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What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine seems like a very generic term and not the easiest to understand. However, thanks to some prominent doctors like Dr. Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Joseph Mercola the public are becoming more familiar with this style or medicine. To better understand what Functional Medicine is, I think it’s important to contrast the two different types of medicine.
Traditional medicine uses drugs and hormones to treat a dysfunction or a disease for various conditions. The standard model of care is to get a list of symptoms or complaints and through a history, and possible labs, determine a disease that is then treated. This traditional type of care in my opinion works very well for acute disease, trauma, infection and emergencies. I believe the doctors that treat this way are doing a great job; however it leaves a gap in care. This gap in care has created the need for Functional Medicine.
Functional Medicine is here to fill the gap in healthcare. Functional Medicine, once again, gets a list of symptoms or complaints and through a thorough history and possible labs looks more at the patient’s dysfunctions more than the disease. If a dysfunction or disease is found, then the journey begins on “WHY.” Functional medicine doctors don’t treat the dysfunction or disease only, but treat the root cause of the dysfunction or illness. Is the root cause due to poor nutrition, lifestyle, food intolerance or sensitivity, bacteria, hormone imbalance, environmental toxins or environmental/physical/emotional stressors, these are questions that need to be answered.
There are 5 basic principles to Functional Medicine.
1) Every individual is unique in every way, but most importantly genetically and biochemically. So Functional Medicine treats the individual uniquely to support the individuals normal healing mechanisms and enables the body to create healing; which in the end prevents the need for long-term or possibly life-long care.
2) Functional Medicine is deeply science based to understand the body’s complicated network of biochemical reactions, in order to treat the patient at the cellular level.
3) Your body is designed to self-regulate. This means that your body has specific functions that work on their own to restore normal functions and bring your body to its optimal health.
4) Your body can heal itself. Your body capabilities have been around for a lot longer than “modern or functional medicine;” and because of this it has been dealing with illness and disease for centuries. It has been designed to heal itself, and honestly, we are just scratching the surface when it comes to learning everything there is to know about the body. Our goal with Functional Medicine is to facilitate and initiate this healing process by reversing the effects of our quickly changing “modern lifestyle.”
5) Health is more than the absence of disease, but a state of optimal function. Functional Medicine is to optimize the body to prevent dysfunction and disease when possible.
Our focus at Alta Mountain Chiropractic is on FATIGUE caused by adrenal issues, nutritional imbalances, sleep disturbances and poor lifestyle.