What is Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease. 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 medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person in it’s entirety, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. ” (Quote from functionalmedicine.org)

How is Functional Medicine different than Traditional Medicine?

“Disease is neither the starting point nor the end point of illness. It is a pathological process that may not be discovered until decades after the identification of an illness.” Robert J. Ursano, MD

As already stated above, the traditional medical model is very disease-centered focused. While that model may give great relief for those in an acute crisis, it functions more as a Band-Aid, covering up symptoms for chronic complex conditions that the majority of Americans are suffering with.

What I’m talking about here is the fact that our current health care system is often thought and treated off the basis of symptoms. It is believed that the absent or lack of symptoms are equated to the health status of a patient, that’s a terribly wrong definition of health. Where does this logic come from?

It’s been scientifically proven and even taught in medical pathophysiology text books, that tons of conditions that cause serious complications and even death remain asymptomatic (present with no symptoms) in there early stages of disease. I provided a chart of one of those medical books below. Western medicine needs a shift in their perception of health very badly.

Asymptomatic Conditions    “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” World Health Organization

Considering the facts that it is estimated that more than half of all Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases, with contributing more than 75% of the total health care cost (2.9 trillion dollars in 2013) is due to chronic conditions. We are loosing the war on health and are facing an epidemic.

 “ Our current healthcare model fails to confront both the causes of and solutions for chronic disease and must be replaced with a model of comprehensive, personalized care geared to effectively treating and reversing this escalating crisis.” David S. Jones, MD

Who would benefit from Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is effective at identifying and exposing underlying causes of dysfunctions in your body, finding the areas of burden, whether you suffer with a specific chronic condition or not. This is great news for not only preventing and treating chronic diseases, but providing your body with optimal expression of function allowing you to reach your health goals long-term.

Truly, anyone could benefit from a functional medicine comprehensive assessment. It provides great insight into what I call the “true health and wellness status of a patient,” utilizing cutting edge evaluations and biomarkers that elicit the patient’s complete story and clinical imbalances. This allows treatment plans personalized for your biochemical uniqueness and specific needs. Treatment plans are supported with scientific evidence based therapeutic effects and work in collaboration with a certified trained functional medicine practitioner.

The Following are Common Examples of What Conditions Functional Medicine Practitioners Help and Test for:

  • GERD
  • Leaky- gut syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth
  • Chron’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Diseases (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism)
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Parasitic Infection
  • Depression
  • Psoriasis
  • Insomnia
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • etc.

…. Just to name a few!

bloodTesting

Functional Labs

Sadly, majority of the functional lab testing done by Functional Medicine Practitioners are overlooked by other physicians. Even certain conditions like Leaky-gut syndrome are believed to be “made up” or not exist according to some. It should also be noted, functional lab ranges emphasize the values that are acceptable for healthy and optimally functioning people. This is in comparison to most main stream lab averages gauged off the average citizen with compromised health. Functional lab readings give a great snapshot of how the patients body is functioning. In addition, it provides insight into their own unique biochemistry needs for pinpoint treatment.

ARTICLE IN A NUT SHELL: Functional Medicine is focused on the “Why?” of your condition or illness versus just symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners seek the underlying causes in a completely personalized and system-oriented way. This is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.

Abundant You Solution

  • To learn more about Functional Medicine we recommend you read this detailed article about the introduction into functional medicine https://www.functionalmedicine.org/files/library/Introduction.pdf.  Or visit functionalmedicine.org
  • Are you interested in a Functional Medicine Evaluation? Contact Dr. Kevin Sarich today by checking out www.FunctionalMEDhelp.com.
  • To find a functional medicine physician near you click here:  https://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 OR http://www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com/index.php?action=search
  • For a true understanding and accurate definition of health click HERE.
  • No! symptoms do not equal health, but in reality, symptoms are the body speaking to us to let us know where to focus our energy to help us balance back out. Symptoms are apart of the puzzle to optimal health, but certainly not the only piece.