What is Functional Medicine?

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that looks beyond the symptoms of disease and addresses the underlying causes. It’s a holistic, systems-oriented model that focuses on identifying and addressing health at all levels of human function—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It is a branch of medicine that focuses on preventing and treating chronic diseases by addressing the root causes of those diseases.

Unlike traditional medicine, which tends to treat diseases as isolated conditions, functional medicine looks at the body as a whole system and strives to find the underlying causes of disease.

This approach often involves working with patients to identify lifestyle factors that may be contributing to their health problems and then developing individualized treatment plans to address those factors. While functional medicine is still relatively new, it is gaining popularity as an effective way to prevent and treat chronic diseases.

Functional medicine practitioners have trained in both conventional medical diagnosis techniques as well as their underlying causes. They provide patients with treatment plans that address root-cause imbalances rather than just treating symptoms.

Functional medicine is patient-centered in that it focuses on helping people achieve optimal health by assessing lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, sleep habits, and stress levels.

What is an example of functional medicine?

Some functional medicine examples  are :

-Using nutrition to address a chronic disease such as diabetes or cancer

-Treating the root causes of chronic pain instead of just the symptoms (for example, using acupuncture for back pain) the use of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and herbs to treat chronic conditions, and dietary changes to address food sensitivities. As functional medicine practitioners are trained in alternative approaches such as herbal medicine and acupuncture, they may also recommend these therapies.

-The use of nutritional supplements to treat chronic health conditions.

-Applying the principles of nutrition to help with obesity or diabetes.

-Using biofeedback and neurofeedback to treat chronic pain.

-Treat allergies by identifying food sensitivities and implementing an elimination diet.

-Using mind-body therapies such as meditation, guided imagery, and hypnosis to treat chronic pain.

-Holistic approaches such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care to treat chronic conditions.

-Using diet to treat chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

-Using acupuncture, massage, and other alternative therapies to help with pain management.

-Treat digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis by addressing food sensitivities.

-Using herbs and other natural substances to treat chronic conditions.

-Using acupuncture and other Eastern medicine techniques to treat pain or other symptoms.

 What is a Functional Medicine Doctor?

A functional medicine doctor is a doctor who practices a form of medicine that focuses on the body as a whole system. They don’t just treat your symptoms or focus on one organ, but instead look at all of your symptoms together and try to find the underlying cause of your problem.

Functional medicine doctors are experts in the root causes of disease. They use methods that focus on treating the whole person, rather than just one specific ailment or symptom. Functional medicine doctors also look at your genetics, lifestyle factors, and environment to determine what’s causing your health issues—and then help you create personalized treatments to address them.

These doctors don’t just prescribe medications or perform surgery; they consider all aspects of your life when trying to find solutions for your health problems. This often involves changing your diet, exercise habits, stress levels, and sleep schedule as well as taking supplements that may help boost your immune system.

Such doctors are a newer subset of the medical community. They focus on the underlying causes of disease, rather than just treating symptoms.

Because they don’t just treat symptoms, functional medicine doctors can help patients who have been told by other doctors that there’s nothing more to be done for them.

Functional medicine doctors believe that every person is unique and that their health is determined by their genes, environment, lifestyle, and diet—not just by genetics.

They are different from conventional doctors in that they focus on the root cause of a medical problem and not just the symptoms. This means that functional medicine doctors don’t just treat the symptoms you have now, but also treat the underlying cause of those symptoms, which means they can help you to prevent future illnesses and issues.

What Does a Functional Medicine Doctor Do?

A functional medicine doctor is a medical professional who evaluates your entire health history and lifestyle, rather than just your symptoms. They look at the relationship between your diet, sleep habits, and physical activity to determine the cause of your ailments. They collect a detailed report about your lifestyle and the nature of your illness.

The doctor will ask questions such as:

-When did your symptoms begin?

-What patterns of sleep do you have (for example, do they change when traveling)?

-How much exercise are you getting and how often?

-What and how are eating habits (including food intolerance if any)

-Do stressors in your life trigger flare-ups (emotional issues?)

Once they have diagnosed a patient, doctors devise a treatment plan to address the multiple factors that may be contributing to chronic conditions.

They track the progress of treatment and make changes as needed. The functional medicine approach differs from person to person because their treatments are tailored to each individual’s unique illness.

A relationship with a functional medicine doctor is quite different from the one you have with your primary care physician.

According to the Institute For Functional Medicine, in a functional medicine partnership, doctors consider your input while still keeping you responsible for making certain choices related to your condition and treatment.

What Conditions Can Functional Medicine Treat?

A functional medicine doctor specializes in treating the underlying causes of the disease. The goal is to restore the body’s ability to heal itself rather than merely treat symptoms.

A functional medicine doctor can treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

-Aging and chronic illness

-Autoimmune conditions

-Digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and celiac disease

-Fatigue and chronic pain

-Gut problems like leaky gut syndrome and food sensitivities

-Metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance)

-Thyroid conditions


Who should see a Functional Medicine Doctor?

