An Inside Perspective on Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine

Here is a common situation. One visits a doctor, is examined and recommended to undergo a couple of medical tests only to find out that everything is normal. It is here where functional medicine can help. It is a comparatively new concept to look at health that uses an altogether different method and approach to stop and manage chronic, complex illness. It emphasizes to treat the individual in its entirety instead of the various symptoms. It is not medicine by symptom but by cause, not via organ but by the organism.

When one has a stomach ache one says it is reflux and in case of a headache it is a migraine. But these are merely names given to conditions shared by people. The fact is the causes may be myriad and varied, and hence the treatments must be personalized and different depending on the reasons.

The Way it Works

A functional medicine practitioner will spend good time with every patient. They will discuss together the medical symptoms as well as the lifestyle, trauma, exercise patterns, diet and exposure to any form of toxins. Not only this, but they will also collaborate to address the root cause of the disease which includes looking for factors which may have an effect on how the body of the patient functions including environmental influences like toxins exposure, lifestyle choices like stress, activity and diet and also genetic makeup. Here the key is to find out the cause that is underlying.

Functional medicine can be called the GPS or the map which a doctor uses for navigating the chronic disease’s landscape. Any disease for that matter can have imbalances more than one which requires getting treated. Obesity, for instance, can happen due to an imbalance in environmental pollutant exposure, or irregularity in exercise, gut flora, genetics, diet, hormones or inflammation. Similarly, inflammation can result in many conditions. The functional medicine will study such complexities as it follows the principle that restoring balance will help to restore health.

The Ideal Candidate

Now the question is who is ideal to take functional medicine? It may so happen that one may consult a doctor; get treated yet fall sick again. Or they may be on medication that has some side effects or helping partially. So it is best to try functional medicine. Patients with different conditions can reap the utmost benefits from this approach namely,

  • Hormonal Problems- thyroid conditions, chronic fatigue, and menopause
  • Skin Disorders- acne, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Autoimmune Diseases- rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac disease and lupus
  • Digestive Disorders- chronic pancreatitis, ulcers, diverticulosis, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Psychiatric and Neurological Condition- attention deficit disorder, migraine headaches, and depression
  • Cardiometabolic Conditions- high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes

The ultimate goal of functional medicine is in restoring balance as well as normal function. The personalized care plan in case of every patient can include detoxification programs, stress management, lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, nutritional supplements, botanical medicines or prescription drugs. Functional medicine practitioners are allies to help one optimize their health.

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Rudy Mawer is a certified sports nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). He has a first class bachelor's degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Health and a Master's degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. Rudy has worked as a sports nutritionist and trainer for 7 years and has helped hundreds of people transform their physiques. He has worked with many professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, professional bodybuilders, world triathlon gold medalists, and Hollywood celebrities. Rudy bridges the gap between science and real-world application. He applies the latest research into his writing and consulting practices.


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