Functional Medicine, instead of ignoring and suppressing the red flag warning signs that your body is desperately showing, addresses the underlying dysfunctions. Functional Medicine takes into account such things as diet, current medications, illness history, family medical history, toxic exposure, lifestyle, stress, lab work, etc.
Every possible factor is taken into consideration in order to give each person the best solution for their health care needs.
No two people are the same, and so there is no reason for them to be treated in the exact same way.
According to several research scientists, concepts of functional medicine are geared more towards the health care needs of 21st century. Functional medicine targets the whole individual rather than focusing on just symptoms.
For example; meet Susan, Cathy and John who shares a common complaint - migraine headaches. The intensity of discomfort is moderate to severe and is interfering with their personal, social and professional aspects of life.
-Susan is a banker who works around the clock. A lot of times she doesn't even get time to take a proper lunch break.
-Cathy is a thin, lean and attractive woman in her 30's. She is a physical yoga instructor who just loves coffee (needless to say she needs a lot of it to remain functional throughout her tiring schedule)
-John on the other hand is a stay-home dad, overweight who spends most of his day in front of the television or computer. He eats fast food and writes for a sports company. He has recently adopted smoking.
Imagine if three individuals visit a healthcare professional for the management of migraine headaches, it is very likely that all three patients will receive a prescription drug to suppress the disabling symptoms of migraines and to maintain the quality of life.
But is this the right course of action? Will they be back in a week or two with the same symptoms and pain? Most likely they are receiving just a band-aid treatment.
It is very likely that these individuals are experiencing the symptoms due to their lifestyle choices, dietary or genetic factors. Every individual is different and therefore should be treated differently (according to the nature of illness and pathogenesis of the symptoms).
It is quite possible that practitioner of functional medicine approach the treatment of these patients differently. John may be advised to adopt a healthy diet, exercise and to quit smoking, Cathy will need to control her caffeine intake and to make some lifestyle modification to deal with her schedule. Susan needs to pay attention to her burnout lifestyle, make adjustments and have ample time for rest, relaxation and regular nutritious meals.
It is sufficient to say that functional medicine has successfully transformed the focus of medical practice from disease-centered to patient-centered approach.