What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine focuses on improving physiological function as a primary means of improving health. The Institute for Functional Medicine defines this approach as personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes, instead of symptoms.
Functional medicine provides health care management within the following framework:
“Diet, nutrition, and exposure to environmental toxins play central roles in functional medicine because they may predispose to illness, provoke symptoms, and modulate the activity of biochemical mediators through a complex and diverse set of mechanisms.”
Functional medicine is an integrative approach to medicine because it incorporates an analysis of how all components of the human body interact functionally with each other and the environment.
Functional medicine includes that the entire “patient story” needs to be heard and understood in context in order to truly help the patient.
Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:
Bio-individuality meaning there is no one perfect way of approaching health that works for everybody. Each person has very specific needs for his or her own health according to age, constitution, gender, size, lifestyle and ancestry
Patient-centered medicine emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care”.
Like an orchestrated network the human body functions as interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other.
Health is optimal vitality – not merely the absence of disease.