What is Functional Medicine?

Heal your body from disease

 

Why do I feel unhealthy?

We live in a toxic world.  Over the past few decades, the level of heavy metals, pollution, genetically modified food, junk food, waste, and chemicals in our World has risen significantly.  It’s no wonder the number of health problems in the World are rising.  In 2012, over 117 million people in the United States were diagnosed with a chronic health condition.  Over half of the deaths in America are caused by chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  Sadly, almost all of them are preventable.  It seems strange that just a few hundred years ago, (almost) no one suffered from the modern diseases of today.  Back then the majority of human deaths and disease were caused by bacteria, viruses, malnutrition, or injury.  Now most of the health problems we suffer from are based on lifestyle choices that are, for the most part, preventable.

Western Medicine doesn’t have many answers for the chronic diseases of today.  To make up for some doctors’ incompetence, they prescribe prescription medications.  The problem with prescription medications is that they do not fix the problem that causes you to feel ill, they only mask symptoms.  Most physicians are encouraged by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe drugs to their patients. According to www.cdc.gov, over 75% of doctor visits will end with you walking out of their door with a prescription drug.

Not only do we live in a highly toxic world, but we have doctors, (with so much knowledge) who are not trained to treat the cause of modern diseases.  To make matters worse, most doctors do not have enough time to give patients a full evaluation and a correct diagnosis.  What happens when you mix the two together?  You get the biggest health epidemic in history.

This is where Functional Medicine comes in.  In the past few years some physicians are beginning to see health care in a whole new perspective.  They realize that the methods of Modern Medicine aren’t working, and there needs to be a change, so they created a new form of medicine called Functional Medicine. 

What is Functional Medicine?

According to Doctor Mark Hyman, “Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.”

What Doctor Mark Hyman is saying, is that in Functional Medicine, doctors spend extra time with their patients to solve the underlying cause of their illness.  Once the doctor has found the cause of the illness he will work with patients on making certain lifestyle changes to help them feel well again.

In Functional Medicine, doctors combine the best of Western Medicine and Alternative medicine.  It is similar to Alternative Medicine in the way it approaches a treatment. In Alternative Medicine, doctors try to treat the underlying cause of disease.  However, doctors that practice Alternative Medicine generally don’t have enough scientific evidence to prove that the treatment they are using is effective.  It is usually based upon theory and observation.  Functional Medicine is also similar to western medicine. In Western Medicine we rely upon technology such as an MRI, CAT scan, X-ray, EKG, or a Blood test to diagnose health problems.  Seeing is believing in Western Medicine, but even though doctors have all of this advanced technology at their fingertips, they still aren’t seeing the whole picture.  Western Medicine diagnoses people by symptoms rather than causes, and they look at the body as individual fragmented pieces that do not correlate with one other, instead of seeing the body as a connected organism.

Functional Medicine brings the two pieces of the puzzle together using technology and scientifically based evidence for a diagnosis, but instead of diagnosing you based solely upon your symptoms, you will also be diagnosed with the underlying cause and a way to treat it. This is why Functional Medicine is so effective. Doctors will finally get down to the root causes of illness to help you feel better and back to the “old you” again.

Now that you know what Functional Medicine is all about, I want you to check out the seven keys to health and vitality page. This page will show you steps you can take to living a healthier life.

Learn more about Functional Medicine.

If you want to learn more about Functional Medicine and locate physicians that practice this form of treatment, I would recommend visiting Doctor Hyman’s website:

www.ultrawellnesscenter.com

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