What a functional medicine doctor strives to do is to address the root cause of the problem, rather than merely masking the symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners are patient-centered, meaning they get to know their patients and address the whole person and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine is an approach that deviates from traditional medical practices such as medications and surgeries. When an individual goes to see a traditional doctor, they often have symptoms that they’ve been experiencing to relay to the doctor. The doctor will then assess the patient, run a few tests and usually let them leave with the prescription in hand. Functional medicine takes a different approach.
How Functional Medicine Works
Functional medicine uses a systems biology approach, which is a study of how our body’s biological systems interact functionally with environment over time. Functional medicine practitioners believe that if there is a problem in your body, then chances are something is missing (important vitamins and minerals) or something is standing in the way for your body to function properly. Functional medicine uses two principles to treat patients:
- Add what’s lacking in the body to push it back to a state of optimal functioning
- Remove anything that may hinder the body from moving into this optimal state
Functional medicine practitioners create focus on prevention and treatment through supplements, nutrition, diet and exercise. They use lab testing and other diagnostic techniques to find the underlying causes, then provide a combination of drugs (short-term) and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxifications and stress management techniques.
Is Functional Medicine Right for You?
According to studies, our society is facing an increased rate of chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and mental illnesses. In most traditional treatments, doctors do not take into account the specific genetic make-up of each individual person when prescribing treatment. If you feel that even after treatment with traditional medication, you are still experiencing symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, digestive problems or anxiety, functional medicine may be right for you. A functional medicine specialist will seek to not only eliminate your symptoms but to become an active partner in your healthcare treatment for overall long-term wellness