Functional medicine is more than just naming the condition. Functional medicine practitioners are more interested in answering “why” the symptoms exist than naming the condition. This takes the current disease-centered approach and changes it to a patient-centered approach. It is medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.
What makes functional medicine so unique is its goal in addressing the underlying causes of disease as opposed to the traditional approach of just treating the symptom. In the functional medicine model, practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.
Functional medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Five Basic Principles of Functional Medicine:
Functional medicine views us all as being different; genetically and biochemically unique. This personalized health care treats the individual, not the disease. It supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body, naturally, rather than attacking disease directly.
Functional medicine is deeply science based. The latest research shows us that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network or web of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows us to see deep into the functioning of the body.
Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which expresses itself through a dynamic balance of all your body systems.
Your body has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.
Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of immense vitality.
Functional medicine practitioners examine not only the patient, but also their individual and unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors, and then develop a health-enhancing, and most often drug-free plan to help to restore the patient to good health.
Functional medicine practitioners often run more extensive labs. These comprehensive labs to look at underlying deficiencies, imbalances, infections and dysfunctions, give amazing insight into these often overlooked pieces of your health puzzle.
Unlike traditional doctors visits where you wait for one hour to spend 5 minutes with the doctor, functional medicine practitioners spend more one-on-one time with patients.
Functional medicine is known to treat a wide aspect of conditions such as the ever growing Lyme Disease epidemic. Those who suffer with Lyme Disease have reported that participating in functional medicine has subdued their flare ups and has helped increase their quality of life tremendously.
Few people would argue that the way we live plays a huge role in our health. Far more today than ever before, we are surrounded by things that negatively impact our health. Our exposure to toxins through the air we breathe and the food we eat can trigger the immune system and attack your body, which can lead to chronic disease.
Lifestyle factors that can impact health include:
What are treatable, underlying causes of disease?
What Does Functional Medicine Treat?