Haruko Katsuie, Functional Medicine Specialist
Haruko has a solid medical background, with decades of experience based on her work in the U.S, Japan, as well as Hong Kong.
Haruko has been described as:
‘A passionate caring practitioner who does endless research for her patients to find an individual plan to bring them back to wellness’.
Functional Medicine practitioners promote wellness by focusing on the fundamental underlying factors that influence every patient’s experience of health and disease.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a root cause medicine, where we go upstream to identify what is causing you to have those symptoms and diseases. We look at the person as a whole – not just the physical body, but also your mind and spirit. One thing out of balance may affect a whole cascade of symptom development and eventually manifest as a disease.
Patient-Centered Approach in Functional Medicine
At our first consultation, not only I ask about your medical history, but your whole life history. Any big events in your life? How is your stress level? What was your childhood like? How was your mother’s pregnancy? Are you sleeping? We’ll spend a good hour painting your whole life story to identify the trigger and how your symptom/disease developed overtime.
Root Cause Medicine
From there, we explore the suspected root cause through labs and specialized tests most practitioners don’t perform. These may include gastrointestinal microbiome, food sensitivities, environmental toxins, genetics, hormones, and its metabolites – we dig deeper than your regular blood panel tests. Investigating our body chemistry at a biochemical level allows us to pinpoint where in the process things are malfunctioning.
How Is Functional Medicine Different From Traditional Western Medicine?
Traditional Western medicine identifies the downstream symptoms, makes a diagnosis, and treats them accordingly through pharmaceutical medications, which always come with a list of potential side effects. Many people take these medications for life. Traditional Western medicine has its place in treating acute events, but it is applying this same model to chronic disease management, which is making us sicker. What they don’t tell you is that this is reversible, and maximizing your quality of life is possible with a lifestyle change. It is an accumulation of our everyday choice that leads us to the point of no return.
We are a team of practitioners aiming to help you achieve your optimal health. Just like how a community builds its strength from each other, we too can build a good body-mind, body, spirit – through diverse approaches such as, yoga, acupuncture, bio photo-modulation therapy, to optimize your health. We treat the person as a whole using a personalized plan that is right for you.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend more time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions between environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors that influence health. The Functional Medicine practitioner will consider multiple factors, including:
–Environmental inputs: The air you breathe and the water you drink, the particular diet you eat, the quality of the food available to you, your level of physical activity, and toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced all affect your health.
–Mind-body connections: Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all can have a profound influence on your health. Considering these areas helps the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just your physical symptoms.
–Genetic makeup: Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchanging blueprint for your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.
By understanding the genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors unique to each person, a Functional Medicine practitioner is able to identify which bodily processes are affected. Some occur at the cellular level and involve how cells function, repair, and maintain themselves. Others are related to how your body processes and uses nutrients. These processes include:
->how your body rids itself of toxins
->regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
->immune system function
->digestion and absorption of nutrients and the health of the digestive tract
->psychological and spiritual equilibrium
->how you produce energy
Any of these bodily processes can become imbalanced or disrupted, which can cause or accelerate symptoms and disease.
A Comprehensive Approach To Treatment
The good news is that most imbalances can be addressed to restore or substantially improve a person’s health.
–Prevention is paramount. Virtually every complex, chronic disease is preceded by long-term disturbances in functionality that can be identified and effectively managed.
–Changing how the systems function can have a major impact on the patient’s health. The Functional Medicine practitioner examines a wide array of available interventions and customizes a treatment plan including those with the most impact on your health.
–Functional Medicine expands the clinician’s tool kit. Treatments may include combinations of drugs, botanical medicines, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets, or detoxification programs. They may also include counseling on lifestyle, exercise, or stress-management techniques.
-The patient becomes a partner. As a patient, you become an active partner with your Functional Medicine practitioner. Such a partnership allows you to be in charge of improving your own health and changing the outcome of the disease.
More About Haruko
Haruko is a US-trained board-certified family nurse practitioner who discovered functional medicine through her path to achieving wellness.
She worked as a registered nurse in a private hospital in an in-patient medical-surgical/oncology/peritoneal dialysis/bariatric/radioactive iodine treatment unit as well as in an OB/GYN & in-vitro fertilization clinic before starting graduate school. She worked in a digestive disease center (gastroenterology and hepatology), specializing in nutrition as her passion to help patients, most of whom had the fatty liver disease to better their health.
After moving back to Japan and working in a pharmaceutical company managing adverse events of medications, she came to realize our dependence on pharmaceuticals that always comes with a list of side effects and adverse events. Many people take these medications long term. This is when she discovered functional medicine where we treat the root cause through high-quality natural supplements and ideally ‘deprescribe’ medications while incorporating various means of therapy including yoga, acupuncture, and bio photo modulation therapy. She believes that our body always tries to repair itself to homeostasis – the body’s natural balance. Haruko will help guide you through the journey to optimize your body’s balance so that you can be at your best.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, U.S.A.
Minor in Business, Speech
International Student Scholarship
Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Hawaii Pacific University, U.S.A.
Hawai’i University Graduate Trustee Scholarship
Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing Member
Institute of Functional Medicine Member