Functional Medicine is the future of conventional medicine. It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms.
The term and field of Functional Medicine refers to something completely different than what we have now come to know as conventional medicine or the standard model of care. To fully understand what functional medicine is, it is important to contrast it with conventional medicine.
Traditionally a medical doctor uses drugs or hormones as therapeutic tools to deal with dysfunction or disease. For various conditions including low thyroid, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and so on, the standard model of care is generally all the same. Your general practitioner could decide to treat you, or could elect to refer you to a specialist. A GP and specialist have access to the same basic tool: medication. The training in the standard model of care is to diagnose a disease and match that disease with a corresponding drug. The standard model of care works well for acute diseases, trauma, infection, and emergencies.
Sadly, it fails miserably in the care of the chronic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.
Chronic conditions – such as allergic, digestive, hormonal, metabolic and neurological problems – which many people suffer from on a daily basis, are finding solutions in the field of Functional Medicine.
So what exactly is Functional Medicine and how can it assist the millions of people dealing with chronic disease?