What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is the future of conventional medicine. It focuses on the body as a total package, seeking to identify the root of the disease or condition. It views the body as a collection of integrated systems rather than organs that work independently of each other.
“Over the last twenty years it’s been quite a challenge for conventional medicine to see the truth regarding the unique and interwoven mechanisms of chronic disease, let alone identify and treat them. We were comfortable naming a set of symptoms with a diagnosis, blaming those symptoms for the disease and trying to tame them with drugs. While this was successful for the urgent or emergent 20% of medical issues, this model failed in the long run when we forced it on the remaining 80% of patients with chronic degenerative diseases. Now, through a different lens we can focus on treating our patients at almost any stage to slow, halt and frequently reverse the ills they suffer from.” –David J. Blyweiss, M.D.
Examines the Root Cause of the Symptoms. Not Just the Symptoms Themselves. Functional medicine physicians focus on finding and treating the cause of an ailment, not which drug would best treat it. For example, if you are experiencing constant fatigue, constant headaches or backaches, functional medicine practitioners will look at what is causing these issues. Your body may be lacking certain nutrients to function optimally or an under active thyroid may be causing fatigue. It’s far wiser to ask why you are experiencing the pain in the first place than just popping a pill and taking an energy drink to get you through the day.
Functional Medicine is Personalized for Each Patient. Most visits to a doctor’s office entail 30 minutes of waiting and 15 minutes or less of time with the physician. They focus solely on the symptoms that concern you and prescribe a solution based on that symptom alone. Since no one person is alike, how can their treatment be? We are all different, our bodies react differently to treatments and conditions. This requires a more customized approach.
Physicians practicing functional medicine spend time with their patients, getting to know you before creating a personalized treatment program. They dive into your medical history, what you eat, your work environment, your relationships, what medications you have taken in the past, chemicals you’ve been exposed to, how well your body systems are functioning and your overall well-being. This approach takes time, which means that many patients spend at least two hours with their physicians on an initial visit. You’ll walk away from your visits with a more detailed, personalized wellness plan and complete and effective answers to your health woes.
Focuses on Prevention Not Detection. The primary goal of functional medicine is optimal wellness. By modifying your lifestyle, diet and participating in proactive diagnostic testing you’ll be taking a step towards living the healthiest life possible and preventing the occurrence of chronic illnesses.
What Functional Medicine Can Treat: