Do you have chronic fatigue, joint aches, headaches, digestive issues, and/or weight gain? Do all your blood tests come back “normal” but you are still suffering. There is an answer. Functional medicine.
Functional medicine is a holistic approach to patient care. While traditional medicine has a focus on a specific disease diagnosis as the end state, functional medicine looks to find the underlying causes for those disease symptoms. For example, a conventional doctor may stop after writing a prescription of an anti-depressant after diagnosing depression, their job is done.
The functional medicine doctor will look for the underlying causes of the depression by taking extra time listening to patient histories, ordering specialty metabolic and nutritional lab work, and looking at the complex interactions among genetic, environmental, nutritional, metabolic, diets and lifestyle factors that influence long term health and chronic diseases.
This is a science-based, fundamental change in our way of thinking about health and disease. The treatments are grounded in nutrition and improved lifestyle, complemented by nutritional supplements, medications, and other treatments as needed.
We have seen people who have been to every type of specialist with little to no results that finally have answers and see amazing results following their personalized plan. Many have suffered for 5-10 years, but with the Functional Medicine Model, they are a new person in just a year.
How is Functional Medicine Different? According to the Institute for Functional Medicine:
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
1. Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.
2. An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
3. Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
- Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
- Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in modern Western society.
- There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years—particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness.
- Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.
Dr. Mark Hyman explains Functional Medicine:
We have help thousands of patients with Functional Medicine. Call today!