What is Functional Medicine?

Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) Certified Practitioners explain how Functional Medicine treats the whole person by addressing the underlying causes of disease.

Functional Medicine is an evidence-based, systems-based approach to patient care. By focusing on the root causes of chronic illness and sustainable lifestyle change, Functional Medicine expands the diagnostic and treatment options of providers. Visit IFM.org to learn more.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a science-based whole systems approach looking at the fundamental underlying causes of clinical symptoms.

We’re looking for not what is wrong with this person but why this person has an issue.

It’s not alternative medicine it’s not an either/or, it’s simply taking some of the new findings from systems biology and how all kinds of different influences can impact a person’s health.

When you can understand the underlying causes of the disease versus just diagnosing the disease itself, you can have expanded options on how to treat that disease.

functional-medicineSo many other practitioners are looking at what are the symptoms and what I quickly do to treat those symptoms.

I’m much more interested in what happened, what created that problem to begin with, and that’s really what functional medicine is all about.

When it comes to the patient outcomes and what I’ve seen for them, is that they can appreciate the the idea that I’m looking at them as an individual.

Getting from the patient, through their own words, their experience, we now know that genes plus experience creates the phenotypes that we live in the world. So we have to understand where the person is coming from.

We are looking at the way the body works in systems versus focusing on just a disease.

We are looking at genetics, toxicology, nutrition, psycho-spiritual issues, trauma, the whole big picture.

This gives us a set of tools that we can use to work with patients in a very systematic way, when they’ve got a chronic problem, they’ll unravel the cause of that problem and then address those underlying causes.

And, you’re giving them the roadmap, giving them instruction, giving them the algorithm that how they can help themselves. You are engaging them as an active participant in their care.

So the way that it’s organized, the way that it’s put together, could give everyone that ability to change that patient’s life for good.


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