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What is Functional Medicine?

Before we may jump into the real concept here, what comes to your mind when you hear about Functional medicine? Does the term make you feel as if it is the only working kind of medical practice or how exactly do you understand it? Well, what we know is that you must be having lots of questions which is why we’ve come up with this kind of analysis. First of all, we’re going to answer the main question which is, “what is functional medicine?” Thereafter, we shall give you an in-depth explanation of the main difference between functional and conventional medicine.

So, What Really Does Functional Medicine Entail?

Functional medicine is the type of treatment which focuses mainly on the fundamental causes of a particular disease rather than its symptoms. In this case, the medical practitioner works in close association with the patient so that he or she may single out the root causes of the infection and then design a specific treatment plan for the individual. Some of the key factors that are considered in functional medicine include the environmental interactions, genetic makeup, endocrine, lifestyle and one’s immune system among others.

Simple Understanding Functional Medicine

The best example we have always used in explaining the meaning of functional medicine is by using plants. Most fruits, for example, suffer from a disease known as Blossom end rot – which usually results in the premature falling of the fruits. Blossom-end-rot results from insufficient amounts of calcium in the soil.

Therefore, if functional medicine were to be applied in this case, then it would have considered examining the soil and never the actual fruits nor even the blossoms. Yes, there could be a remedy to strengthen the blossoms so that the fruits don’t fall, but unfortunately – this kind of treatment would just be a temporary one.

Another very simple example would be spraying insect-infested farmland with pesticides without finding out where the pests had come from. Functional medicine would look into the matter really so differently – perhaps, by starting to clear the bushes adjacent to the garden plus considering some other relevant factors. We hope these two examples make it a bit straightforward to understand.

Functional Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine

• The first main difference between the two is that conventional medicine uses symptoms to diagnose a disease after which the relevant treatment is recommended. On the other hand, functional medicine gets down to the root cause of given diseases and launches a more comprehensive approach towards designing a treatment plan.

• In conventional medicine, the treatment for a particular infection is the same for all individuals while for conventional, each treatment plan is individual specific even for the same diseases.

• In conventional medicine, the entire treatment process is fully controlled by the practitioner while for functional medicine – the practitioner in charge works in association with the patient in determining the causes and, thereafter, suggesting the best treatment plan.

What Kind of Patients should go for Functional Medicine?

i. Those with skin diseases

ii. People who are suffering from hormonal imbalances

iii. People with digestion related problems

iv. Individuals suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and heart-related complications.

You can find a more in-depth comparison in our article functional medicine vs traditional medicine

Are there Any Advantages of Functional Medicine?

Yes, there are! For instance, because it predicts a treatment plan based on the root causes of a given disease, functional medicine produces long term remedies for various health problems. Another notable benefit of this kind of medicine is the fact that it encourages the patients to work even much harder in ensuring that their wellbeing is achieved. This is always possible since the patients work together with medical practitioners.

Are there any drawbacks.

Well, despite having named some of the good things about functional medicine, we would also like to take you through a few of its disadvantages. Let’s have a quick look!

• It may not work so well in some cases as it involves a change in some behavioral activities. For example, most people would prefer taking a pill instead of having to let go of their daily diet – and this could easily result in laziness to follow their treatment plans.

• Its high level of complexity and the fact that the treatment takes a little longer period just turns off most patients.

However, no matter how great the benefits could seem, you need to note that what works well for your friend must not necessarily do wonders for you. Always take time to understand your body and yourself as a whole and you’ll never regret any move.