What is Functional Medicine?
March 23, 2020
Functional Medicine is all about you! It is patient-centered integrative healing at its best.
I can best describe it as a personalized, one-on-one approach that is mind and body focused, where the doctor and patient work together to dig deep and find the root causes of illness and disease. We examine not only the patient, but their unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors such as emotions and stress and then develop a health-enhancing, usually medication-free, plan to help restore the patient to good health and get him or her on a lifelong path of wellness.
Functional medicine is designed to assess the physical and mental health of the individual to get to the root cause of disease. Rather than looking only at one specific area of medicine, or one body system, functional medicine seeks to analyze how all systems affect the body as a whole. The physician will review each symptom or differential diagnosis as possibly one of many that contribute to an individual’s illness. For example, depression could be caused by many factors that may not be obvious, such as inflammation or an ill-functioning gastrointestinal system.
Functional medicine can be a very helpful approach for individuals with chronic conditions such as allergies, digestive issues, hormonal, metabolic, neurological problems and many others.
Functional medicine basics:
- Functional medicine views us all as being unique and having different genetics and biochemistry, therefore we treat the individual not the disease. It helps the body to heal naturally – as it’s designed to do – and supports all its natural healing processes.
- Functional medicine is supported by scientific research. Learn more on this from the global leader in the practice, the Institute for Functional Medicine at https://www.ifm.org/.
- Health does not just mean the absence of disease. It means having vitality and energy. Functional medicine is aimed towards restoring these with the use of other integrated approaches. So instead of asking “what drug is designated for this disease,” functional medicine asks, “what got you to the disease state in the first place, and what is needed to restore you to better health.”
How is Functional Medicine different from traditional medicine?
Conventional medicine is great at managing acute medical and surgical emergencies, medical crisis, acute infection and trauma. But it can fall short when it comes to treating diseases that are chronic such as diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, functional disorders, musculoskeletal problems and stress/emotional problems. This is where we should take a more comprehensive approach to better healing.
What to expect?
When you visit with a functional medicine practitioner, you can expect a lengthier appointment than you would have with a traditional provider. We will ask questions about your medical history as well as your wellbeing, spiritual health, mental and emotional factors as these will help us see your state as a whole being, not just evaluating your physical symptoms.
A regular physical exam may also be warranted to give possible clues as to what may be occurring. We may also suggest specific, more detailed laboratory studies that can help determine the cause of a condition. Once we have all the results, we will work together to design a treatment plan that may incorporate other modalities to help with healing. This may entail changes in your lifestyle: what you eat, your physical activity, how you deal with stress, exposure to toxins and your energetic field.
Combinations of drugs, botanicals, nutritional supplements, dietary changes and detoxifications as well as other energetic technologies may be suggested. Many people return to a complete restoration of optimal function, while others can see substantial improvement in their condition. We also take steps to prevent disease from worsening.
I am on a mission to help those who are frustrated with diagnostic tests that come up negative with the source of their condition still being unknown with various treatments attempts. Functional medicine has been a lifesaver for many who struggle.
To schedule a functional medicine consultation, call (440) 438-3138.