What Is Functional Medicine?
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What is “Functional Medicine?” According to the dictionary, Functional Medicine is a medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine. Instead of treating individual diseases, functional medicine looks to heal the underlying dysfunctions present in the body that contribute to each condition.
Three keys to Functional Medicine:
1. Functional medicine focuses on the root cause of a condition or symptom. For example, you don’t have high blood pressure because you are deficient in a medication to lower blood pressure. Rather, you have reasons for high blood pressure – likely diet, inactivity, inflammation, stress, hormone imbalances, genetics and more. Functional medicine asks: Why do you have high blood pressure? Then prescribes a personalized plan to address the root cause so you can reverse or improve that blood pressure.
2. Functional medicine uses advanced diagnostic testing. This is because the functional approach seeks to understand how your body is functioning as a system. To use the example above, a functional doctor would test everything from genetics to hormones to nutrients to inflammation and more as part of a workup for high blood pressure.
3. Functional medicine prescribes a holistic, personalized plan. This plan will include specific nutrition protocols, lifestyle changes, positive stress reduction practices (like meditation), exercise recommendations, professional-grade supplements, prescription medications where necessary and referrals to specialists where indicated.
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