An Overview about the Nature of Functional Medicine
There is now a practice called functional medicine that has come about because there is said to be unique healthcare needs of individuals in the 21st century.
The focus in functional medicine is on the underlying cause of the disease rather than treating just the symptoms of the disease, with the use of an approach that focuses on the systems and primary functions of the body’s systems. Practitioners in this mode of medicine will work in engaging the patient in a partnership with the goal of an overall better wellness and health.
Furthermore, practitioners in functional medicine focus on the whole individual and not just isolating the different angles of the symptoms. Thus, medicine is shifted from the traditional care of the sick to an approach that is more patient-centered. In this kind of medicine, there is a lot of time spent by the practitioners in evaluating the history of the patient, from his or her environment, lifestyle, and genetic factors, on the basis that these play a major role in the long term health and chronic disease development of the patient. It is the main objective of the practitioners, that in this manner of treatment, patients will have a higher engagement and vitality brought about by the unique experience in healthcare.
Functional medicine is said to be a needed in our present society and culture and several reasons are supporting this view.
There is now a very noticeable increase in the number of chronic disease being diagnosed in our society and this is the number one reason why this type of medicine is needed. Examples of these diseases are heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, cancer and auto-immune chronic diseases such as rheumatoids arthritis. The treatment or prevention of complex chronic diseases are said to be not effective in the traditional acute care treatment. The overall unique individuality of the patient is not taken into account generally in a traditional treatment, thus the environment for example that exposes us to toxins has not identified as a factor.
Let us present here briefly some of the principles that differentiate functional medicine from that of the traditional approach.
The number one aspect that differentiate functional medicine from other approaches is that it is patient-centered healthcare, meaning the primary focus in the overall background of the patient. Functional medicine has a unique approach of healthcare that is scientific and integrative thus this is another aspect of it that makes it different from the conservative approach. All factors that could affect the overall health of the patient, from his or her history, lifestyle and physiology, are taken into consideration by the doctors.
Both alternative medicine practices and the traditional medical practices, such as pharmaceutical medications, natural supplements, stress management strategies and so on, are brought together in this approach.