What is Functional Medicine?

Ky Carlson

18 December 2017

In the simplest terms, functional medicine (FM) deals with discovering and treating the true root cause of chronic maladies and diseases without pharmaceuticals.

The word functional is used because FM practitioners want to understand how the body functions, as each person is genetically unique. Foods that one person can eat may be detrimental to another, or a treatment for an illness in one person’s physiology may not bode well for another person.

The term alternative medicine might be used to describe the FM practice. In some people’s minds, this term might connote a variety of new age or unscientific practices, but in the case of functional medicine, alternative means a treatment other than drugs, which are so widely used by American doctors.

Holistic medicine or naturopathy are other terms you might have heard that could also describe FM.  They are both very similar. Naturopathy is a system of alternative medicine with the premise that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs, using various techniques including control of diet, exercise, and massage.

“Functional Medicine dives deeper by trying to uncover why the problem is there in the first place.”

FM is different from conventional medicine in that conventional medicine is focused on finding a drug to mask to the symptom or the illness. How many times have you gone to the doctor, sat in the waiting room for at least 30 minutes, saw the doctor for 5 minutes or less, and were prescribed a drug or two – not to mention the scary potential side effects of those drugs that make you think twice about taking them?

FM dives deeper by trying to uncover why the problem is there in the first place, then creating a plan of action for improving or eliminating the problem that is largely in the hands of the patient to execute.

Nearly 50% of Americans are on at least 1 prescription drug

Conventional medicine doctors are usually not as focused on discussing your diet, your lifestyle, your exercise patterns, etc., although this is changing (slowly). But your lifestyle habits are at the core of what FM doctors delve into.

Did you know that the root meaning of the word doctor is actually teacher?  And that’s part of what we do at Revitalize Health. We teach our patients how to take control of their own health and well-being. We teach them to understand the vital role that proper nutrition and exercise plays in their health. We uncover food allergies and hormone deficiencies that can be addressed, so patients take control of their own health problems and the path toward resolution. Many times through diligence and discipline in lifestyle, patients can eliminate or vastly reduce the need for drugs.

Imagine the peace of mind knowing you no longer need to take drugs with questionable side effects. Imagine not having to pay for those drugs any longer! Imagine a better quality of life.

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