Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine - An Overview

Functional Medicine - An Overview
Awareness of functional medicine is growing + for good reason.

Around 15 million people in England have one or more long-term health conditions and many of them feel frustrated with conventional medicine. For some, their medication is no longer working, for others, their GP is unable to suggest a suitable way forwards.

Get in touch to find out more

How can we help?

At Harpal Clinic our multidisciplinary team (which includes functional medicine practitioners, hormone doctors, and nutritionists) combines functional medicine with tailored health optimisation programmes and cutting-edge treatments to help you manage chronic health conditions and provide long-term solutions so you can live better.

“In our experience, this approach is highly successful not only for preventative health but for treating those who haven’t improved with conventional medicine.”

Dr Harpal Bains

Dr. Harpal Bains

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine combines careful testing with consideration of all aspects of a patient’s health and lifestyle.

Traditional medicine

Focuses on identifying and isolating defined conditions and treating the symptoms and specific body parts.


Functional medicine

The core principle of functional medicine is to consider the whole body and treat the root cause, instead of just suppressing the symptoms.

Functional medicine explained

Other key characteristics of this approach

  • Highly personalised to the individual
  • Looks at the body (and patient) as a whole, because everything in the body is intricately connected
  • Provides long-term solutions
  • Understands that not everything has a label or can be neatly defined
  • Addresses the root cause of issues and any imbalances in the body that are causing the symptoms
  • Educates patients and empowers them to take an active role in their health and recovery
  • Complements traditional medicine

Functional medicine testing – the possibilities are endless

It’s not always easy to pinpoint a medical condition; this is where functional medicine testing comes in. These highly specialised, advanced tests give detailed insight, helping us understand your body’s biochemistry on a whole other level. They can tell us about your ability to detox, your metabolic pathways, nutrient deficiencies, intolerances, toxin load in the body, history of infections, genetic or DNA information, how you process hormones – and more.

Some of the most frequent functional medicine tests we carry out include:

  • Genetic testing (DNA testing)
  • Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH test)
  • Organic acids test (OAT)
  • Organic acids test + toxin screen (OAT+TOX)
  • Heavy metals
  • Nutritional testing

Functional medicine testing is as unique as you are – and whilst there are too many tests to list here, we will recommend any appropriate investigations based on your individual situation.

Functional medicine recognises that health isn’t just the absence of disease.

What can functional medicine help with?

Functional medicine can be really useful for those who are not improving with conventional medicine, those who feel like they have hit a brick wall with their GP, and those who want to take a preventative approach to their healthcare.

  • Digestive issues, like food intolerances and inflammatory bowel conditions
  • Hormonal imbalances and issues
  • Allergic conditions
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Poor immunity
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia
  • Weight management
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Depression
  • Alcohol dependency
  • Skin health (functional dermatology)
  • Multiple, seemingly unrelated symptoms
  • Fertility issues
  • Environmental toxicity


The Harpal way

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dark blue pill

‘One-size-fits-all’ is not a phrase you’ll hear at Harpal Clinic. We treat each and every patient as the unique individual they are.

Each and every one of us is biochemically different; we have varying medical histories, genetics, diets, experiences and our environments and lifestyles are always changing. We use evidence-based testing and take into account everything that makes you unique to unearth why your symptoms are happening in the first place and to restore optimum health by treating the root cause.

We work with you to develop a roadmap to feeling better. And, as with everything we do, any treatment will be tailored exclusively to you and your body’s requirements.

We place a focus on ensuring you get as much value as you can from your experience with us. And, because all of our doctors are hormonally trained; within each consultation, you get a service akin to separately seeing a functional medicine doctor, an endocrinologist, a gynaecologist or an andrologist and a nutritionist.

How is hormone medicine used with functional medicine?

Evidence-based testing

+ medical history
+ lifestyle
+ environment
+ diet
= the full picture + long-term solutions


In her own words…

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Harpal Clinic patient, K. Holmes, describes her journey and how our doctors changed her life:

“I knew it was time to do my own research when my GP kept offering me antidepressants. I didn’t feel depressed, not in the true sense of the word. I felt down at times for sure, but it was because I keep getting all these health issues that didn’t seem to want to go away. Nobody could figure out what was wrong because my symptoms were so vague and unrelated. I was exhausted and struggled to get through the day. I don’t think people believed me when I said that I didn’t feel right.

“I saw many health professionals and read all I could to see if I could figure things out. Some things made me feel better but I always seemed to slip back. When I saw the doctor at Harpal Clinic they took a step back and really looked at me. The consultation was very thorough and they asked me questions I didn’t expect to be asked. Then, at the end, they were able to connect what was happening and explain everything to me in a way that suddenly made sense. I wasn’t crazy and it wasn’t all in my head! My symptoms were real and I finally understood why and understood the treatment plan that was created for me based on my history and the tests carried out.

“I’m so grateful to finally have found a team that not just listened to me, but also held my hands when I needed to speak to someone in the first few weeks of the programme. I’m in a better place now and know that things will only get better. As Dr Bains said, we need the dominoes to fall in the right direction to trigger a chain reaction that will lead to better health in the long term.”

Aaliyah, Harpal Clinic

Let's talk about how we can help you