What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine works to identify and address the underlying causes of disease.

Out of sheer need, healthcare is evolving from a traditional disease-centered, symptom based focus to a more patient-centered, systems-oriented, functional approach.

This is 21st century healthcare. Functional medicine practitioners work together with their patients, listening to their personal health histories, looking at a variety of factors including diet, lifestyle and environmental elements that adversely affect long-term health and lead to the onset and advancement of chronic disease. Only by addressing an individual patient and his or her personal health can real inroads be made and true health and wellness be achieved.

Client Success

Marlena searched for years to find answers to her health problems. Plagued with fatigue and a host of unexplained symptoms, doctors provided several diagnoses and a host of pharmaceutical band-aids, but none could provide answers or real solutions. Listen to Marlena’s story and the results she obtained with the thorough practice of Functional Medicine.

Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Although we are seeing an increase in the number of patients suffering from these illnesses, we are not seeing a commensurate rise in the number of primary care doctors who are comfortable treating these illnesses. A 2013 survey conducted by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) revealed the following:

64% of family physicians stated they are “uncomfortable” or “stressed” when diagnosing autoimmune disease in patients.

73% do not believe they received adequate training in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases.

57% reported they had only one or two lectures on autoimmune disease in medical school.

Why do we need Functional Medicine?

The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.

Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in modern Western society.

There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years—particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness.
Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.

How is Functional Medicine different?

Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of chronic disease


Patient-centered care

The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.

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An integrative, science-based healthcare approach

Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.

Integrating best medical practices

Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or nutraceuticals, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

What's Next?

Don't settle for less than you deserve when it comes to your health.

If you suffer from a complex, chronic illness, Functional Medicine may be the right choice for you.  Whether you have one or several autoimmune disorders, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal fatigue or some other condition that is not being effectively handled by traditional medicine, Magnolia Medical Center can help you regain your life through the practice of 21st Century Medicine.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.