What Is Functional Medicine, And Why Is It Important

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The Institute for Functional Medicine states that functional medicine "determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual." This sounds like a good idea in theory, but how does it work in practice?

Chronic Disease 

Chronic disease is one that lasts for more than three months and cannot be cured. However, it can be managed through lifestyle changes, diet, and medication. Common chronic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and asthma.

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to health that looks at the entire person, not just their symptoms. It aims to find the root cause of illness and treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. In terms of chronic disease, functional medicine looks at the underlying causes of the disease and works to address them.

A growing body of evidence suggests that functional medicine can effectively manage chronic diseases and offer better health outcomes for patients than those treated with conventional medicine alone. In fact, the National Institutes of Health posit that "up to 75% of all US health costs can be saved" with the addition of functional medicine to a treatment plan.

Mental Health

Greater emphasis has been placed on mental health and the rise in cases of anxiety and depression since the pandemic. Thankfully, functional medicine can also be used to address mental health conditions. This approach looks at the whole person and tries to find the root cause of the mental health issues. It also looks at the person's family history, health history, lifestyle, and any environmental factors contributing to the condition.

Type-1 Diabetes  

Patients who pair functional medicine with traditional approaches to managing Type-1 diabetes receive nutritional counseling and education on making lifestyle changes. This can help them to manage their diabetes better and improve their overall health.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain and functional health also pair well together. Functional medicine practitioners often recommend lifestyle changes and pain-relieving therapies to help chronic pain sufferers find relief. If you're struggling with chronic pain, you don't have to suffer any longer. Talk to a functional medicine practitioner today to see what options are available to you. You deserve to live a pain-free life.

Functional medicine is an emerging field of medicine that is still changing and evolving. However, the principles of functional medicine can be applied to any disease. So whether you are battling a chronic issue or have a new T1 diabetes diagnosis, functional medicine can help you take control and manage your symptoms. 

For more information about functional medicine, contact a local clinic.