Functional Medicine deals with identifying and addressing the main cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness i.e. a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. Similarly, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The exact exhibition of each cause is dependent on individual genes, environmental factors, and lifestyle, and only treatments tailored towards addressing the main cause will have a lasting result and benefit beyond symptom suppression.
Since there is nothing like one-size-fits-all treatment in functional medicine, so rather than administering the most common treatments for a particular set of symptoms, physicians will take a deep and broader look at one’s health before recommending any treatment. Just like we do, functional medicine practitioners spend a lot of time with their patients, listen to their histories and look at the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may necessarily have a long-term influence on the patient’s health.
Functional medicine moves the attention of medical practitioners from mere treating disease symptoms to a more holistic approach that considers factors like the gene, environment, and lifestyle that may impact long-term health.
Functional medicine tries to consider the why a chronic disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental illness and auto-immune disorders etc. occurs. It’s possible for a disease to have several causes. More so, one cause can manifest as several different diseases. Hence, complex and chronic disease is preceded by a long-term disturbance in body functions which could have been identified and effectively managed to expedite better health outcomes.
Conditions that can be treated with functional medicine include:
Hormone balance, Women’s health, Men’s health, Thyroid and Adrenal health, Chronic fatigue, Stress, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Auto-immune disorders, Skin problems, Metabolic issues, Nutrigenomics, Weight loss strategies, Neurodegenerative conditions, Recurrent infections and allergies, Food and chemical sensitivities, Mood disorders, Travel medicine and travel vaccination (incl. yellow fever).