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Functional Medicine Explained

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Functional Medicine Explained

Have you ever wondered why you are depressed and lacking in energy?  Why is it that so often the symptoms of disease are treated with medication?  Why did you actually develop that disease in the first place?

When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the age of 22, the only thing that conventional medicine could offer me was steroids, resulting in bloating and difficulty sleeping.  They also carry an increased risk of osteoporosis and were not a cure, just a bandage.  I knew that my disease was a direct result of my stress over my mother’s terminal illness but not once did a doctor ask me what was going on in my life.  Fortunately for me, I discovered Functional Medicine quite quickly.

In the words of the Institute for Functional Medicine:

“Functional Medicine asks how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.

The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, 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 relies on a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data todirect 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.”

Many mainstream medical practitioners, who want to improve the current state of healthcare, have adopted the Functional Medicine model.  Mark Hyman in the US and Rangan Chatterjee in the UK are amongst the best known.

Nutrition is key to the Functional Medical model as assessing and improving nutrition status addresses the underlying cause of disease.  Nutritional Therapists also take into consideration lifestyle aspects of health such as stress reduction, exercise, sleep and community.

The Functional Medicine approach worked for me and I no longer have any symptoms of the autoimmune disease that I once suffered from.

Reference List

The Institute for Functional Medicine (2017) Functional Medicine.  Accessed:  https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/, 6 October 2017.

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