What is Functional Medicine?

new-paradigm-260x260jpg_002  Functional medicine is a therapeutic partnership between both the patient and the practitioner to addresses the underlying causes of disease. Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioner listens to patients health histories and “digs deeper” into the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.

WHY DO WE NEED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE? Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis which can lead to more illness than wellness. The acute care system of medicine is not equipped to address complex, chronic disease.

HOW IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DIFFERENT? Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease.  Functional medicine approach include:

  • Patient-centered care by listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning. 
  • Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

For more information CLICK HERE or visit www.functionalmedicine.org