Functional Medicine

A fairly technical discussion of functional medicine can be found under “About IFM” at www.functionalmedicine.org. But for those who are not clinicians, here’s a slightly different slant on the subject:

Functional Medicine involves understanding the underlying causes, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological and structural balance.

There are seven basic principles underlying the functional medicine approach:

  1. Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.
  2. Biochemical individuality. Each person is genetically and environmentally unique, which affects how she or he expresses both health and disease.
  3. Patient-centered care (rather than disease-centered) means that the person is the focus of care, not the diagnosis.
  4. Dynamic balance describes the ever-changing relationship between internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
  5. Web-like interconnections among the body’s physiological processes also affect every aspect of your functionality. Diabetes, for example, affects the heart and hormone systems (and is affected by them).
  6. Health as a positive vitality. The functional medicine practitioner wants to know: Do you feel really well, full of vitality and zest for life?
  7. Promotion of organ reserve. Your heart, your lungs, your glands, and everything in your body can achieve greater stamina, better recovery from illness, and a longer β€œhealth span,” not just a longer “life span.”

Core clinical imbalances that Your functional medicine doctor will consider:

  • Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Redox imbalances, including oxidative stress and mitochondropathy
  • Detoxification, biotransformation and excretory imbalances
  • Immune imbalances
  • Inflammatory imbalances
  • Digestive, absorptive and microbiological imbalances
  • Cellular structure imbalances
  • Nutritional and dietary imbalances
  • Mind/body imbalances, including stress

Functional medicine practitioners represent all the major healthcare disciplines. You will find doctors such as MDs and DOs, NDs and DCs with functional medicine training; there are nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, acupuncturists and other disciplines represented in the functional medicine community. Within the scope of practice of their own particular disciplines, functional medicine practitioners may also prescribe drugs or botanical medicines or other nutraceuticals. They may suggest a special diet, a detoxification protocol, a physical medicine intervention, or a stress-management procedure.

The good news is: when you look at functionality, you uncover many different ways of attacking problems β€” you are not limited to the “drug of choice for condition X”.

At Lauderdale Wellness Center we blend a non-drug Functional Medicine approach, using lifestyle, diet and nutritional counseling and therapies. Frequently, this is coupled with chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture and or naturopathic medicine to best reach your individual goals.