Understanding Functional Medicine

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What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a personalized, systems biology-based medical approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying root cause of disease. This includes understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of chronic diseases.

The functional medicine approach helps answer the question of “why.” Figuring out why you are ill involves deeper investigation and treatments that focus on the optimal function of the body and its organs.

The functional medicine model offers a patient-centered approach rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment. Functional medicine addresses the whole person and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Every symptom can be one of many symptoms contributing to an individual’s illness, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefits. By looking at the whole person and considering the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, every patient can receive personalized, effective care for their needs.

Functional medicine practitioners look for ways to think “outside the box” by considering the patient’s history, physiology, lifestyle, and genetic makeup while also considering internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect optimal health. We spend time listening to you and gathering your medical history in order to identify the root cause or causes of the illness. Once the causes are identified, your practitioner can customize a healthy living plan to address your ailments and help you live a healthy lifestyle.

The Principles of Functional Medicine

  1. Every person is genetically and biochemically unique, so personalized health care and functional medicine should treat the individual, not the disease.
  2. Everything in your body is connected. There are complex and unique interactions between the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems within the environment. A medical condition affecting one system may be stemming from somewhere else unnoticed, and it could be affecting many different parts of your body at once.
  3. Functional medicine is science-based. Proper treatment involves staying current on the most cutting-edge research to ensure that you are receiving the best care.
  4. Your body has the capacity to heal and self-regulate. Disease is an imbalance of this process, and treatment through functional medicine is aimed to restore your own ability to heal.

Functional medicine is an evolution of medical practice that better addresses the needs of the twenty-first century. For more information on functional medicine, contact us today!

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