The Timeline and Matrix

Dr. Sherris ascertains the patient's medical, social, and emotional history and maps his/her personal story to a Timeline in order to identify predisposing factors, triggers, and  events that turn health to disease. Genetics and the patient's dietary patterns all help determine the root cause of illnesses. Even the diet and lifestyle choices of the patient's parents and grandparents are important. In addition, the response to stressful situations affects health and illness. A personalized approach to food is often the primary treatment for chronic diseases.

In order to make sense of the patient's story, Dr. Sherris places the data into the Functional Medicine Matrix' seven functional systems. The patient's mind, spirit, and emotions are placed in the center of the matrix. The antecedents, triggering events, and mediators are listed on the left of the matrix. The seven areas of imbalance: Assimilation, Defense &  Repair, Energy, Biotransformation & Elimination, Transport, Communication, and Structural Integrity are correlated with the history. Lifestyle influences, Sleep & Relaxation, Exercise & Movement, Nutrition & Hydration, Stress & Resilience, and Relationships & Networks are placed at the bottom of the Matrix. This organizes the patient's problems so that it is possible to search for underlying causes. The arrangement is very different than the traditional medical method of organization according to anatomical parts.

For example, a traditional medical practitioner seeing a patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), inflammation caused arthritis, and inflammation caused heart disease would refer the patient to a gastroenterologist, a rheumatologist, and a cardiologist. The patient would undoubtedly get prescription medication from each specialist. The Functional Medicine Matrix would have all these inflammatory problems listed under Defense & Repair (and other areas). It then makes sense to look for a common underlying inflammatory cause for all the problems. Among the common causes of these imbalances are poor food choices, food sensitivities, infections or dysbiosis of normal gut flora, toxicities from industry and agriculture,  and heavy metal burden. Alleviating these imbalances, for example, by improving the diet or detoxification, will often allow for elimination of problems.

 

 

Lowell J. Sherris, M.D.

Functional Medicine

7886 W. Sample Rd

Coral Springs, FL 33065

954-582-5233

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