Functional medicine is a great option for anyone who is looking to get a holistic approach to their health. A functional Medicine Doctor is a good choice for you :

-If you’re interested in alternative medicine and want to learn more about how it works, functional medicine may be right for you. A functional medicine doctor can help you understand what’s going on with your body and help guide you through the therapy process.

-if you are struggling with a chronic condition

-you are interested in a personalized plan that addresses the root cause of your symptoms and helps you achieve long-term health.

-if you are interested in addressing the root of your health issues so that they can be treated and healed, instead of just masking symptoms with prescriptions and expensive procedures.

What is the difference between a functional doctor and a regular doctor?

A functional doctor is a doctor who is qualified to treat all kinds of conditions, but they also know how to use alternative treatments and therapies. They may also have a specific focus, like helping people with diabetes or managing pain.

A regular doctor is someone who has been through medical school and has a license. They can prescribe medication, but they may not be as well-versed in alternative treatments and therapies.

Why is functional medicine controversial?

Functional medicine is a controversial topic because it does not follow the traditional model of medicine. In functional medicine, the focus is on treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. This means that practitioners look at the underlying causes of disease, rather than just masking the symptoms with drugs. This holistic approach is not always popular with traditional medical practitioners, who may see it as ineffective and even dangerous.

However, many people believe that functional medicine is a more effective and sustainable way to treat disease. By addressing the underlying causes of illness, functional medicine practitioners can help prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. This preventative approach is often seen as controversial because it goes against the traditional medical model of treating disease after it has already occurred.

What is the success rate ?

The success rate of functional medicine is a little hard to pin down because it’s not used as much as other forms of medicine. It’s also a newer form of treatment, so there aren’t as many resources about its success rates yet.

But what we do know is that functional medicine uses natural treatments and focuses on patients’ symptoms rather than their diagnoses. This makes it a great option for people who want to avoid taking risky medications or invasive procedures. The biggest downside is that you might have to wait longer for your results because functional medicine takes time to work—and sometimes, it just doesn’t work for everyone! That’s why it’s important to talk with your doctor before starting any new treatment plan so that you can be sure it’s right for you.

How long does it take for it to work?

There’s no “quick fix” when it comes to functional medicine. In fact, it may take longer than traditional medicine to work. But that’s because it works from the inside out—and that’s a great thing! Functional medicine aims to treat the root cause of your illness or condition, rather than just masking your symptoms with medications.

The best way to understand how long it takes for functional medicine to work is by looking at what happens during treatment.

– First, you’ll meet with your doctor and go through an in-depth assessment of your health history, lifestyle habits, genetic makeup, diet/nutrition/supplements, and more. This will help them figure out exactly what’s going on with your body and how they can help you feel better again.

-Then they’ll come up with a personalized plan for you—a blueprint for healing your body naturally—that addresses all of the underlying issues causing your illness or condition.

– Lastly, you’ll start implementing this plan into your life: eating differently; sleeping more; exercising regularly; taking vitamins and supplements; making lifestyle changes; etc.

Also, the length of time it takes for functional medicine to work depends on the particular health problem you’re trying to address, and how severe it is.

For example, if you have an autoimmune disease that has been present for years and is well-established, it may take a significant amount of time for functional medicine to be effective—possibly several months or even years.

But for other problems, like seasonal allergies or digestive issues, functional medicine can be effective much more quickly. In some cases, people notice a difference in as little as two weeks.

How do you choose a functional medicine doctor?

Choosing a functional medicine doctor is a big decision. You want to make sure they are able to help you with your particular needs, and you want to feel comfortable with them as a person.

Here are some things to consider:

-Are they open-minded? Functional medicine doctors tend to be very open-minded when it comes to treatment options. They don’t believe in going with the flow or taking the easy route, but instead, they seek out new and innovative ways of addressing problems like yours.

-Are they willing to listen? A functional medicine doctor will always listen carefully to what you have to say about your symptoms and how they’re affecting your life. They’ll also ask questions about your family history and lifestyle habits so that they can develop an accurate picture of what might be causing your condition or making it worse.

-Do they have experience treating your specific condition? Functional medicine doctors have been trained in many different treatment methods. If you’re looking for one who specializes in treating conditions similar to yours (like Lyme disease or chronic fatigue syndrome), then this might be important information when choosing who will be treating you


You can also use our online wellness directory YogChakra.com to find a functional medicine doctor. Our database contains many trained doctors from across the country who are trained in functional medicine, so you can use this website and search for one near you!


At its core, Functional Medicine is a philosophy that untangles the root causes of a person’s health concerns. By treating more than just the symptoms, Functional Medicine is showing great results in helping people overcome seemingly impossible health challenges. In the end, it is not about treating disease—it is about treating the individual.

If you are having chronic illness or symptoms that are not being adequately addressed, you might consider a consultation with a functional medicine practitioner.


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Looking for a functional medicine doctor in your area?. Browse our directory here.

Disclaimer: The information and advice contained in our articles are intended for general informational purposes only. The content on our site does not provide any medical advice and only reflects the opinion of writers. You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health or wellness


Author: Yogchakra

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