Does Functional Medicine Work?
Have you ever wondered if there’s more to medicine than just treating symptoms? If so, functional medicine might be your answer.
But as with anything new, you’re probably wondering if functional medicine does actually work. Is it just another fad? Is it backed by science? Has it worked for other people? Overall, you’re wondering if functional medicine is a highly effective approach to healthcare that can work for you.
Not only does functional medicine work, but it just makes sense. Compared to conventional care, which often defaults to “reactive” care, functional medicine takes a holistic approach to preventing severe health problems from occurring in the first place. Once you try functional medicine, you’ll wonder, “Why wasn’t I doing this from the start?”
Integra Health and Wellness is a leading functional medicine practice in Fresno. We love educating new patients about the power of functional medicine. From experience we can say that functional medicine works. Learn more about what our approach can do for you!
What is Functional Medicine?
What does a typical doctor’s appointment look like? Usually, we schedule a visit because something is wrong. We need an antibiotic or our stomach hurts, so we ask for something to make us feel better. The doctor prescribes medication, and we go on our way.
That’s conventional medicine. That’s reactive medicine.
Functional medicine, on the other hand, isn’t just about treating the symptom but rather about understanding the underlying cause of the symptom. It’s a holistic approach that goes beyond merely managing or suppressing symptoms. It seeks to uncover and address the root causes of disease, which can be different for every individual.
For many people, root-cause medicine just makes sense. We know that taking endless pills won’t fix the underlying issues. We want to correct imbalances and inefficiencies to achieve lasting results. Functional medicine works because it understands what true healing is.
But what does functional medicine look like in action? Here are three examples.
Three In-depth Examples of Functional Medicine
1. Reversing Diabetes
When someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the primary solutions are usually medications to lower blood sugar and perhaps some general advice on diet and exercise. But since diabetes is ultimately a hormone issue, this approach will only lessen symptoms, not solve the problem.
Functional medicine works by identifying and treating the root causes of high blood sugar, which can be diverse, ranging from diet, stress, gut health, or even hormonal imbalances. With personalized nutritional guidance, lifestyle changes, and targeted supplements, many patients can reverse the course of the disease, reducing or eliminating the need for medication.
2. Improving Cognitive Decline
As we age, we lose our cognitive functions. Remembering things, speaking, and learning new tasks become more and more difficult. Cognitive decline and dementia are typically treated with medications that might, at best, slow down the disease progression.
But functional medicine dives deeper. A functional medicine practitioner understands that inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, hormonal shifts, or even nutritional deficiencies might be contributing to cognitive issues, so functional medicine practitioners create personalized plans. These may include dietary shifts, cognitive exercises, supplements, and other interventions to support brain health, possibly halting or reversing cognitive decline.
3. Achieving Healthy Weight Loss
Calorie counting, exercise recommendations, and maybe some dietary guidelines are the usual prescription for weight loss. But weight loss is so much more complex than energy in vs energy out.
Functional medicine recognizes that weight gain can be influenced by numerous factors such as hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, or even gut health. Functional medicine does work because it looks at the individual’s whole health picture. By understanding the unique reasons behind weight gain for a person, functional medicine practitioners tailor plans that are more sustainable and effective in the long run.
Personalized Wellness Plans
Conventional one-size-fits-all approaches don’t work. But functional medicine shines because it personalizes health care for all. We are all unique human beings, from our genetics to our environment and lifestyles. Instead of pushing a one-size-fits-all plan, functional medicine practitioners dive deep into an individual’s history, environment, and physiology to develop a wellness plan tailored just for them.
Learn How Functional Medicine Can Work for You
Does functional medicine work? The many success stories, backed by a growing body of research, suggest that it does! By looking deeper and understanding the interconnectedness of our bodies’ systems, functional medicine offers a promising approach to not just treat but often reverse chronic health issues.