The world of medicine has become increasingly specialized, which is great if you have a very clear problem. If, like many, you have a range of unexplained symptoms and you’re just not feeling “right,” functional medicine allows us to take a broader look at your health to identify problems that may play a role.
In the following, we explore the goals of functional medicine so you can decide whether this approach is right for you.
Differentiating functional medicine
Modern medicine has certainly made some incredible advances in controlling and managing a wide range of diseases, but this approach doesn’t necessarily emphasize figuring out the underlying cause.
With functional medicine, we believe that health problems are rarely isolated, but rather part of a larger biological, environmental, and nutritional picture. Your symptom or health issue is merely an endpoint from which we work backward to figure out the different functions and processes that may be contributing to the dysfunction. And your participation in this process is paramount, as functional medicine is, above all else, patient-centric care.
To better explain this process, let’s take some common health problems like fatigue, anxiety and weight gain, which affect millions of people in the United States. If you go to your primary care doctor, she may recommend diet modification and increased exercise to boost energy and spark weight loss. If you head to an endocrinologist, he may run limited blood work and provide a prescription. If you talk to your Ob/Gyn, she may suggest a hormone replacement. None of these, ultimately, resolve the underlying reason why these symptoms plague you and none of these may even begin to resolve the symptoms.
With functional medicine, we review anything and everything that may contribute to the fatigue, anxiety and weight gain, including your environment, lifestyle, genetics, and nutrition. Our goal is to figure out the many components that may be contributing to your symptom set, and we work to remedy the problem holistically.
Ultimately, this multi-pronged approach not only addresses your symptoms, but also tackles the reasons behind your body’s response, which can improve your function system-wide.
This is not to say that diet modification, exercise or medications don’t play a role, but these treatments are limited, as they’re only addressing your symptoms.
With functional medicine, we’re aiming for more sustainable results that will serve you well long into the future.
Who’s a candidate for functional medicine
In our view, we feel that most everyone can benefit from functional medicine. Here at our practice, we routinely turn to a functional medicine approach to figure out tough health issues, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Thyroid conditions
- Food sensitivities
- Hormone imbalances
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues
When you first come in, we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing every aspect of your life for potential clues. We also perform an extensive evaluation of your health, which may include testing and analysis of your:
- Thyroid and adrenal glands
- Liver function
- Glucose level
- Hormone levels
- Gut and food sensitivities
Once we have a better idea of what may be contributing to your health issue, we put together a plan to restore function. By working methodically and peeling back the layers of your health problem, our goal is to zero in on and correct the factors that are causing the dysfunction.
If you’d like to explore how functional medicine can help with your health and wellness, contact our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to set up a consultation.