Dr. Vinh Ngo practices functional medicine at Smart Medicine SF, in San Francisco. Patients from throughout the Bay Area benefit from his dedication to restoring balance and full functionality to their bodies, helping them to find relief from symptoms related to chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and metabolic dysfunction. If you are ready to feel your best, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Ngo.


Functional Medicine Q&A

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is an approach to integrative help that focuses on lost or impaired body function and finding ways to restore it, which leads to symptom alleviation and improved well-being. Wellness isn’t just the absence of disease; it’s a fully functional state of balance.

Functional medicine differs from traditional medicine. Instead of identifying a disease and prescribing a medication to address the symptom or disease, functional medicine asks what has caused the loss of function and looks for treatments to restore balance and functionality to your body.

Functional medicine is based on a few guiding principles. First, functional medicine is highly individualized, so that each unique patient receives care that is tailored to meet their specific needs. Second, functional medicine is holistic and considers all the different systems of the body functioning together in a complicated network. The third principle is that the body has the ability to heal and prevent almost all age-related disease.

When all your body’s systems are working perfectly, your body is balanced and healthy. However, if one system is affected, not only do you suffer from poor functionality, but your other systems often have to work harder to make up for the impairment, which can lead to other issues.

How does inflammation affect my body function?

When you research functional medicine, you read a lot about inflammation and how it’s responsible for almost all your ailments. Inflammation is typically an immune system response. When your body senses an infection or foreign substance, your immune system is triggered and floods the area with antibodies, which leads to inflammation of your tissue. So, for example, if you suffer from IBS, your digestive tract may be inflamed thus producing your symptoms. Dr. Ngo provides treatment to reduce inflammation in your body, which should alleviate your symptoms.

What is the 4R program?

The 4R program is a functional medicine system used to restore balance and function to the digestive system. The four R’s stand for Remove, Replace, Re-inoculate, and Repair. These four steps help restore your digestive tract and alleviate symptoms related to digestive issues like IBS.

How is metabolic dysfunction treated?

Dr. Ngo also uses metabolic medicine practices to restore balance to your metabolism. This may involve addressing hormonal issues or reducing inflammation in the digestive tract to improve the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.

If you have questions about functional medicine or think that you may benefit from this holistic approach to improving your overall health, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Ngo today.