What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is an evidence-based, systems biology approach that focuses on identifying the root cause of disease.
Functional medicine recognizes that disease is a continuum, not a single point in time in a person's history of health. It also recognizes an individual's biological uniqueness and takes into account their personal health history, disease progression, and treatment preferences. Conventional medicine tends to group together a set of symptoms and calls that a disease. A medication or therapy is then developed that treats or reduces those symptoms, usually never addressing what caused the symptoms to develop in the first place. Functional medicine searches for the root issue that caused the symptoms then works to correct that underlying issue. The symptoms will then typically reduce or resolve as a result. This is the only way to have a lasting benefit beyond just suppressing symptoms.
An illustration comparing the 2 approaches would be to consider a patient suffering from an eczema rash. Conventional medicine would prescribe a steroid cream to reduce the itching and discoloration of the rash. Functional medicine would identify the food or environmental allergy that is causing the body to develop the rash and remove it from the diet or environment.