You may have heard about functional medicine if you’re looking for a new kind of health care. This alternative approach to treatment focuses on treating the root causes of disease instead of just the symptoms.
This strategy is founded on the scientific idea that each person is distinct and has various demands. Therefore, your treatment plan should be tailored to your specific needs and goals.
The typical medical paradigm is well known to most people: when you see the doctor, they inquire about your symptoms and establish a diagnosis. They then prescribe a medication that may or may not work to help you feel better.
Functional medicine goes beyond symptom management and focuses on identifying and addressing the condition’s root cause to restore health.
Unlike conventional medicine, functional medicine providers understand that every person is unique and that no two people suffer from the same condition.
So when a functional medicine doctor from Dr. Harrison’s Center of Functional Medicine treats you, they design a plan that reflects your history and life circumstances. It can be a significant differentiator over more traditional Western medicine.
Functional medicine effectively deals with various chronic health conditions, including digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, pain, heart disease, cancer and more. It takes a systems-based approach to health care that considers every aspect of your health.
Doctors who practice conventional medicine may be experts in areas like orthopedics, cardiology, neurology or gastroenterology. Still, they often need help assessing how all these areas interact with your overall health.
Functional medicine uses evidence-based scientific research to make sense of the complicated network of relationships between your systems. It allows them to assess the underlying causes of your health problems and provide a more effective treatment plan.
A functional medicine doctor will consider your health history, including your family history of illness. This complete picture allows them to order the proper lab tests to uncover your hidden problems, often five to ten years before conventional medicine discovers an issue.
They may also ask about your habits and lifestyle, which can help them understand your health and how to address any imbalances that they’ve identified. They may recommend various treatments to promote overall health, such as supplements, herbs, and dietary changes. These lifestyle changes can help with everything from anxiety to depression, heart disease, and even autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia. They suggest acupuncture to improve your musculoskeletal health and ease your pain. Alternatively, they prescribe exercise to help you feel better.
The functional medicine approach to addressing chronic disease is often more affordable than traditional treatments. It is because it often addresses the underlying cause of illnesses rather than just the symptoms or organs involved in the condition.
It may lessen the need for patients to take prescription drugs, which are frequently used to manage chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Some practitioners even specialize in reducing or eliminating the use of prescription medications while also helping their patients avoid adverse side effects from those same drugs.
It is why many functional medicine doctors choose to break their ties with insurance companies and charge their fees directly to their patients. It allows them to spend more time with their patients and still provide affordable, effective, personalized treatment for each patient.
It’s Effective for the Future
A functional medicine practitioner considers your entire health picture. That includes your genetic makeup, environment and lifestyle factors.
Doctors also consider your nutrition and stress level, among other things.
This information can help you address underlying dysfunctions and prevent disease instead of masking symptoms with medications.
This approach is much more effective for long-term health goals than standard American medical care.
A functional medicine doctor will ask you why you are sick and then explore if there are underlying dysfunctions to cure instead of simply managing your symptoms with medication. They’ll also focus on addressing the root causes of your disease to get you back to optimal health faster.