorexics may avoid fats, proteins or carbohydrates. Women with bulimia or binge eating disorder often consume large amounts of junk food. Nutritional deficiencies can also result from the increased requirements of a medication or from the individual's biochemistry.

In a perfect world, we'd be able to pinpoint each client's exact nutritional deficiencies and design an individual treatment plan based on her needs. Fortunately, that ideal treatment model is now within reach thanks to functional diagnostic medical testing.

Functional Medicine is a giant step forward in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of chronic illness. It's a logical, cutting-edge extension of integrative medicine, made possible by new technology, nutritional research, and genetic tests that were unavailable even a decade ago.

At the root of Functional Medicine is an examination of core clinical imbalances that result from a variety of factors including diet, exercise and the way the body processes trauma.

The core clinical imbalances can include:

  • oxidative stress
  • nutritional imbalances
  • intestinal dysfunction
  • impaired detoxification
  • immune/inflammatory imbalances
  • endocrine imbalances

By comparing the individual's assessments with normal physiological ranges, practitioners of Functional Medicine can pinpoint abnormalities and contributing factors to health problems, often exposing the real causes of chronic illness and degenerative disease.

Indvidualized treatment plans can then be developed with the goal of restoring proper cellular metabolism by reducing cumulative toxic load and oxidative stress to the body, normalizing mitochondrial respiration and ultimately reducing the signs and symptoms of chronic disease.

I used to be surprised that even our sickest, most fragile clients would appear to be healthy according to conventional laboratory tests. By using more precise tests, we'll have a much better picture of each client's overall treatment requirements.

We now offer Mirasol clients an optional package of functional diagnostic tests known as as the ION Profile (individual, optimal, nutrition) through Metametrix Clinical Laboratory. ION includes a detailed analysis of more than 100 components in blood and urine for essential fatty acids, amino acids, B vitamins and antioxidants as well as toxic metals. Once the information is analyzed, we can create a customized nutritional and therapeutic plan to address not only the client's illness, but to help her achieve optimal health.

Functional diagnostic medical testing is an optional service; additional fees apply. For more information about functional medicine, visit the Institute for Functional Medicine.

FREE Eating Disorder Support Group!

FREE weekly eating disorder support group for adults struggling with food issues, staffed by therapists from Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers. Thursdays from 5:30-6:45 pm at 3116 N Swan in Tucson. For more information, call 888-520-1700.

"Mirasol is light years ahead of any other program in the country."