Functional medicine, also referred by some as alternative medicine, is quickly gaining momentum as patients are searching for more natural ways to overcome common ailments. But what is functional medicine? It is a modern, scientific approach to addressing chronic health concerns. Functional medicine, or as I like to call it functional health, can also be utilized to keep the body in a state of optimal well-being. Through evaluating your lifestyle in conjunction with biochemical and genetic testing, functional health practitioners address you as an individual. These comprehensive assessments are designed to find treatments that work with your own physiology. The goal is simple: to address the root cause of your issue, not just the symptom.
Conventional medicine typically addresses the illness based on a series of checklists. However, many chronic illness have multiple causes. Alternative medicine looks at your history, environment, genes, and other factors to address why you are suffering. For example, some individuals are plagued by constant migraines, which can be caused by allergies, food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, or even stress and your sleep cycles. Working with a functional health practitioner will determine the root cause of your migraines in order to produce long-lasting results.
Even traditional medical centers (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/functional-medicine) are employing the functional medicine model. In fact, one study performed at the renowned Cleveland Clinic compared two treatment paths. Some patients sought conventional patient care while other patients opted to address their diseases through functional medicine. The study found that patients who opted for functional medicine reduced overall healthcare costs and had improved outcomes as compared to the patients who opted for a more conventional treatment path. (https://p.widencdn.net/rtp7hp/IFM_PLMI_OneSheetl_v7)
If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the following questions, a functional health practitioner might be able to help.
Do you struggle with bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps, or constant digestive issues?
Do you have various skin issues that don’t seem to go away?
Are you always tired?
Do you suffer from depression?
Is weight gain a constant issue?
Are your menstrual cycles painful or irregular?
Do you have difficulty sleeping through the night?
Are you struggling with infertility?
Have more questions on functional medicine? Send an email to email@example.com to see how functional medicine can help.
In health and happiness,
Dr. Erin Stefanacci, DC