Understanding What is “Functional Medicine” and Why it is Important to You
- Date: 11-2016
- Tags: Medicine
If you are like many of us, the addition of another term in the medical field can just be babble and one more thing in a confusing, but major part of our lives. Over 20% of the US economy is dedicated to health care.
The place to start the discussion is to answer the question: Why does Functional Medicine matter? The answer lies with the fact that chronic disease (diseases that linger in our lives) has become more and more prevalent. Auto-immune disease, Asthma, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, COPD are some examples of chronic disease.
The traditional treatment of patients is geared for treating problems such as infections, heart attacks, broken bones, and other afflictions that can be corrected with a heroic swoop down and medical intervention (often a medical miracle) to correct the specific problem.
Functional Medicine Practitioners address the whole person using systems to work in partnership with the patient for the best long term health outcome.
If you are like me, your first reaction to that sentence would be of course, isn’t that what everybody does? That is because it makes sense when we hear that said. The traditional model is disease centered. In other words, if you get sick, the isolated set of symptoms are treated as a single point of concern.
The Functional Medicine Practitioners spend time with patients, consider their histories and look at possible interactions and the influence of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the long-term health of the patient. This is a much more personalized or holistic approach to medicine and
When the general health of a person is managed, the chronic conditions are better managed and acute episodes are reduced and quality of life is improved. Additionally, proactive and predictive management of health improves overall quality of life. It gives patients the personal power to improve their own health.
We are fans of Functional Medicine for good reason. This type of practice usually improves the health and well-being of patients. We have seen this happen as we work on the environmental with many of these practitioners.
When the Functional Medicine Practitioner is concerned about the environmental conditions affecting a patient’s health, we test and report the finding to the practitioner. We are experienced at providing the proper testing and results for the evaluation of the medical provider.
The role we play in the Functional Medicine puzzle is identifying and solving the environmental issues that affect both long term and short term health.