Functional Medicine is a science based approach combining the latest research indicating what happens to the various systems in our body. Understanding the relationships between those systems allows us to see deeply into the functioning of the body and provide accurate diagnosis and preventive treatments.
The standard disease-centred model of medical treatment works well for acute diseases, trauma, infection, and emergencies but not for preventing disease nor for effectively diagnosing and treating diseases.
Functional medicine is a approach that is patient centred, focusing on holistically treating the source of your ailment rather than the symptoms. It treats your body as a whole system, rather than in isolation. It supports the natural healing mechanism already built in to our system rather than attacking the disease directly. It’s an approach that not only treats but considers prevention of these diseases.
Physicians who are trained in Functional Medicine take a completely different approach in treating diseases. They spend time with their patients, listening to their histories, mapping their personal timeline, and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease. This approach better matches the need to improve the management and prevention of chronic diseases.
Functional medicine essentially looks at underlying factors that govern health and addresses where imbalances are occurring. Imbalances in key body systems such as immune, hormone, digestion and detoxification are assessed to find out how those systems are interacting and determining each other. For example, stress hormones that are imbalanced will disrupt thyroid hormones, digestion and immune health.
The expression of those imbalances are like the branches on the tree below – where roots causes and body system imbalances (ie the Pillars of Health) become evident in disease. The Functional health of the systems are assessed in the trunk to find and treat the roots of health issues.
Functional medicine has found it’s place particularly in treating chronic diseases such as allergic, digestive, hormonal, metabolic and neurological problems, which conventional medicine have not found an answer to. Ailments such as low thyroid, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, fatigue, allergy and gastro intestinal diseases are currently being conventionally treated with drugs or hormones, with no permanent solution in sight. This is the result of the disease centered approach where the physicians diagnose a disease and match that disease with a corresponding drug.The standard model of treatment works well for acute diseases, trauma, infection, and emergencies but not for chronic diseases.