Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual
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. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
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 client's symptoms 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.
Why do we need Functional Medicine?
Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
This acute-care approach often does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease.
The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous. With increased patient lists and time restrictions most physicians simply don't have the time to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease like nutrition, diet, and exercise in order to both treat or apply them to prevent illnesses in their patients