What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is focused more on an individual rather than on their illness. It addresses the entirety of a person, including their lifestyle, the health of their gut and brain, and how their diet impacts their overall health – not just the symptoms they’re experiencing at that point in time.
Functional medicine doctors play a role as your partner, not as someone who is making decisions for you. By spending time with their patients, listening to them, and looking at the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle, they can determine the various factors that may influence their patient’s long-term health and complex, chronic diseases. Right from the start, both doctor and patient work together to understand the entirety of that patient’s life that has led to the status of their present health.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional Medicine differs greatly from traditional Western medicine, since we look into patients with unique and rare genetic predispositions, biochemical make-up, environmental exposures, lifestyle choices, social stressors, and spiritual beliefs. There isn’t just one cure for all patients, since we deal with many patients with unique sets of symptoms and strive to get to the root of any imbalance that is manifesting as illness or disease together.
Realizing how interconnected the mind, body, and spirit are with regards to treatment addresses all three. Healing plans are typically a mix of both traditional Western Medicine and holistic methodology to focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise plans. When appropriate, functional medicine incorporates the latest laboratory testing to create a customized approach consisting of various medicinal, lifestyle, and therapeutic techniques.
Functional medicine provides physicians and other health professionals the ability to be proactive and predictive in their approach to personalized medicine and encourages patients to become more active in maintaining and improving their health.
The Essence of Functional Medicine
The primary focus of functional medicine is on the patient themselves, rather than the illness they’re suffering. This involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic illnesses, as well as looking at the patient’s environment, emotional health, as well as other aspects of life that may cause stress or illness to a patient.
Functional medicine practitioners consider the intricate matrix of the patient’s physiology, history, and individual lifestyle that could have led to their illness. This includes their distinctive genetics, along with both internal and external factors that affect overall function.
Integrating Medical Practices
By implementing traditional Western medicine with alternative or integrative medicine, functional medicine focuses on prevention of illnesses through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, medicines, supplements, and various therapeutic techniques.
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