It has been described as pseudoscience, quackery and, in essence, a rebranding of complementary and alternative medicine. In the United States, the American Academy of Family Physicians has ruled that functional medicine practices are not eligible for course credits because of concerns that they may be harmful. Is functional medicine a legitimate practice? Yes, when done correctly. The test is accurate, but it must be applied correctly.
This is part of the art of medicine. Some tests are very simple, while others require years of training to understand them correctly. Also, a test is the easy part, but the follow-up action, the treatment, is the difficult part. The legitimacy of functional medicine is determined primarily by the skill of the professional.
Functional medicine is recognized as a new field that is more holistic in nature. It unites areas such as nutrition, activity and lifestyle with more standard medical practice. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of the disease, using a systems-oriented approach and involving both the patient and the professional in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the health care needs of the 21st century.
By shifting from the traditional disease-centered approach of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine professionals spend time with their patients, listen to their stories, and observe the interactions between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic diseases. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. Functional medicine professionals disagree with each other.
Nowhere do they really explain how they could apply all these lofty principles to a real patient. But, fortunately, they have published case reports that give us an idea of the process and that also give us an idea of their concept of what constitutes evidence. A published case is crazy. The patient was an 80-year-old woman who received conventional treatment for breast cancer.
Her prognosis was excellent, but she was offered additional insurance in the form of postoperative radiation, which she refused. Two years after surgery I had no signs of recurrence, which is exactly what we would expect. With functional medicine, the care provided is based on the affected system, not the diagnosed condition. As someone suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome), I can tell you firsthand that seeing a functional medicine doctor has been the best thing I have done so far.
He is also the founder of the Cleveland Clinical Center for Functional Medicine, which, unfortunately, has been very successful (financially, that is) so far, complete with sneaky advertising disguised as news reports in Ohio. A physician in functional medicine works holistically, taking into account the full picture of your physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual health. Functional medicine is actually the same as naturopathic medicine, and functional medicine testing is known to be extremely useful in giving the provider data rather than guesswork. It is quite close to functional medicine as it is to homeopathy if some changes are made.
The functional medicine approach is different for each person, as each treatment is tailored to that person's specific disease. functional medicine physicians decide to specialize in functional medicine after completing conventional medical training. Common diagnoses through functional medicine are nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or an intestinal parasite, to name a few. Functional medicine fetishizes “individuality” because it distinguishes functional medicine as a distinct brand from science-based medicine and, I suspect, because it makes functional medicine professionals feel good, like “total doctors” who are never lost because of an explanation for a patient's symptoms or clinic.
and it makes patients feel like special snowflakes that are cared for every bit of “individuality”. Apparently, Cole agrees with me that functional medicine is pursuing elusive “perfect laboratory values.”. Just look at the way functional medicine guru Mark Hyman has shattered autism science and systems biology, and you'll soon realize this is true. .