Functional Medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease.
Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Functional Medicine physicians are trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies utilizing diverse tools such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients. Patient centered care is emphasized, promoting health as positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.
Fundamental clinical imbalances are identified through careful history taking, physical examination, and laboratory testing. Underlying causes and triggers of disease are identified to help the practitioner understand how the body’s key processes are affected. A comprehensive treatment plan is formulated.
Multiple factors are considered including:
- Your Genetic Makeup: Genes may make you more susceptible to disease but emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment and by altering that environment it may make it possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed;
- Environmental Inputs: Such as your diet, your level of exercise, and any traumas or toxic exposures you may have experienced;
- Your Mind-Body Elements: Psychological, spiritual and social factors that can have a profound influence on your health.
Functional Medicine expands the clinician’s tool box and includes treatments that may utilize combinations of drugs, botanical medicines, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs along with lifestyle changes, exercise and stress-management techniques.