Mainstream, Naturopathic & Functional Medicine
Dr Alex is a GMC-licensed Medical Doctor who has specialised in using Advanced Naturopathic Medicine and Functional Medicine for the Medical Presentations she treats.
Dr Alex is a GMC-licensed Medical Doctor who has specialised in using Advanced Naturopathic Medicine and Functional Medicine for the Medical Presentations she treats.
In Mainstream Medicine, Dr Alex specialises in Mainstream Diagnostics (labtests) to aid in ‘screening’ and ‘diagnosis’.
We have access to a larger portfolio of tests than any other clinic we are aware of in the UK. Including all mainstream tests, specialist profiles and laboratory diagnostics, and the whole array for Functional Medicine. Including all immunology (including allergy & intolerances, tropical), virology & microbiology, endocrine (including fertility & andrology), biochemistry & tumour markers, haematology, sexual health, genetic & genomic, nutritional & lifestyle, drugs of abuse and occupational health.
Our client-related mainstream medical work ranges from Screening (eg Well Man/Woman), through to Repeat Screening for Individual Vulnerability Areas (prior personal disease, prior personal abnormal tests, or positive family history), through to testing to inform presentations she is working with, and specialist tests most mainstream doctors would not have ready access to (eg NK Cell & Function testing).
A lot of our laboratory work involves screening, including for infectious organisms (ie bugs!) for which many labs doing have access to quality tests.
In the event of a positive or ‘interesting’ test result, Dr Alex will explain to you what ‘the data’ ‘may mean’, what questions it may raise, and how she herself can help you. However if indicated, she would refer you back to your GP / Hospital Consultant for you to achieve a formal mainstream diagnosis and appropriate mainstream treatment plan.
Dr Alex also works with many Patients diagnostically and therapeutically when Mainstream Medicine has not managed to make sense of a presentation (eg it’s ‘atypical’, ‘defies diagnosis’), or the treatment of the condition has reached a threshold, or is ‘intractable’ with mainstream treatment.
She works alongside your GP/Hospital Doctors – informing them if a new angle arises that may need their consideration.
Dr Alex’s own treatment approaches are Specialist Naturopathic (including Herbal, Nutraceutical & Nutritional, and Lifestyle Personalised and Individual Medicine) and Functional Medicine.
She is not substituting for your mainstream physicians. Our services are of a holistic and naturopathic nature, and she will not be examining you, diagnosing a medical condition, or treating you in the same regards as a mainstream physician. Dr Alex’s recommendations do not either substitute for professional medical advice from your mainstream doctors – any changes made to your prescriptions must be made in conjunction with your GP.
A Specialist Naturopathic Physician in Dr Alex’s view is:
“A Physician who is medically-trained, who can use a vast amount of advanced scientific knowledge to investigate and diagnose the make up of complex and chronic health conditions, and then, with that knowledge correctly applied, in the smallest number of steps, is able to steer the human body to go back to, or back towards, how nature devised and designed it to be…. using the individual’s own healing mechanisms and natural resources.”
Within that framework, the precise healing modalities that are used (including whether these are primarily Western or Eastern in origin), will vary according to the preference and training of the provider.
The backbone of Dr Alex’s work in Naturopathic Medicine is like a very much more advanced version of FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE and as such she works as a Specialist Naturopathic / Functional Medicine Physician.
The Functional Medicine model is an individualised, patient-centred, science-based approach which addresses the underlying causes of disease and seeks to optimise a person’s wellness. It looks in detail at the factors relevant to each patient – including predisposing factors, triggers and perpetuators – and then uses the data to direct personalised treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
Dr Alex’s work is vastly more advanced than Functional Medicine with regards to how the ‘incoming’ data is used, the presentation analysis (complexity modelled), how the treatments are devised, and the level of intention for treatment. It is also far more individual, and like Naturopathic Medicine, may use many different treatment modalities for the practitioner-mediated therapeutic elements (ie beyond individual-driven lifestyle and nutritional changes, for example).
