The Functional Medicine Approach

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.

As the graphic illustrates, a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

(Courtesy of the Institute of Functional Medicine)

How does Functional Medicine Differ from Conventional Medicine?

Our current healthcare model is diseased base. The health care provider in a traditional or conventional medicine model is given 10-15 minutes to figure out what is wrong with you. Without a thorough history they are forced into prescribing a medication or sending you to another provider or specialist to determine why you are ill. The conventional model works great for acute illnesses such as appendicitis, heart attacks or fractured bones. This model doesn’t work so well when treating complex disease processes and preventing chronic illnesses.