Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine                                    

The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, client/patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.

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The Functional Medicine Approach

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.

As the graphic illustrates, a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

The Functional Medicine Process

The Functional Medicine Matrix assist in organizing and prioritizing each client/patient health issues as elicited by a thorough personal, family, social, and medical history. The Matrix organizes disparate issues into a complete story to gain a comprehensive perspective of health issues.

The Functional Medicine Timeline As an intake tool for organizing the patient’s history chronologically, the Functional Medicine Timeline is a graphical representation that quickly identifies factors that predispose, provoke, and contribute to pathological changes and dysfunctional responses in the patient/client.

“GOTOIT” framework practitioners use to discover the root of each patient/client’s dysfunction and subsequently apply individualized treatments that address specific causes. Using the GOTOIT framework helps establish rapport with patients/clients, identify unhealthy patterns, get to the root cause of their problem, and propose personalized treatments and lifestyle modifications.