In a nutshell, Functional Medicine is the philosophy of finding and treating the root cause of disease rather than just treating the symptoms.
The goal of Functional Medicine physician is to and work towards restoring and/or optimizing the incredible power of the body to heal. It is about asking the question “Why” the patient is sick not “What” is the disease. Symptoms are simply a signal from the body that something is out of balance. The correct approach is to find out why the system is out of balance and restore that balance. We will not reverse the trend of the chronic disease epidemic until we change our approach.
The traditional approach in medicine is to match the symptoms and with a diagnoses (label) and then match the diagnosis to a medication that reduces the symptoms. Our health care system waits for patients to get sick then treats them with drugs, most of which block the body’s natural ability to function and heal. This approach is not working. We are getting sicker and sicker with more and more chronic disease like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and dementia. Drugs are not making us well. WE need to make ourselves well.
Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.
It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.
By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.
In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Read more at The Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM)
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