doctor with patient

Functional Medicine: What is It?

June 18, 2020

Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol problems, and the “pill for the ill” approach of traditional treatment has resulted in skyrocketing healthcare costs with no relief in sight. While diet and exercise prescribed by local medical centers can change the course of chronic disease, finding and addressing the actual cause of an illness or disease, and practicing the “think and link” model of Functional Medicine, promises to improve the overall quality of life for those suffering.

Functional Medicine treats each person as unique in his or her own way, taking into account every part of a patient’s family, personal, and medical history, resulting in a deeper understanding of one’s lifestyle habits and health status. After reviewing someone’s complex medical history, practitioners can target the different ways that illness and disease demonstrate themselves in each patient at a foundational level. Rather than covering up or managing the symptoms with prescribed drugs, Functional Medicine then includes the patient in the best plan of action to reduce or eliminate the condition itself. Education and prevention through lifestyle changes will hopefully help to reduce the incidence of further health complications going into the future. 1,2

Studies continue to show that the Functional Medicine approach to care for a patient does improve health and overall quality of life. In particular, one study of over 7,200 patients compared the results of patients in b centers versus those patients utilizing primary care centers. Variables studied included a patient’s assessment of his/her overall physical and mental health, how s/he deals with emotional issues, pain levels, functional mobility and ability, and more. Over the nearly two-year span of the study, reports demonstrated that the patients following the Functional Medicine course of treatment had a higher quality of life based on their health and corresponding factors than those that used the primary care centers for treatment.3

Indeed, the future looks promising for those looking for the more well-rounded approach to healthcare that Functional Medicine promises. The model helps us understand ourselves at a deeper level, empowering us to make better decisions about our health on a daily basis. If you suffer from fatigue, anxiety and/or depression, auto-immune diseases like Hashimotos, Celiac, Rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroid or inability to lose weight, or another chronic ailment not alleviated by a traditional approach, then we invite you to consider the Functional Medicine model. Together, we can partner to improve your health and overall quality of life.

Yours truly in health, complexity and determining the root cause,
– The Dr. Autoimmune Team


1The Institute for Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual
2 Patronus Medical Blog: The Difference Between Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine
3Beidelschies, M., Alejandro-Rodriquez, M., and Ji, X. (2019). Association of the Functional Medicine Model of Care with Patient-Reported Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2(10). doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.14017

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