What Is Functional Medicine?

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Functional Medicine

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Functional medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailors interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance. Functional medicine uses the patient's whole story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach.

Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:

Biochemical individuality describes the importance of individual variations in metabolic function that derive from genetic and environmental differences among individuals.
Patient-centered medicine emphasizes "patient care" rather than "disease care," following Sir William Osler’s admonition that "It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has."
Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – an abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurologic syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.
Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span.
Functional medicine is anchored by an examination of the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Those imbalances arise as environmental inputs such as diet, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, and trauma are processed by one’s body, mind, and spirit through a unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs. The fundamental physiological processes include communication, both outside and inside the cell; bioenergetics, or the transformation of food into energy; replication, repair, and maintenance of structural integrity, from the cellular to the whole body level; elimination of waste; protection and defense; and transport and circulation.

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The Functional Medicine Model applies to:

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GI dysfunction
Hormonal imbalance
Inflammation
Orthopedic issues
Immune dysfunction
Metabolic syndrome
Nutritional status
Adrenal & thyroid fatigue
Therapeutic relationship
Toxins & biotransformation
Food allergies & sensitivities