Functional medicine is an evidence-based clinical strategy that combines cutting-edge medical research with a holistic, systemic approach to identify the underlying root-causes of disease and biochemical imbalances in the body. Functional medicine views the entire body as a whole. The knowledge that everything is interconnected, and any input can have wide-reaching, systemic impact, provides a more effective way to view health, disease, and cure.
So although conventional medicine is great at treating an acute issue, it is not really useful for treating chronic problems. The acute-care approach is not sufficient for dealing with chronic disease; since it doesn’t take into account the individual patient’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and critical factors such as diet, toxin exposure, or stress. For treating chronic illness, a functional approach is essential! How can
you possibly treat a patient if you don’t understand the “root cause” of their problems? If someone is tired, how can you treat their exhaustion if you don’t
know why they are tired? Are they anemic? Do they have an underactive thyroid? Could they be having a sensitivity reaction to something they are eating? Each of those “root causes” would require a different treatment plan. Then there is the serious issue of side effects from the pharmaceutical medications.
- Recognizing the individuality and genetic uniqueness of every human being
- Supporting a holistic, patient-centered, rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment
- Finding a dynamic equilibrium between the patients’ body, mind, and soul
- Acknowledging the interconnectedness of all inner body functions
- Seeing health as a positive vitality–not just the absence of disease
- Striving to Improve the health span, not just the lifespan, of every patient
- Metabolic Syndrome – diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, abdominal obesity
- Neurological and psychiatric conditions, migraine headaches, ADHD, ADD, Anxiety, …
- Digestive disorders – irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, chronic pancreatitis, acid reflux, diverticulosis, IBS, …
- Autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and celiac disease
- Skin disorders – psoriasis, acne, and eczema, …
- Hormonal problems – thyroid conditions, chronic fatigue, menopause, Erectile Dysfunction, Low libido, …
- Optimal Aging. Not just Anti-Aging
- Early detection of disease and dysfunction
- Reduced pain and suffering
- Can benefit from a functional medicine approach
More and more of us find ourselves struggling to reconcile the high prices we are paying for health care insurance with the frustratingly limited care we are able to get from our doctors. Patients are not the only ones feeling this frustration. Many doctors are finding their hands tied by restrictions placed on them by the insurance industry regulations and definitions. Today, many of us are finding that we might be able to receive treatment for a defined disease, but the proactive care that could revent the disease from developing isn’t covered by our healthcare plan. Functional Medicine has been carefully researched and designed to allow doctors the freedom to better serve their patients by eliminating the third party. The recognized and lauded benefits of Functional Medicine are rapidly becoming more available to both doctors and patients.
Your Functional medicine doctor and her staff get to know you personally.For those of us who have made the switch to Functional Medicine, this may be one of our favorite benefits. Our doctor has more time to spend with us. This time is comfortable and unrushed, allowing our conversations to be comprehensive. The doctor and her staff have the time to fully understand your symptoms so that together we can develop an appropriate course of preventative or diagnostic treatment.
Within the Functional Medicine model, you will find that preventative medicine is embraced. You and your personal physician will work together to develop healthful nutrition plans and exercise programs. You will have unhurried consultations to discuss your health concerns, options, and treatment preferences.
You can visit your doctor when you need to see him or her. Under the current healthcare system, your doctor is probably only available during the business day. However, many of us find that we get sick on the weekends or in the evenings. Functional Medicine opens up the availability of doctors. Your personal doctor can provide you with the option of calling, emailing or visiting with him or her when you first feel sick.
All of the above is coordinated and directed by your personal doctor. Many of us have had the unsettling experience of going into the hospital for treatment or testing without the company of our regular doctor. Unfamiliar staff, nurses, and doctors then have the responsibility of directing your care based on notes and limited information. Within the Functional Medicine model, your personal doctor will be on hand to supervise your care and to consult with the other healthcare professionals concerning your treatment plan and preferences.
The administrators and developers of Functional Medicine organizations recognize these concerns. Many patients who pay for the advantages offered through Functional Medicine are also putting money aside in a healthcare savings plan or have opted to purchase an emergency health plan. Many of the doctors providing Functional Medicine are still aligned to a degree with the traditional healthcare insurance companies. If you find that you are facing long-term hospitalization, your preferred doctor can still be a participant in your care
For many of us, the choice has already been made. Functional Medicine offers us the chance to determine our healthcare and treatment methods through ongoing communication with our preferred doctor and without the interference and restrictions of a third party. Functional Medicine has opened up a new and brighter path amidst the frustrations and restraints found under the typical healthcare model. You may have found that your healthcare and treatment options have been limited by insurance policies, handled by faceless officials who haven’t even talked to you. If this bothers you, then Functional Medicine might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.