The world of medicine has grown and progressed exponentially in the last 100 years. Ailments and illnesses that used to kill are now just a pill or a shot away from not even bothering you, and with the massive spread of information and ideas that have come in the 21st century, a variety of other medical perspectives and methods have gained more traction, including the practice of functional medicine. You may have heard about functional medicine, but you might not be sure about what it is, how it differs from other medicinal approaches, or how it can help you.
That’s why Clinical Nutritions Centers are here to help. With the wide world of medical approaches and practices out there, it can feel hard to decide on one, or weigh the pros and cons of either. Clinical Nutrition Centers choose to use the Functional Medicine approach because it addresses the whole person by shifting the traditional disease-centered or symptom-centered focus of medical practice to a patient-centered approach. Keep reading to learn more about functional medicine, and how our team at Clinical Nutrition Centers is using it to direct our products, and our support.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of health disorders, diseases, and imbalances. The way functional medicine works is different from most modern American medicine approaches, because it uses a system-oriented method and engages both the doctor and the patient in a therapeutic partnership to determine the best needs for the patient. It prioritizes addressing the healthcare needs of the 21st century with its avalanche of complex diseases, common symptoms, and a wealth of misinformation. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening and understanding their entire medical histories and looking at their genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can potentially influence long-term health and current health ailments. Through this approach, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality in each person, and also can improve the ability to find and address unique or specific health ailments for each individual.
How Is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional medicine differs from other medical approaches and methods because it involves understanding the origins, prevention, and natural treatment options of complex, chronic diseases. The main focuses of a functional medicine approach include:
Patient-centered care: The focus of functional medicine is patient-centered care, not just a remission of disease. By listening to the patient and understanding his or her story and history, the physician brings the patient into the process of finding underlying causes of disease, and tailors treatments that address the patient's unique needs with the most accurate and positively impactful therapeutic approach.
An integrative, science-based healthcare approach: Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” into a patient’s health timeline to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to disease or the occurrence of other ailments and illnesses. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external factors (physical, chemical, and social environment) that can affect total health status, and your experience of daily life.
- ntegrating best medical practices: Functional medicine integrates the best of Western medical diagnostic techniques with what is sometimes referred to as “alternative” or “integrative” medicine. This puts a larger focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise. Functional Medicine combines the latest laboratory testing, diagnostic procedures and customized combinations of botanical, herbal, and homeopathic medicines, supplements, diets, detoxification programs, stress management techniques, and — when needed for lifesaving purposes — short-term courses of prescription drugs or emergency surgery.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
Due to a change in how we diagnose and address certain illnesses, our society has experienced a sharp increase in the number of people who we now know are suffering from complex, chronic diseases. Many of these diseases were extremely rare, or even completely unknown to humankind such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, auto-immune disorders, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and other early developmental or childhood learning problems.
The system of medicine practiced by a large percentage of physicians is solely oriented towards acute care, which is care in response to the diagnosis of an illness or trauma that is in need of urgent care, such as an emergency surgery for appendicitis, or an injury like a broken bone. In these cases, physicians apply treatments, such as surgery or drugs that aim to treat or manage the immediate acute crisis, problem, or symptom. Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine oftentimes lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating a complex, chronic disease. In many cases, modern medicine does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual, or lifestyle factors such as environmental exposure to toxins or daily activities that could affect a final diagnosis. Most physicians don’t realize the aspects of today’s lifestyles could have a direct influence on the experience and treatment of chronic degenerative disease in modern society.
Another issue that shows the value of functional medicine is the huge gap between medical research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous. Doctors and traditional practitioners are still treating patients with complex, chronic diseases with outdated and ineffective medical philosophies, drugs, and surgeries. Armed with this more relevant and recent information, individuals suffering from these diseases should understand the approach and potential of newer healthcare approaches, strategies, and natural non-toxic therapies.
Most physicians are not trained to assess the underlying causes of chronic diseases. Physicians who practice Functional Medicine learn to apply strategies such as diet, nutrition, and exercise to both treat and prevent these diseases in their patients.
Functional Medicine Supplements - Clinical Nutrition Centers
With a functional medicine approach, you can start getting the comprehensive look that your health and health history deserves. By utilizing your lifestyle habits and incorporating your lifestyle history and medical history, functional medicine can provide more catered diagnoses (and solutions) to fit your needs. And with a selection of supplements that are produced with a function medicine approach in mind, Clinical Nutrition Centers is here to help you along. Start shopping at our online supplement store today, or contact us by phone or email and see what we can do to accurately and naturally improve your health.