Functional medicine at its core is when health conditions are treated by finding the root cause, rather than diagnosing and treating symptoms. Functional medicine still incorporates conventional medicine when it’s needed, but the idea is to treat the underlying cause of health problems.
Often functional medicine is mistaken for natural or homeopathic treatment, but it’s in no way the same thing. For a simple quick reference guide to functional medicine, and how it can help you, carry on reading.
Integration of Multiple Medical Treatments
With conventional treatment, you have Western medicine that includes testing to diagnose a condition, and prescription drugs to treat it. In alternative medicine, the idea is that the body can heal itself given the right dose of natural compounds. Functional medicine is the integration of both of these medical specialties to treat a patient holistically. It provides a well-rounded and comprehensive treatment and diagnostic plan.
There is a science that agrees with alternative remedies that are effective for patients where conventional medicine doesn’t help. Some people have chronic conditions that are expensive to manage. Those same people have probably tried everything except alternative treatments. Functional medicine treats the whole patient from every angle.
It Changes Your Lifestyle
No doubt you have been told on more than one occasion to exercise and reduce stress. This is because stress causes inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of many ailments. Stress causes havoc to every part of your body, including your neurological dysfunction, weight gain, and sleep problems. A conventional doctor will just say you need exercise and prescribe you some pills. A functional practitioner will tell you to find ways to reduce your stress first. Whether this is with exercise or changing your diet, you can expect a lot to change. You may have to adjust your sleep schedule or stop bringing work home at night. The treatment may even ask you to use an air purifier in your home, quit drinking, or spend more time outside.
A functional medicine clinic will look at the best solution to your specific condition, based on your current lifestyle, and find a treatment plan that works for you. You can find out more about what a functional medicine clinic does at the Ruscio Institute. Dr. Ruscio’s clinic for functional medicine has a clinical team of experts ready to help any patient quickly and cost-effectively. They provide the comprehensive laboratory testing, and they specialize in gut health, thyroid conditions, and sleeping disorders. The Ruscio Institute also provides useful guides and resources, such as how supplements and probiotics can help heal your gut.
Comprehensive Testing and Diagnosis
Most patients of alternative physicians like naturopaths will tell you that they are excellent diagnosticians. The whole art is to look at the basic functions of the body to identify where the true problem is coming from. Then, using natural herbs and plants that you can find in the wild, a remedy is mixed for you. Conventional medicine will look at the problem, and if it’s a physical one, most of the time it can be treated.
When it comes to certain illnesses and diseases like diabetes and autoimmune conditions, conventional medicine can be costly and time-consuming to diagnose or treat. Functional medicine still uses laboratory testing to accurately detect a problem, but with the idea behind alternative medicine, doctors use multiple diagnostic tools. They look at your gut bacteria, test your DNA, identify toxins and hormone imbalances and even look to see if you have any food sensitivities. It’s this comprehensive picture of your whole system that can identify whether diabetes, for example, is linked to a hormone imbalance, or if those pesky headaches are due to a thyroid problem because of a nodule on your pituitary gland.
Better Collaboration with Practitioners
Functional medical doctors will work with you from the beginning and some cases can take weeks or months to correct. For those with chronic conditions that manage it with functional medicine, you will create a bond with a select few practitioners always working with you. You won’t have to see a different GP every six months when you need a new prescription. You will work with the same team that has intimate knowledge of your condition.
Doctor-patient relationships are vital because there needs to be an aspect of honesty and respect: honesty from both the patient and doctor to be open about the whole process, and respect for each other so that you can work in harmony.
Functional medicine looks at your health through every possible aspect there is. It’s a revolutionary approach to treating a patient from the inside out. Functional medicine is the ideal route to diagnosing complicated conditions that require lifelong treatment. They are also the best chance you will have to diagnose something that your GP may not be able to give enough time and effort to manage.