What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine combines traditional medicine with alternative forms of medicine for the treatment and prevention of diseases.
Functional medicine is the future of what we call today as conventional medicine. The main goal of functional medicine is to identify and address the root causes of disease. This type of medicine considers the body as an integrated system; other than the collection of independent bodies separated by medical specialties. Functional medicine aims to treat the whole body, not just specific symptoms of an illness or disease.
It refers to the root causes of diseases and illnesses. Using a systems-oriented approach, functional medicine engages the practitioner and the patient in a therapeutic partnership. Functional medicine is an evolution in medical practices and better meets the needs of patients more than any other approach to medicine in the 21st century. How is functional medicine so innovative? By shifting the traditional focus of disease-focused medicine to a patient-centered approach, functional medicine is able to address the whole person. This form of medicine not only isolates the symptoms and makes a diagnosis. When visiting a functional medicine doctor, you will notice that the functional medicine specialist will spend time with patients, listen to their history and look at the interaction between genetic factors, lifestyle and the environment that can affect their health and they are likely to have an impact on the patient’s future health. It maintains health and vitality throughout life, which are aimed at each individual patient.
How can it work for you?
There has been a large increase in the number of people suffering from complex medical conditions. These complex diseases can include diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental illness and autoimmune diseases – such as rheumatoid arthritis.
It can help determine the root cause of these diseases. The type of medicine practiced by the vast majority of doctors is aimed at acute care, trauma and diseases, which are short-term problems and emergency medicine – such as the treatment of a broken leg or appendicitis. Doctors use specific, prescribed treatments (such as medication or surgery). These treatments are standard for all patients and are intended to treat the immediate problem or symptom. The approach to acute care to medicine, to which we are all accustomed, lacks the tools and methodology to prevent both the treatment of complex and chronic diseases. In most cases, acute care does not take into account the individual’s unique genetic makeup or factors such as environmental toxins. Our lifestyle has a huge impact on our health.
There is a big difference between research and the way doctors practice medicine. This difference between emerging research in the basic sciences and integration into standard medical treatment is very large; especially in areas of complex and chronic disease. Some practices that were used 50 years ago are still used today. Most doctors are not adequately trained to access and determine the root causes of complex and chronic diseases. Not all physicians are trained to implement strategies in diet, nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes to help treat illnesses in their patients, as well as to prevent future illnesses.
What makes this different from conventional medicine?
Functional medicine not only cures the symptoms of a disease.
The focus of functional medicine is patient-centered care and promotes health as a positive vitality. Functional medicine goes beyond just treating the disease. By listening to their patients, functional medicine practitioners learn the history of their patients. This allows functional medicine professionals to deal with problems that are specific to each patient. Remember that each patient has many unique needs when it comes to the treatment and prevention of chronic and complex diseases.
Specialists in functional medicine study the patient’s history, physiology and lifestyle that can lead to disease. Each patient’s unique genetic makeup is considered to be an internal (body, mind and spirit) and external (environmental and physical) factors that affect the overall function of the patient’s body.
Functional medicine brings together best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates conventional medical practices with what can be considered as alternative or integrative medical treatment. This creates a focus on prevention through exercise, nutrition and nutrition, as well as the use of the latest diagnostic and laboratory techniques. Functional medicine can use prescription drugs, supplements, botanical drugs, therapeutic diets, business management articles, stress management programs and detoxification programs.