Functional medicine is a system biology-driven approach to health that delves deeper into the causes of illness and creates tailored treatment plans.
Traditional medicine prioritizes treating the symptoms of an illness rather than its root causes and origins. To suppress those symptoms, doctors often resort to prescribing medications.
What is Functional Medicine?
Are you searching for a personalized, wellness-oriented approach to medicine that puts more focus on your individual health and wellness, Functional Medicine may be the perfect fit. It is the latest evolution in medical practice and is becoming increasingly popular as an effective treatment option for chronic illnesses.
Conventional medicine typically views the body as a collection of organs and systems, separated by medical specialties. Functional medicine takes an holistic approach, looking at all aspects of health – not just symptoms. By targeting the underlying causes of illness rather than just its symptoms, patients can achieve lasting improvements with less medication or surgery needed.
Contrary to popular belief, functional medicine is founded in science. From advocating for reduced exposure of artificial light in order to reduce stress, reduce cancer risks and even address diabetes and obesity issues – research has always backed these approaches up.
What’s more, it has proven highly effective for treating a variety of illnesses. At its core, the approach relies on educating patients and helping them make changes in lifestyle, diet and other habits that can enhance overall wellness.
At the core of Functional Medicine is an understanding that each person is unique, with their own body chemistry and lifestyle. That’s why it is essential to take time to discover what makes you special and what health needs exist for you.
To effectively treat patients, the best approach is to compile a thorough patient history. This information helps identify what factors may be contributing to an individual’s disease or health issue and then formulates a tailored treatment plan that addresses those factors.
Functional medicine practitioners possess a special knowledge that allows them to address each patient’s individual issues. With this insight, they are able to craft an individualized treatment plan that may include nutritional and lifestyle modifications, counseling, as well as natural treatments like herbs, supplements and medications when necessary.
When searching for a functional medicine doctor, look for someone with both a functional medicine certification and medical degree. This will guarantee they possess the skillset and training to accurately diagnose your condition and offer appropriate treatments. Additionally, check if your insurance provider covers functional medicine services.
What is the Difference Between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine?
Functional medicine differs from conventional medicine in that it focuses on the underlying causes of chronic diseases and conditions, while the latter treats symptoms. This distinction is crucial, since conventional medical models typically attempt to address only the symptoms of a disease rather than its underlying cause.
Functional medicine, on the other hand, aims to identify and address the causes of illness by taking into account genetics, environmental elements and lab findings. Furthermore, it seeks to comprehend how diet and lifestyle have an effect on one’s health status.
Functional medicine physicians frequently utilize a variety of approaches when working with patients. These may include nutrigenomics, acupuncture and other alternative therapies.
Conventional medicine, on the other hand, relies heavily on medications and surgery as primary methods for treating known disorders. This can only be done by licensed medical doctors who have completed their schooling at accredited medical schools and been granted MD degrees.
However, conventional medicine often only addresses acute and urgent problems like broken bones or heart attacks. It doesn’t do much to address chronic issues like autoimmune diseases or gastrointestinal illnesses.
Therefore, it’s no shock that six out of ten Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition.
These chronic health conditions have serious, long-term consequences that can affect all aspects of your life. Thankfully, studies suggest that many of these chronic illnesses could be prevented.
Therefore, patients must receive education on how to prevent and treat their chronic illnesses through a combination of conventional medicine and functional medicine.
The major distinction between functional medicine and conventional medicine is that functional medicine utilizes a person’s entire history – including their diet and lifestyle habits – to identify the underlying causes of their illnesses. This information then forms part of their personalized treatment plan in functional medicine.
Functional medicine physicians utilize advanced laboratory testing that provides a more thorough overview of your body’s systems and processes. This provides them with a better insight into your overall wellbeing as well as an accurate diagnosis.
How Can Functional Medicine Help You?
Functional medicine is a medical approach that seeks to identify and treat the underlying causes of illness, while also emphasizing preventive health measures in order to promote an active, healthy life.
Conventional medicine often focuses on managing symptoms. While this method can be effective when you are in dire need of assistance, it may not be sufficient for chronic illnesses that require more holistic approaches.
Functional medicine doctors or nurse practitioners examine all of the pieces that make up each patient’s individual puzzle to identify the root cause of illness and suggest solutions. This may include genetic history, physiology, diet, lifestyle, mental health, spiritual wellbeing and environmental influences.
Functional medicine stands apart from conventional medicine in that it focuses on symptom management, using pharmaceutical interventions to suppress symptoms and prevent disease.
Unfortunately, these methods can often be counterproductive and even harmful. Not only do they cause negative side effects, but they are costly as well and don’t always deliver on long-term health objectives.
Furthermore, an increasing number of practitioners who began in conventional medicine are now transitioning their practices towards a more integrative and holistic approach to healthcare. Many feel overwhelmed by the current system, so they’re eager to move on to something that puts their patients first.
Functional medicine physicians spend more time with you than your typical conventional doctor and take extensive personal histories. Furthermore, they use functional testing to identify the root causes of your illness and create a plan for getting healthy.
The functional medicine model is results-driven, which can save you money in the long run. Many ailments that haven’t responded to traditional therapies can be resolved by balancing your body’s complex systems and providing it with essential nutrients for healing itself.
A functional medicine doctor can collaborate with you to craft a plan that fits into your lifestyle, and they’ll track your progress and offer encouragement as necessary to reach those health objectives. They may also schedule periodic check-in visits to assess progress and answer any queries that arise along the way.
How Can I Find a Functional Medicine Doctor?
Functional medicine doctors search for the underlying cause of disease and treat the entire person by taking a holistic approach that considers genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences. This allows them to effectively address both acute and chronic health issues.
They often employ biochemical testing to pinpoint the underlying causes of symptoms and refer you to specialists for further treatment options if necessary. Ultimately, their services can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
Finding a functional medicine doctor is easy if you ask friends, family members and other trusted health professionals for recommendations. It’s also essential to do some research and meet with different practitioners until you find one who meets your individual needs.
Many functional medicine practices are located in office settings, but some also offer remote services through telemedicine. This can be an ideal option for those who don’t live near a functional medicine practitioner or simply prefer not to deal with driving to their office in person.
When selecting a functional medicine doctor, make sure they demonstrate an avid interest in the field and are actively practicing it in their practice. They should have completed additional coursework and training on functional medicine and be able to apply it in their daily work with patients.
Functional medicine doctors take a biomolecular approach to health, taking into account the interactions between genes and pathways that impact your overall wellbeing. They take into account dietary, lifestyle, and environmental influences too in order to create an individualized plan that will enhance your wellbeing.
Another advantage to working with a functional medicine doctor is that they tend to be more cost-effective in the long run than conventional medical practices. Furthermore, an experienced functional medicine doctor will have a good grasp on how to utilize diet and exercise to reduce medication dosage over time.
Some functional medicine doctors may also be certified health coaches. These professionals provide support and motivation for people wanting to incorporate lifestyle changes into their everyday lives or who require extra guidance on how to do so. Typically, they collaborate closely with a primary care provider such as a functional medicine doctor.