Many of the specialised lab tests that are used in FM are the same ones used by Dr Alex. It is just that the way the data is ‘deployed’ is different (Dr Alex’s system has a higher level of ‘data leverage’).
Functional Medicine focuses on chronic ill-health, as does Dr Alex. However Functional Medicine does not usually focus on solving health conundrums – much of Dr Alex’s work in Medicine is about working out why a person has a presentation that is ‘intractable’, that ‘doesn’t make any sense’, that is ‘unfathomable’.
Some of the ‘unfathomables’ Dr Alex works with are acute, not chronic, presentations. Dr Alex also works with many patients who have a totally fathomable presentation that is not yet chronic – including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, oncological, gastrointestinal etc – where they are receiving (or cannot receive) mainstream treatment but urgently ‘need more’. All of that reflects Dr Alex’s R&D coupled with her advanced diagnostic expertise, medical training and own unique ‘niche’.
VARIATION IN NATUROPATHIC TRAINING & PROVISION
THE USA (& CANADA):
In the USA, Naturopathic Doctors are a powerful dynamic body of extremely highly-qualified physicians, who work closely with government to improve strategy and provision aimed at the prevention and treatment of chronic ill-health.
They are extensively-trained & examined, Board-Certified and Licensed Doctors with Naturopathic Medicine as their Speciality – often permitted to prescribe pharmaceutical medicine as well (ie Medical Doctors with added qualification in Natural Medicine). Dr Alex has followed their developmental path, then added insights and protocols from her own advanced new medical system.
In the UK, the term ‘Naturopathic Medicine’ is a very broad church including treatments that are not ‘medicine’, sometimes a lot of ‘random-ness’, and may include therapies that are not scientifically validated, very ‘generic’ and lacking in any discernible substance.
There are some UK Naturopathic Medicine courses / colleges which are excellent, but currently at a relatively low level, and the training and curriculum are limited and of a much lesser standard than in the USA or Canada.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PHYSICIANS:
There is a growing number of UK practitioners who have trained in Functional Medicine – who are bringing the vanguard of this vital model to the UK.
Still, for myriad reasons, in Dr Alex’s view, the PHYSICIANS among these – ie Medical Doctors whose eyes have been opened to the value Functional Medicine and proper disease prevention and, where possible, resolution, and who have trained in FM – are offering something that is head and shoulders above that of any ‘standard’ FM Practitioner.
This is because they already have an extremely high level of training in the sciences of the human body, and clinical science, and the understanding of pathology and disease, and the diagnostic capabilities, of doctors.
That said, Dr Alex is wary that sometimes they revert to using their brains ’round the wrong way’ through habit formed in mainstream medicine – so instead of properly ‘deconstructing’ the presentation, they go back to looking for ‘commonalities’.
HAPPILY though, the arsenal of available practitioners is growing!
IMPORTANT SUBTLETIES – THAT CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
SUBSTANCES OR SUBSTANCE?!
Naturopathy as a term can mean ‘using natural tools to create healing’ (eg herbs) OR it can mean ‘working out how to get the human body back to how nature intended it (without pharmaceutics)’.
The difference in specialism between using ‘natural substances’ and ‘knowing how to get the human body back to health’ is humongous. And of course ideally it would any way mean both things. To Dr Alex it means both things.
PRACTITIONER vs PHYSICIAN:
Please also note that a ‘physician’ and a ‘practitioner’ are not the same thing.
Anyone can call themselves a practitioner – and the term in itself doesn’t set any standards for ‘practice’. Some practitioner’s are truly excellent, however for many, training and skills are limited to one small segment of the total sphere of science, expertise and clinical provision.
A physician has done many years of formal training and has been developed under strict supervision and regulations. And they are advanced diagnosticians. How good a physician will be will be determined in part by the extent to which they have focused professional development on ‘Natural Medicine’, their own expertise, their use of science, and their flexibility of mind.
