How I’m Making It is a weekly series in which Tatler speaks to influential individuals about their unique journeys and what keeps them going.
10 years ago, Dr Menka Gupta’s mother was diagnosed with severe heart issues. When multiple doctor visits and medication did little to solve the problem, Dr Menka, then a gynaecologist, began her descent into the world of functional medicine to see if she could help her mother.
Eventually, this led to her quitting her job and using all her savings to start her own functional medicine practice which today, is thriving and helping people globally.
“I was actually the first Institute for Functional Medicine (USA) certified practitioner in Asia,” Dr Menka said with a smile when asked what she studied in school. “I did my Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery in India and then went to the United Kingdom to get my Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG). I also got a Master’s degree in personalised nutrition there.”
In 2012, Dr Menka also enrolled herself in the Institute of Functional Medicine in Washington where she became a certified practitioner. However, despite specialising in it, functional medicine was not Dr Menka’s first choice when it came to choosing her specialisation.
“My first job was as a resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at a number of NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom. It was an intense time and I learnt a lot,” Dr Menka said before adding that she spent six years there in hospitals such as Kings College Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital.
In 2010, Dr Menka decided to move back to Singapore where she joined the National University Hospital in the Obstetrics & Gynaecology department. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Dr Menka’s work was interrupted by her mother’s heart condition.
“My mother had been suffering from cardiometabolic disease and her condition was getting worse. She got diabetes in her fifties and also had high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease by her early sixties,” Dr Menka said. “She had lost six of her siblings in their late thirties to early sixties to cardiac issues already so of course I wanted to do all I could to help her.”
Unfortunately, while traditional medicine was helping with some of her symptoms, it was not enough and that was when Dr Menka decided to try supporting her with her training in functional medicine.