While conventional (allopathic) medicine diagnoses and treats what is above the surface, symptoms and disease, functional medicine also addresses what is below the surface, at the root of the disease, environmental and lifestyle factors, such as sleep and relaxation, physical activity ( exercise), nutrition, stress,. Conventional medicine merely examines individual symptoms and assumes that they are related to various parts of the body. Functional medicine allows you and your doctor to examine symptoms to establish the affected systems in your body. Integrative and functional medicine differs from conventional medicine in the philosophy that guides our approach to chronic symptoms.
When a patient has experienced recurrent or long-lasting symptoms, conventional medicine does not tend to address the underlying cause. Instead, the focus is on symptoms and often treatment is geared toward eliminating those symptoms. Conventional medicine often treats symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, lack of concentration, fatigue, rashes, and recurrent pain with anti-inflammatory drugs, acid blockers and antacids, stimulants, and steroids. The main differences between these styles of medicine are their perspectives on health and treatment.
Conventional medicine operates from a biophysical perspective, while integrative medicine takes a more holistic approach and functional medicine uses a systems biology approach. As evidence increases for the efficacy and safety of various medical approaches, there is increasing overlap of these methods to better serve each patient. As a physician with experience in biochemistry, I would force myself to reject tenants of functional medicine. When he wasn't receiving answers to his own health problems through a conventional medical model, he first took the path of functional medicine as a patient before becoming a practitioner.
Consequently, functional medicine has increasingly become a scientific and evidence-based substitute for the approach to disease and symptoms. Yes, there are people who do functional medicine in a dangerous way, just as conventional medicine is done in a dangerous way. These methods are thought to most effectively benefit your health when used in conjunction with conventional medicine treatments. In addition, you should spend some time in a real clinic working with a qualified doctor to see your approach to patients.
Through a partnership between the patient and the professional, integrative medicine seeks to treat the body, mind, spirit and environment of the whole person to promote health and well-being through the treatment and prevention of diseases. The functional medicine approach focuses on the idea that a condition can have many causes or, conversely, that one cause can have many conditions. Conventional medicine primarily recognizes the symptoms you experience and uses the same symptoms to identify a disease and develop a treatment plan. Integrative medicine also focuses on preventive practices, such as helping patients with their diets, lifestyles, stress management, and movement.
Functional medicine redefines the treatment of disease by focusing on the mechanism and cause and not simply on the label of the disease. The additional certification does not grant these doctors any additional legal status, but it shows that they have been trained and committed to working within this modality. Basically, I don't care what kind of medicine is practiced, but I care for the patient with care and diligence.