What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine looks at the core of a health issue. Rather than using medicine to cover symptoms, functional medicine programs explore what underlying issues might have prompted a certain health problem, and then takes steps to fundamentally improve your health through science-based, integrative methods.
Health is not the absence of disease; it is a level of optimal well-being that relies on biochemical processes affected by things like vitamins, nutrition and lifestyle habits like sleep and activity.
Functional medicine seeks to improve the health of patients by analyzing and improving their functioning in 8 major areas:
- Detoxification & Biotransformation
- Hormone & Neurotransmitter Balance
- Gastrointestinal Function
- Energy Production & Oxidative Stress
- Immune & Inflammatory Balance
- Mind & Spirit
- Structural Function
- Environmental Factors
What Makes Functional Medicine Different?
Conventional medicine programs diagnose and treat illnesses but may not explore the underlying causes of the condition that led it to develop.. Functional medicine looks at the body holistically, and evaluates the ways that different aspects of your current health and lifestyle may be affecting your current illness.
Functional medicine programs are:
Doctors of functional medicine spend a considerable amount of time with each patient, discussing the factors involved in health problems and using in-depth testing to ensure the best results. This approach allows a doctor of functional medicine to take a holistic view of the body and closely examine internal and external factors that influence health.
Functional medicine relies on natural substances like herbs and vitamins to influence biochemistry. Disease-causing factors like toxins are removed from the body, while minerals, fatty acids and other elements crucial to health are added. Prescription drugs are used only as a last resort.
Common forms of functional medicine therapy include:
- IV Therapy
- Massage Therapy
Doctors of functional medicine use diagnostic tools commonly available in traditional medicine to find and treat the underlying causes of disease. This makes functional medicine capable of treating existing diseases while also anticipating and defending against the development of new diseases.
Functional medicine draws extensively from a variety of medical disciplines. This integrative approach focuses on restoring the health of the entire body instead of applying single therapies to resolve isolated symptoms. Health is measured in terms of quality of life and positive vitality rather than the absence of disease.
Functional medicine initiates an ongoing series of learning and change to encourage a healthier way of life. Rather than meeting with your doctor once and getting a prescription to cure a problem, functional medicine relies on mutual interest for finding the root of your health issues, and using that knowledge to fundamentally improve your health.