Why Functional Medicine is Necessary
The need for “modern” conventional medicine was necessary when acute illnesses and infections were the main cause of death in the United States, but times have changed. Although infectious diseases continue to pose a threat, we now face a growing epidemic of chronic illnesses that the conventional medicine model is ill-equipped or refuses to address.
As a result, people are living longer and feeling worse. Obesity is now an epidemic. More and more children are suffering from allergies, asthma, and other serious chronic conditions. More patients are showing up with digestive disorders and a host of chronic illnesses, including bowel disease, chronic fatigue, and cancer.
Functional and integrative medicine is different — and dare we say better in many ways — primarily because it focuses on health, giving the body what it needs not only to eliminate illness but also to optimize health. As a result, patients generally feel considerably better after receiving treatment and can return to activities they assumed they would never be able to engage in ever again or at the level they once did.
What is the Difference Between Functional and Conventional Medicine?
treats symptoms and diseases with medication, radiation, or surgery. When you see a conventional doctor, you’ll likely get a diagnosis and then a treatment for eliminating the illness or alleviating symptoms.
strives to optimize health by identifying and treating the underlying causes of poor health, which can be traced to interactions among genetics, nutrition, lifestyle, and environment.
5 Principles of Functional Medicine
- Treat the patient, not the illness. Everyone is unique, so treatments must be tailored to each patient.
- Test, don’t guess. Although all doctors order tests to fine-tune their diagnoses, functional medicine tests deeper to identify deficiencies at the cellular level.
- Your body has the capacity for self-regulation (homeostasis), expressed through the dynamic balance of all your body’s systems.
- Your body has the ability to heal itself and to prevent all diseases of aging.
- Health is not merely the absence of disease but a state of immense vitality.