SPECIALISED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE /
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE FROM ‘FIRST PRINCIPLES’
So far Dr Alex has only met one other doctor within this field who truly works with the data within an individual’s presentation on a ‘first-principles basis’. To be able to solve complex health profile ‘conundrums’.
Most Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Practitioners still treat ‘domains’ of ill-health – such as inflammation or oxidative stress (which are important for sure). And not necessarily the individual disease-specifics. OR the disease specifics (for example treating parasites in a stool sample) but then not in a cohesive way – within a structured, coherent and hierarchical model, in a systematised way but yet on a totally personal basis.
This is where Dr Alex believes the next level of focus in these vital health models might best be placed. To prevent them from starting to simulate mainstream medicine but just using ‘natural products’.
THE SCIENCE IN ‘PROPER’ FUNCTIONAL / NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE:
Most Medical Doctors are really unclear about the fact that there is a massive amount of science – and really leading-edge science – in the ‘highest forms’ of Naturopathic and Functional Medicine. For ‘Natural Medicine’, tainted by the media portrayal and denigration of things like homeopathy, doctors often think it’s all some random or low-science witch-medicine. And actually most have never heard of Functional Medicine!
But at the high-science, technically-advanced end of the Naturopathic spectrum, and in Functional Medicine, there is a huge amount of detailed knowledge about the cellular, molecular genetic, biochemical, and bio-physiological (eg immunological, hormonal, digestive, neurological) mechanisms of disease processes.
Sciences which Specialists within this field use more actively and dynamically than mainstream doctors. So the ‘poo-poo’ing’ is really unwarranted.
DOMAIN OF EXCELLENCE:
Both Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine, in specialist hands, are very strong for presentations and conditions which are generally managed quite poorly in Mainstream Medicine. This is literally by design.
These are mainly: ‘Chronic Diseases’, and ‘Ill-Health Poorly-Responsive To Standard Treatment’. And in Dr Alex’s hands, also ‘Presentations With No Name’.
Now this is NOT because of any deficit on the part of Mainstream Doctors – but rather because, in Mainstream Medicine, the process is one in which we ‘converge data’ to ‘commonalities’ between patients (condition labels)… and then apply treatment based on a ‘lowest common denominator’ (LCD) approach.
So we go :
XYYYSWEBIELGYYEHTE information coming in – means it’s ‘Condition Y’.
Condition Y is treated with Tablet Za or Zb or Zc.
Give this patient a variation of Tablet Z.
LET’S LOOK AT HOW THIS SITS WITH:
a) CHRONIC DISEASE:
This ‘LCD approach is vitally importantly for doctors to ‘efficiently’ make people safe and ‘manage disease’. However it is not necessarily effective. it doesn’t SOLVE disease – not chronic disease – nor make it REGRESS. It’s management. At best.
> 25% of ADULTS HAVE A CHRONIC DISEASE CONDITION
> Within the next 10 years, this figure is set to increase, especially among adults who have 3 or more conditions at once
> OFTEN, IN FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, THERE IS ONE CAUSE (eg Inflammation) UNDERLYING SEVERAL CONDITIONS so diagnosis of that one root cause can tackle all relevant disease manifestations, at least to some extent – and where tackled early enough in the disease process, many manifestations can regress
And all of this is against the backdrop of the fact that THE VAST MAJORITY OF ALL ONGOING HEALTHCARE COSTS ARE FOR CHRONIC DISEASES & THE GREATEST CAUSE OF DISSATISFACTION & UNHAPPINESS IN ADULTS IS ILL-HEALTH.
AND IT’S GROWING.
If you have a chronic condition, it’s time to regroup and take charge! Unlike other countries, including the USA, in the UK there is no mainstream healthcare provision for preventative medicine using FM or NM, nor for medicine that can resolve or regress chronic conditions, except with a few private insurance providers. And even then YOU have to initiate the process.
If you are one of the 15 million people in the UK with this sort of problem, don’t dither! The sooner you present, the cheaper it is and the more we are likely to be able to achieve.
