In a healthcare system overrun by a simple “make diagnosis, prescribe drug/surgery” approach, functional medicine practitioners utilize a systems-oriented approach that works to identify and understand the underlying root causes of suboptimal health that later transform into disease. Your body is made up of complicated, interwoven systems that work together in order to maintain your health. When one system becomes altered, other systems adapt and accommodate in an attempt to stay balanced. These adaptations in response to an initial problem (whether minor or severe) can have a profound effect on the body as a whole.
Prescription medications do not address the underlying cause. Instead, they either force a process to stop in hopes of not allowing it to progress, or force a process to keep going despite your body’s inability to perform the process on its own. This can lead to other body systems becoming damaged as a result of the drug. These alterations present themselves as side effects for which the standard treatment is oftentimes more drugs.
The functional medicine approach is to support the normal healing mechanisms of your body naturally, rather than further disrupting natural processes with synthetic drugs. The goal here is to optimize your body’s ability to self-regulate, thus alleviating and preventing disease. This is done with individualized treatment plans based on the understanding of your biochemical individuality, determined by use of the latest diagnostic testing to answer the following questions:
- Why and how did this problem start?
- What has it done to the overall function of your body?
- What can we do to restore optimal function?
The answers to these questions can lead to the root cause of disease, can help us design a unique care plan to re-establish proper biochemical balance, and can help prevent additional health risks in the future. Factors taken into consideration for your treatment plan will include:
- Environmental Toxicity
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Food Sensitivities
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Comprehensive Bloodwork
- Neurological Dysfunction
- Metabolic Dysfunction
- Exercise Habits
- Current Prescription Drugs
It is the investigation of these factors that allows us to get a better understanding of the functioning of your body in order to create a care plan that is unique to your individual needs. This approach has shown to be highly beneficial for a wide variety of conditions, particularly chronic conditions such as autoimmunity, IBS, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, obesity, and more. More importantly, functional medicine is an effective way to prevent disease progression and development through natural means. Personalized healthcare is without a doubt the future. Get away from the “What drug matches up with these symptoms?” mindset, and find your way to a healthier, happier future.