What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.
A diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.
The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to chronic disease management. It seeks to answer the question, “Why are you ill?” so you can receive personalized, effective care for your needs.
Functional medicine providers spend time listening to you and gathering your medical history. We use this information to identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as poor nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, genetics, and your microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body).
Once we identify the triggers, we can customize a healthy living plan for you. Your plan will address many aspects of your life, from physical needs, including nutrition, exercise, and sleep, to mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.
The foundation of functional medicine is the use of food as first-line therapy. The right nutrition, combined with lifestyle and behavioral interventions, will help you take charge of your health.
According to the Institute for Functional Medicine(IFM), which is considered the gold standard of training in the field, “the functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness.”
2: How is Functional Medicine Different?
3: What are Functional Medicine Doctors?
"Functional Medicine is a true combination of Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine and scientific research. It combines the philosophy of balance and how to restore function from Chinese Medicine and the knowledge of biochemistry and physiology of Western Medicine with the latest scientific research about how our genetics, environment and lifestyle all interact with each other. Functional medicine focuses assessment and intervention at the root levels of metabolic imbalance and is an evolution in the practice of medicine that addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century by focusing on prevention and uncovering the underlying causes of serious chronic disease. Instead of just suppressing symptoms, it deals with the root causes of disease and is less concerned with making a diagnosis and more concerned with the underlying imbalances, which are the mechanisms of the disease process." - Dr. Frank Lippman.