Functional Medicine takes a Personal Holistic Approach to Medicine
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 medicine to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Appointments with a Functional Medicine Practitioner are much more in-depth than a typical allopathic appointment. They include a detailed intake and patient history, and an in-depth review of that information. Functional medicine practitioners will order a series of specialty labs to get a comprehensive overview of how your body is performing.
Functional Medicine Practitioners focus on optimal lab values, which are more narrow than the standard lab values used in traditional allopathic medicine. Anything outside of those optimal values can show patterns and markers that spot trends toward disease. By catching these markers early, Functional Medicine Practitioners have a chance at reversing or stopping disease progression altogether.
In addition to looking at optimal values in labs, Functional Medicine Practitioners look at other factors like diet, genetics, hormonal changes, environmental factors, and other lifestyle components as potential causes and treatments for patients’ diseases. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health for each individual.
With this unique holistic approach, we believe Functional Medicine is the future of medicine.
Most patients who go to a Functional Medicine Practitioner have a chronic condition. They have tried many traditional treatments yet are still experiencing symptoms and suffering from the condition. They find that the illness affects nearly every aspect of their life. Some patients come to a Functional Medicine Practitioner for a “mystery illness,” for which allopathic medicine has no diagnosis. Others who seek out Functional Medicine want a more holistic and natural approach to their healthcare.
Functional Medicine Practitioners are like personal medical investigators and are equipped to solve complex and multifaceted health issues. Examples include endocrine disorders, hormonal imbalances, mental health conditions, and chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. They also help autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis, Lyme’s disease, celiac, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Patients typically work with their Functional Medicine Practitioners over several months to address their root cause diagnosis. They implement changes in nutritional and lifestyle factors, alongside specific supplement protocols, to help the body heal.
Appointment frequency is determined by the Functional Medicine Practitioner. Obviously, each presenting condition will be taken into consideration. Typically patients will be seen more often initially (every 10-20 days) during the first 1-2 months. As patients begin to improve, visits are moved to monthly, and with more improvement, patients are seen every 1.5-3 months until the condition resolves.
No practitioner, physician, or doctor can guarantee a successful medical outcome. What we can state is that we have helped a large percentage of patients who work with our practitioners. Many patients, prior to working with us, did not know if they were ever going to overcome their condition. The reason for the patient’s success is due to our unique approach, and the dedication of the patient to follow our advice and plan of care.
Traditional medicine absolutely excels in acute and emergency situations/conditions. Traditional medicine primarily uses the “tools” of medications, injections, and surgery to accomplish their outcomes. The shortcomings of traditional care occur with many sub-acute and chronic conditions. We believe that there is a better set of “tools” to use for these types of conditions. Therefore, we utilize this better set of “tools”, and, in turn, have a high percentage of successful outcomes for the patients with which we work. To reiterate, this is a partnership between the practitioner and the patient. Those that follow and implement the care program outlined have the best outcomes statistically.