Functional Medicine is defined as patient-centered, science-based health care that identifies and addresses the underlying triggers that cause disease and dysfunction. Its therapeutic goals are to reverse or prevent disease progression and enhance vitality. Functional Medicine is a field of health care that utilizes sophisticated assessment and testing to discover early indications of potential imbalances so that we may intervene early, improving one's overall health.
The Functional Medicine health care approach recognizes that our bodies want to be well and that each individual patient is unique. What may work for some, may not work for others. Therefore, the therapeutic game plans used in Functional Medicine concentrate utilizing this premise while integrating knowledge from a wide range of academic and clinical disciplines. Its focus is to assess and intervene at root levels of metabolic imbalance - that is to identify the "cause" of an illness rather than focusing only on the illness. It aims to improve and optimize health at the psychological, biochemical or structural levels through therapies that restore, repair and rebuild that intrinsic balance. Its goal is to intervene before imbalances become later diseases utilizing intelligent and individualized combinations of treatments or protocols.
Most chronic health conditions involve metabolic imbalances in one or more of these six categories: Nutritional Imbalances, Immune/Inflammatory Imbalances, Intestinal Dysfunction, Impaired Detoxification, Oxidative Stress and Endocrine Imbalance. The treatments and therapies used in our office include only those in which good science and/or clinical experience have demonstrated results.
To be considered as consistent with the principles of Functional Medicine a treatment method must fulfill four criteria. They are:
- Do no harm -
- Improve symptoms as well as the overall function and quality of life -
- Help to convert the underlying causes of the disorder -
- Improve the long-term prognosis for the patient -
Although this approach usually necessitates some laboratory testing and a potential range of therapies directed at the underlying causes, the most important therapy is the time and care taken with each patient at every visit. There are few shortcuts to this approach; we strongly feel it is time well spent and have hundreds of patients that have benefited from the Functional Medicine approach.