Functional Medicine

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that focuses on the root cause of a patient’s symptoms, as opposed to merely treating those symptoms. It is gaining in popularity due to its holistic approach and personalized strategies. Functional medicine providers emphasize individualized goals that are reachable and sustainable, allowing each patient to achieve his or her best possible outcome.

Functional Medicine Key Focus Points

Functional medicine achieves its goals through a few key focus points. These include:

Individualized Care

Functional medicine providers view each patient as unique and believe that one-size-fits-all solutions do not apply to healthcare. They take the time to understand each patient’s medical history, genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors to create personalized treatment plans. 

Root Cause Analysis

Instead of simply treating symptoms with band-aids like pharmaceuticals, functional medicine doctors aim to identify and address the underlying causes of health problems. This often involves testing, such as genetic testing, hormone analysis, and comprehensive blood work. The idea is to not simply alleviate symptoms but remove the cause of them in the first place, negating the need for excessive pharmaceutical intervention. 

Holistic Approach

Functional medicine takes into account not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and social well-being. Practitioners consider the interconnectedness of all systems in the body and aim to strike a balance between them.

Integrative Therapies

While functional medicine is not above conventional therapies, it also integrates nutrition, lifestyle modification, supplementation, and other approaches to promote overall wellness.

Prevention and Maintenance

Functional medicine places a strong emphasis on preventing chronic diseases by identifying and addressing risk factors early on. A crucial aspect of this is encouraging improvements in diet and routine that are sustainable. Functional medicine providers won’t suggest massive lifestyle changes overnight; rather, achievable goals will be integrated at various points along the way. You will be given resources and methods to achieve those goals so you feel encouraged, rather than overwhelmed, on your journey to better health.  

How is Functional Medicine Different from Preventive Medicine?

While functional medicine and preventive medicine both aim to improve health and reduce the risk of disease, they have distinct differences in their approaches and philosophies:

Root Cause vs Risk Factors

Functional medicine seeks to identify the root causes of health problems, such as imbalances in hormones, nutritional deficiencies, or chronic inflammation. It emphasizes understanding the “why” behind a health issue.

Preventive medicine focuses on identifying and mitigating risk factors for diseases, often based on statistical data and population-based guidelines. It aims to reduce the likelihood of disease occurrence rather than addressing the specific underlying causes.

Personalization vs Generalization

Functional medicine is highly individualized, taking into account a person’s unique genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s specific needs.

Preventive Medicine

Preventive medicine often uses standardized guidelines and recommendations that apply to the general population. It may not consider individual variations as extensively as functional medicine does.

Treatment Approach Differences in Functional vs Preventive Medicine

As we discussed above, functional medicine employs a wide range of interventions, including nutrition, lifestyle modifications, supplements, and sometimes conventional medicine, to address the underlying causes of health issues.

Preventive medicine primarily uses strategies like vaccinations, screenings, and health education to prevent diseases before they occur. It focuses on early detection and risk reduction.

Functional Medicine and Hormone Replacement in Omaha

If you are experiencing bothersome symptoms that are affecting your ability to do the things you enjoy, consulting with a functional medicine provider is the first step. In Omaha, Sherri Griggs, APRN, is a highly experienced healthcare professional specializing in functional medicine and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. 

Balanced Body Health & Wellness is the only clinic in Nebraska that utilizes the Institute Of BioIdentical Medicine Method, a proven approach to restoring hormone balance and alleviating symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Call or go online today to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation and get ready to start living your best life.

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