What is Functional Medicine?
February 18, 2020
Functional Medicine is the future of medicine. It is vastly different from the conventional medicine practices. Some call it integrative medicine, or holistic medicine, or personalized medicine, but it still needs further explanation.
Functional Medicine (FM) sees a diagnosis as a set of symptoms that stem from an underlying cause or causes, which is different for each one of us. For example, asthma can stem from differing causes. FM utilizes sophisticated lab testing and thorough investigation to determine the root cause of a person’s illness and work to reverse it from there. FM is true preventative medicine.
One metaphor is of a leaking boat. The conventional medicine approach would generally be to find a way to bail the boat out so it can continue to float. The FM approach is to fix the leak.
This isn’t medicine for acute issues, if you’re having a heart attack or just broke your leg, go to the ER! If you want to address a chronic disease or you simply want to avoid getting sick; if you are willing to invest in your health with time, effort, and yes, money; and you are motivated, FM can guide the way. This is big picture medicine. This is slow medicine, it will never be a 10 day course of a prescription to turn your life around and then you can go back to your bad habits. FM requires some lifestyle changes, often it requires lots of them, and it takes time. You will be an active participant in your health, your practitioner will offer the knowledge and the direction.
FM is not separate from conventional medicine, but utilizes all of the tools available. While prescription medications have their place and can save lives, FM typically starts with food, lifestyle and behavior modifications, nutritional supplements and botanicals. Essential to the FM approach is the information obtained from lab analysis that are unique to holistic and natural medicine. In addition to the blood tests we’re all familiar with, FM uses more in depth blood tests, as well as saliva, stool, hair, urine and breath as specimens for obtaining information.
The goal of FM is to nurture vitality and health so that people do not need prescriptions. Along with a look at your lifestyle and food intake, we will also evaluate your stress level, your exposure to toxins and unknown infections, your microbiome and your genetics. Our world today is out of balance, humanity has lost its natural place. We are breathing, ingesting, and absorbing chemicals that our organism is not designed to handle. Our stressors are excessive, both mentally and physically, and this causes damage to homeostasis (balance), making us weaker and more prone to illness. Our modern culture is in a state of overwhelm and overstimulation, and we are paying the price with our poor health. It seems that too many of us no longer know what truly good health feels like. Let’s change this! A healthy life is possible.
The statistics tell us that 1 out of every 2 men and 1 out of every 3 women alive today will get cancer. Being sick seems to be the new normal. Over half of Americans take AT LEAST one prescription medication. This is nuts! We know what’s causing all of this. We’ve poisoned our environment, we eat dead food, we use toxic products, but it’s not too late to turn it around. We vote with our dollars. Educate yourself. Empower yourself toward health for you and your family, and the goodness will spread.
Check out the 19 minute Ted Talk about FM on youtube “How to Make Diseases Disappear” by Rangan Chatterjee MD.
We are available to help you with your health, but we do not take the place of your primary care doctor. Expect to be involved (our Intake form is 20 pages long) and thoroughly examined (your first visit may be 2 hours long). Together we will set the pace and the goal for your individual needs.