In deciding if functional medicine is right for you, you must first ask yourself two questions:
What is functional medicine, and why would I choose functional medicine?
What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine is a relationship between the physician and the patient. Before a functional medicine doctor tries to treat any issue, they listen to the patient talk about past, and present health concerns so they can determine what will work best for each patient. In comparison, when visiting a mainstream (disease-centered) practice, the doctor will not spend as much time getting to know or understand the patient, and the doctor will prescribe different medicines that will cure only the symptoms the patient is having.
By having a patient-centered approach, functional medicine won’t isolate the symptoms the patient is suffering from, it will address the health concerns and lifestyle choices of the entire patient. During the process of getting to know the patient, the doctor will have time to look at the interactions that might be causing illnesses such as genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. So not only will current symptoms be fixed, but future long term health and complex, chronic diseases will be prevented.
Functional medicine helps teach a proactive, predictive, and personalized medicine approach that will help empower anyone who wants to take control of their health.
Why should I choose functional medicine?
Everywhere you look you’ll see someone who is suffering from complex, chronic diseases like autoimmune disorders, diabetes, etc. Mainstream medicine focuses on the treatment and diagnosis that will offer short term help for the damage caused by a disease. The prescribed treatments that are given are used to fix any immediate problems or symptoms. The problem with doctors using a quick fix is that the uniqueness of each individual patient is not taken into account. By not taking the time to understand the complexities of each individual, the doctor will have no choice but to give a general fix that they use for anyone with similar problems.
With functional medicine, the doctor will take the time to assess any underlying causes that are leading to chronic diseases and help the patient apply personalized strategies of nutrition, diet, and exercise to help cure issues, and prevent any diseases.