A new approach in treatment – bringing hope to patients with unexplained symptoms
Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemical processes in the body, and the ways that natural substances such as vitamins and herbs can impact those processes.
The primary focus of functional medicine is to understand the underlying cause of chronic disease as opposed to treating and masking symptoms. Using a patient centered approach to care that recognizes individual variations, whether genetic or environmental, influence the disease process, functional medicine places a higher priority on treating the patient and restoring health than it does on treating manifestations (symptoms) of a disease.
Functional medicine measures health in terms of life quality and the presence of positive vitality instead of simply absence of disease. This distinction guides practitioners of functional medicine to take a holistic view of the body and the interaction and connectivity that exists between internal physiological functions and external environmental influences. Balancing these internal and external factors supports good health and develops organ reserve capable of sustaining and enhancing healthy aging.
Balancing internal and external factors requires a systems approach to medicine that analyzes the patient’s functioning in 8 major areas:
- Detoxification & Biotransformation
- Hormone & Neurotransmitter Balance
- Gastrointestinal Function
- Energy Production & Oxidative Stress
- Immune & Inflammatory Balance
- Mind & Spirit
- Environmental Factors
This approach borrows from the extensive medical knowledge of a variety of medical disciplines to provide an integrated approach to medicine focusing on restoring health at many levels within a patient’s life instead of the more traditional method of applying a single therapy to resolve an isolated symptom.
The integrated medicine approach to patient care is considered the future model for healthcare destined to transform the traditional disease centric model to one where scientific principles and extensive patient evaluation are combined to create a strategy capable of improving current health and laying a foundation for health and vitality lasting throughout the patient’s life span.