DORA CHAN, BSc, PharmD
Masters in Nutrition & Functional Medicine (candidate)
Certified Geriatric Pharmacist
Institute for Functional Medicine (Trainee)
For almost 20 years, I worked as pharmacist in a variety of settings: retail stores, hospitals, nursing homes and primary care teams. I have seen both the benefits and the downfalls of medication. Drugs can be life saving and dramatically improve symptoms, but they often come with side effects. All too often, they don't even work! I've come to the uncomfortable realization that medications are usually just covering up the symptoms but not really getting to the heart of the problems.
The question I've heard over and over again from my patients is - "Dora, how can you help me get off of these medications?!". My answer has always come down to nutrition and lifestyle. When I learned about the Functional Medicine approach to health, I realized that at last, this was the way to help people get off (or at least reduce) their medications.
My own journey living with the rare autoimmune disease, neuromyelitis optica, has only further demonstrated to me the importance of eating the right foods and living a joyful life. So I went back to school to study Nutrition and Functional Medicine, with the hope of helping others live their healthiest life.
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
It is increasingly apparent that how the medical system currently treats disease is not working. While the risk of dying from an acute illness, like infection or heart attack, has greatly decreased, the incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, obesity and many more, have sky-rocketed. Over the last century, there have been amazing advances in medicine, yet people are sicker and on more medications than ever but still not feeling or getting any better.
Functional medicine is a different approach to disease which focuses on getting to the bottom of why symptoms are occurring in the first place - the root cause of disease - and then treating that cause. For too long, we've been relying on medications to relieve or hide symptoms but not really getting to the root of the problem. Functional medicine is a personalized and scientific approach to your health that examines everything that might be affecting the way you feel. This can include your genetics, family history, medications (past and present), the environment you live in, and how you live your life.
Nutrition is particularly important. The food you eat has profound effects on health. A FUNCTIONAL NUTRITIONIST similarly looks for root causes but emphasizes the use of food as medicine to reduce, prevent or reverse disease.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Most chronic diseases are caused by imbalances in your nutrition, lifestyle, and environment. These imbalances in turn drive inflammation, which leads to a myriad of conditions such as gut discomfort, anxiety, depression, skin problems, allergies, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much, much more.
Getting to the bottom of what's causing your condition is much like detective work. I will be the detective to help you discover what might be at the root of how you're feeling. Once we've figured that out, I'll support you on the path to correcting what is driving the inflammation.