What is Functional Medicine?

What is Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine determines 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 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.

The Root Cause

By addressing the 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.

Functional Medicine in Practice

Clinicians choose to practice Functional Medicine for many reasons, including improved outcomes with chronic disease patients and an increased sense of professional satisfaction. There are also many ways to make a successful living practicing Functional Medicine. In fact, the practice of Functional Medicine is thriving in most current business and practice models.

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.

IFM’s Statement on COVID-19 Vaccines

With the FDA’s emergency use authorization of COVID-19 vaccines, IFM is closely monitoring the data regarding these vaccines and those still in development. IFM has released a statement regarding these vaccines and has developed an informational dashboard to track the latest research on their efficacy, effectiveness, and risk.

Our podcasts present the latest news and trends in medicine and keep practitioners up to date with how they can apply this information in their clinical practices. Our podcasts present the latest news and trends in medicine and keep practitioners up to date with how they can apply this information in their clinical practices.

Source: The Functional Medicine Institute

Picture of Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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