The field of Functional Medicine refers to a medical approach that is completely different than traditional medicine. To fully understand what functional medicine is, it is important to contrast it with traditional medicine.
Usually, a medical doctor uses drugs as tools to deal with dysfunction or disease. For various conditions like low thyroid, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and such, the standard model of care is generally the same. Your general practitioner may decide to treat you, or may refer you to a specialist. A general practitioner and specialist have access to the same basic tool: medication.
Training in the standard model of care is to diagnose a disease and match that disease to a corresponding drug. That standard model of care works well for acute issues, trauma, infection, and emergencies. However, it fails in the care of chronic diseases that affect over 120 million Americans.
Chronic conditions defined as allergic, digestive, hormonal, metabolic and neurological problems are finding solutions in Functional Medicine.
So what exactly is Functional Medicine and how does it work?
There are 5 basic principles that define Functional Medicine:
1) Functional Medicine views each of us as unique; genetically and biochemically different, offering personalized health care that treats the individual, not the disease. Functional Medicine supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body, naturally.
2) Functional Medicine is science based. The latest research shows that what happens within our bodies is all connected in a complicated network. Understanding the relationships within than network allows Functional Medicine doctors to delve deep into the functioning of the body.
3) Each person's body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which identifies itself through a complex balance of all body systems.
4) Each person's body has the ability to heal and prevent diseases of aging.
5) Health is not just the absence of disease, but a living state of vitality.
Therein lies the distinction and definition of Functional Medicine. Instead of asking, "What drug matches up with this disease?” Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?” and “Why has function been lost?” and “What can we do to restore function?”. And with that approach, a customized solution in partnership with the patient can be developed and vitality realized.
Foothills Integrated Health would be proud to be your Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner in Littleton.
We are in network with most major health insurance companies.