What Is Functional Medicine?
Nearly every day, people ask me, “What is functional medicine?” So I decided to put my thoughts into writing and explain why I value functional medicine, what it is, and what types of conditions it commonly treats.
Patients with chronic conditions often come to me after seeing multiple doctors who were unable to provide answers for them. Too often, standard medical care is satisfied with making diagnoses and treating symptoms without directly healing their underlying conditions.
Functional medicine is a dynamic systems-biology approach to assessing, preventing, and treating complex chronic disease. It utilizes a scientific methodology to rebalance the body’s underlying physiological systems and address life issues that contribute to illnesses, whether due either to the food we eat, our thoughts, our genetic makeup or past traumas. By examining each of these areas, we can discover what is causing a condition and find ways to heal it without the need for pharmaceutical intervention.
Rather than a disease-centered approach, functional medicine takes a patient-centered approach, allowing us to remove the labels of diseases and focus on the person. From autoimmune disorders and anxiety to hypertension, heart disease, skin disorders, and fatigue, there are multiple possible underlying causes that should be addressed first, such as nutrient and hormone levels, inflammatory foods, environmental toxicity, or stress.
Each person represents a unique, complex, and interwoven set of influences that have set the stage for the development of disease or the maintenance of health. In an initial functional medicine consultation, we listen to the story of the person, interlace the web of symptoms, and find the root cause of the dysfunction, whether it is inflammation, oxidative stress, or blood sugar abnormalities.
Health is viewed as positive vitality–not merely the absence of disease. We identify and ameliorate dysfunctions in the body as a way to restore health while promoting healthy dietary and lifestyle choices to achieve and maintain wellness.
As an Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)-certified physician at Vitality Medical Wellness Center in Nashville, I work with people for whom conventional eastern and western medicine has failed and who are looking for an integrative approach to natural healing.
Please feel free to contact me for more information. If you have tried just about everything else and haven’t found a solution, I can give you hope and guidance.