What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is sometimes referred to as “systems” medicine. It is a combination of the best of conventional and alternative medicine. It is the medicine of the future.
Functional medicine uses cutting-edge science to offer a new way of understanding and looking at chronic illnesses. The main concept is that chronic illness stems from imbalances in key physiological systems of the body. When things like stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and hormonal imbalance occur, the body can become out of balance and symptoms and diseases emerge. These events don’t just fall out of the sky for no reason. The symptoms and diseases are just the beginning, where we ask ourselves in the functional model, WHY???? In conjunction with poor diet, lack of essential nutrients, emotional and physical stress, environmental toxins, lack of movement and much more, this sets the stage for chronic diseases to develop.
If you have a migraine in conventional medicine, you are given a variety of pharmaceuticals. In functional medicine, we want to know why you have migraines. The causes could be food intolerances in one patient and hormonal imbalances in another. We can tailor treatments to correct your specific imbalances causing your headaches. It is personal medicine and it’s not a one-size fits all approach!
In conventional medicine, you doctor might be monitoring your HgBAIC for suspected diabetes. Your doctor might tell you everything is fine if your number is below 7 lets say. In functional medicine, if we see that value going up over time, we will look at what is driving the cascade to insulin resistance and diabetes. We don’t just wait until it’s a certain number and then start on a drug…we look earlier to prevent that from happening.
Also, in functional medicine, you have a doctor for every part of your body. For example you have a cardiologist for your heart, a gastroenterologist for your digestive system, and a neurologist for your brain. In functional medicine, we see the body as an interconnected whole and look at all the parts of the body.
Due to this systems based, whole person medicine focus, we can treat a large variety of diseases and symptoms.