What is Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a model of healthcare with a more personal, holistic approach. It views a person’s symptoms from the perspective of their lifestyle, their unique stresses, and their diet.  Functional medicine focuses on the whole person and their lifestyle, to unpick what may be contributing to a disease or set of symptoms.

Research estimates that more than 70% of chronic disease risk is attributable to diet and lifestyle choices.

It is well recognised that there are ‘effectiveness gaps’ within mainstream medicine for conditions like IBS, metabolic syndrome, mental health, hormone imbalance, cardiovascular disease, eczema and autoimmunity.  This effectiveness gap is because a pharmaceutical drug approach is not so suitable for lifestyle-related disease.  Functional Medicine believes making dietary and lifestyle changes are more effective at resolving these types of health issues.

The health of the gut is a common, underlying factor in many of these conditions, even when no obvious intestinal symptoms are felt.  So a different approach is needed, because where the root cause is left unaddressed, simply prescribing more and more costly drugs that maintain the diseased state fails to restore health or achieve resolution.

Patient centred

By investigating upstream and addressing the cause of an individual’s symptoms, Functional Medicine looks to resolve and prevent disease, and promote wellness. It looks to address the multiple, underlying factors that may be influencing your health and physiology. Supporting dietary and lifestyle change can halt the progress of many chronic, age-related, lifestyle associated diseases.

Reference; The Institute for Functional Medicine (2009)

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