Functional medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that enables patients and practitioners to reach the highest expression of well-being by working together to address the underlying causes of disease.
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However, how does functional medicine address underlying disease?
Functional medicine addresses these underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented strategy that engages both patient and practitioner in a healing partnership.
As a matter of fact, it is a development in the practice of medicine that addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated group of symptoms by shifting medical practice’s traditional focus to some more patient-centered approach.
Functional medicine practitioners spend time adhering to their histories and taking a look at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can affect chronic disease and well-being. Functional medicine supports health and vitality’s special expression for each person.
What is the Significance of Functional Medicine?
Our society is currently undergoing a sharp increase in the amount of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental disease, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The system of medicine practiced by the majority of doctors is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment for injury or illness that’s of short duration and needing urgent care, like a broken leg or a heart attack. Physicians apply specific remedies such as surgery or drugs that aim to treat the symptom or the problem. Unfortunately, the approach to medicine is ill equipped to deal with complex disease.
Typically, the model does not take into consideration the distinctive genetic makeup of every individual and doesn’t allow time for exploring the aspects of the lifestyle that have an immediate influence on the development in chronic illness in modern Western society; crucial environmental factors such as stress, diet, and exposure to toxins. Because of this, most doctors are not adequately trained to estimate the causes of complex, chronic illness, nor to employ strategies like nutrition, diet, and exercise to cure and prevent these disorders. The old addage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really sums up a much better approach.
Functional Medicine IS that distinct approach, with methodology and tools that are specifically designed to treat and prevent chronic ailments. It incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology, and understanding of lifestyle and environmental factors influence the emergence and development of disease. It empowers patients to take an active part in their health and enables doctors and other caregivers to practice proactive, predictive medication.
How Functional Medicine Can Treat Chronic Disease
Since the prevalence of chronic conditions continues to grow, the percentage of Americans with mental health conditions has now followed. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions often occur in tandem with physical ones. In fact, compared to patients with no mental health diagnosis, patients with mental illness may be more likely to visit the clinician’s office complaining about minor illnesses. Furthermore, patients with mental illness that visit the Emergency Room are not as likely to receive adequate screening or therapy for diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, and other conditions.
Nutritional and fitness changes associated with functional medicine treatment can simultaneously address both bodily concerns and psychological health difficulties. For instance, nourishment is known to affect melancholy; both its severity and duration can be modified by dietary influences. A connection between GI microbiota, that in turn are heavily influenced by diet, and mental health was demonstrated for stress, metabolic syndrome, and mood disorders, and stress management, amongst others.
Additionally, studies have linked poor nutrition to greater incidence of mental illness in adolescents and preschoolers, while a better diet was correlated with greater mental health in children and teens. In that vein, psychiatrists are also increasingly recognizing the primacy of nutrition, as well as fitness and sleep, in treating mental illness.
Giving patients effective tools to adopt new dietary habits and improve their nutrition, along with a well planned fitness program, can improve outcomes for both physical and mental disorders. Lifestyle changes can seem challenging to many patients, especially those with mental health difficulties, however functional medicine practitioners can help you implement strategies that are practical with these patients that will lead to results and compliance.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
The information herein on "The Significance of Functional Medicine for Well-Being | Functional Chiropractor" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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