And here is the other situation:
B) WHEN YOU LACK ANSWERS FOR YOUR OWN PROBLEMS:
Using the mainstream medical model, where treatment hasn’t worked for you as expected, that is unfortunately because mainstream medicine sidelines all the valuable information that could inform the clinician as to how you are DIFFERENT from the next patient, and why unlike the next patient, you didn’t get great results from the ‘lowest common denominator’ (LCD) treatment that you were offered.
In other words, there are reasons you didn’t get fabulous results with ‘standard treatment’, and those reasons are particular to YOU. In Mainstream Medicine we are never looking for that information! We are looking to see how YOU ARE THE SAME.
So we gave the example:
That XYYYSWEBIELGYYEHTE information coming in from you, means, in mainstream medicine, that it’s called and tackled as ‘Condition Y’.
BUT the XSWEBIELGEHTE do mean something.
And it’s in those bits of data, where you are different from the next person who was also diagnosed as having ‘Condition Y’, that extra answers to YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM reside.
MOVING YOUR OWN CONDITION ON
Dr Alex uses a unique process based on ‘deconstructing’ a patient’s condition into component parts… XYYYSWEBIELGYYEHTE ….. and then treating the presentation from ‘first principles’.
Many good Naturopaths and Functional Medicine Consultants also ‘break up the condition’ into component parts BUT Dr Alex’s process is unique because of the R&D that ‘powers’ it. A ‘standard’ Naturopath or Functional Medicine Practitioner would usually look to treat each of ‘XYYYSWEBIELGYYEHTE’ individually (or select the components that are most likely to work for you). But that’s at a lower level of ‘leverage’ from the system Dr Alex would use.
Dr Alex’s system looks at it from a complexity modelling perspective so that she can also ascertain HOW AND WHY ‘XYYYSWEBIELGYYEHTE’ occurred together, and how and why they occurred for YOU, and then she can triangulate that information at a higher level that gives ‘more leverage’ when treating your presentation.
And she can also ascertain which aspects of your condition are CAUSATIVE, which are CONSEQUENTIAL, and which are COMPENSATIONS… which gives her the ‘power’ to tackle it in a wholly different way. And trust us when we say that unpicking these 3Cs is extremely involved, especially if you’ve tried lots of things, or had your condition for a long time!
Say someone has fatigue. A GP, for example, would ask some questions within a very limited scope of possibilities (eg is there an underlying acute or chronic disease? is it hormonal? is it driven by stress? etc) and may be check some bloods (some screening tests, some specific tests eg thyroid hormone level).
If nothing flags up, the patient will be labelled as having ‘fatigue’ or ‘chronic fatigue’, and that is pretty much it. You get told that you have – what you said you had when you presented. Just officially! You may not be realising at this point that that hasn’t opened any doors for your treatment. But essentially, you are now just officially chronically fatigued.
Alternatively one of those parameters flags something up – say for example, a hormonal imbalance. The GP would set about treating it, which is great. But you won’t know WHY you had that imbalance, nor will you be working to resolve it (where that is a possibility) – you will instead be managing it. You will feel better, most probably, which is good but not great. And with time it’s likely that the benefits you initially got start to wear off. Because the body adapts to the medication, which is usually not changing anything fundamentally.
Now what if the process underpinning that imbalance is also underpinning other problems that you just can’t see yet? Such that within the space of a few years you go from having ‘nothing wrong with you’, to having loads of problems…
Necessarily as a First Line of Healthcare, a GP has a short checklist and within the mainstream system all patients are ticked off as having or not having what’s on that list (fatigue ‘not thyroid’, ‘not underlying chronic disease’ etc), and if that short list runs out, you just get a label.
By comparison, Dr Alex has an infinite checklist – on average, for each consultation, working through about 3000 possibilities as to what is going on, ‘opening up’ your presentation into ‘variables’ (what could possibly be involved? what could possibly have gone wrong? what is underpinning that? what else is affected? etc).
From that she works out the very particular characteristics and composition of your unique presentation. No two patients’ ‘components’ in Specialist Naturopathic / Functional Medicine, are ever the same.
