Why Functional Medicine? Functional Medicine encourages patients and practitioners to ask the question "Why?" Instead of only treating merely the symptoms, Functional Medicine offers an approach toward identifying the root cause of disease. The current system of medicine practiced by many physicians in our society today is focused on acute-care rather than complex, chronic disease. Physicians apply a specific treatment such as prescription drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom. In many cases, this model also does not factor in the unique genetic makeup of each individual. Functional Medicine seeks to identify the underlying cause of complex, chronic disease, and employs methods such as nutrition, diet & exercise to treat the current issue while also helping to prevent future illness.
How is Functional Medicine Different? One of the most important factors while examining a patient are the foundational lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, relationships, and genetics. These factors can eventually result in the signs and symptoms that become different forms of disease. Conventional medicine in society today separates physicians based on their specialties (i.e. gastroenterology, endocrinology, dermatology), which makes it difficult to view the body as a whole. The goal of conventional medicine in our society is for doctors to identify diseases by identifying patterns of symptoms and to utilize drug-based therapies to treat those symptoms for all patients the same way. Functional Medicine extends beyond this to account for the biochemical differences between patients and to promote continued health and vitality by creating a partnering relationship between the physician and patient.