So overall, mainstream medicine is too rigid, doesn’t use much of all available knowledge, and actually is just not specialist enough. For certain problems. That said, it’s very important. And to be clear the amount of science used in mainstream medicine compared with ‘woo woo’ naturopathic ‘medicine’ is of course absolutely immeasurable – and unfortunately there is a lot of ‘woo woo’ naturopathy about, which in no way whatsoever augments or compares with mainstream medicine!
Mainstream medicine also covers what it covers – and Dr Alex deliberately doesn’t cover what your mainstream doctors already cover. It’s important, and it’s the first port of call. Always. When presenting to us, you will always be expected to have seen your GP first.
If you want ‘more than you’ve managed to get out of medicine so far’, you have the option of a system based on MORE science, which considers vastly MORE component possibilities, than used in Mainstream Medicine, and in a DIFFERENT WAY. Which gives you the possibility of a DIFFERENT OUTCOME.
If what you have been doing and have been offered isn’t enough, you obviously need something DIFFERENT, something MORE. Not more of the same.
Dr Alex is one of the most highly-educated women in the world. This matters because she has studied each of innumerable scientific disciplines AND has an extremely high level of training in, and experience working with, the whole array of clinical specialities. A combination and expanse of training that is hard to match.
This provides her with a scope of understanding about what she is ‘seeing’ in a given individual’s presentation, which is probably unparalleled worldwide.
Added to this, Dr Alex has ground-breaking expertise, and unique R&D that makes it possible for her to quickly glean what would be most valuable for a given patient, as an intervention, given their unique presentation.
This is not just critical for people who are by now either ‘on their knees’, or ‘stuck’, or who have ‘limited remaining health reserves’… but pretty much anyone who wants to get on with their life!
All of this can cut years and years off of your normal expectation of (often futile) ‘back and forth consultations’ – Dr Alex’s aim is that you can get your desired result (or the best result your body can still get) in a small run of visits or phone calls. If you don’t, then we need to think again.
PREDILECTION & PREDISPOSITIONS:
Similarly, armed with this knowledge, Dr Alex can also often get ahead of diseases processes while they are in their infancy, or tackle predispositions towards disease that are either known or unknown to persons consulting her.
This can include using individual genomics and using something called ‘targeted epigenetics’ to minimise what you might wrongly suppose is your inevitable hereditary risk.
DIAGNOSTICS & VERIFIABLE GAINS:
And for the sceptics please be assured that this is all verifiable !
Dr Alex has an arsenal of sophisticated diagnostics at her disposal which can help identify relevant disease processes, confirm suspected affected pathways, or uncover (to then alter) predispositions including, as mentioned, at the genomic level.
AND if desired, she can also repeat test to demonstrate objectively and conclusively, even at a molecular level, the positive changes that are taking effect. In addition of course to your own monitoring of your clinical improvements and the betterment of your health and life.
CHOOSING *YOUR TOP PROFESSIONAL:
All of this is important for you to take on board because you may be tempted to think that Naturopathic Medicine is one thing and that you might get the same result visiting ‘any Naturopathic Doctor’, or ‘Naturopath’ (usually not a doctor), or anyone who uses ‘Herbal’ or ‘Nutraceutical Medicine’, or who has studied ‘Functional Medicine’.
Every practitioner has a contribution to make, and may get great results with certain things. But please bear in mind that most naturopathy isn’t even medicine, and when people say ‘natural medicine’ and ‘naturopathy’ they are often describing SPECIFIC TOOLS (eg essential oils, homeopathic remedies) and not SYSTEMS OF MEDICINE.
Dr Alex is unique internationally – Dr Alex is just ‘Dr Alex’. And yes, you may pay more per visit, but in the end it always costs much much less for there to be no wrong turns, no wasted visits, to be whacking your condition from the highest possible level downwards, from the outset, with no delays in getting to what’s critically salient and important for YOU to be in a better please than you are now…
And Dr Alex will spend a lot of time on ‘YOU’ that you will not witness yourself… except in your results.
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