How Functional Medicine Differs From Traditional Medicine

Health & Medical Blog

If you're looking for a new doctor, you may want to consider one that practices functional medicine. Functional medicine aims to treat the person as a whole. While functional medicine specialists can treat most of the same conditions an MD who practices conventional medicine treats, there are several notable differences in the approaches used in functional and traditional medicine.

Whole Person Approach

The biggest difference between functional and traditional medicine is that functional medicine aims to treat the whole person—body, mind and spirit—rather than simply treating disease. A functional medicine specialist will typically spend more time with patients during appointments and get a full picture of the person's lifestyle going far beyond specific symptoms the person may be experiencing. This holistic approach has a goal of complete health and wellness instead of just treating health problems as they arise. In this way, functional medicine treats the patient, not the disease.

Focus on Lifestyle

Functional medicine practitioners put much more emphasis on lifestyle than many traditional medical doctors do. Expect to be asked a lot of questions about your diet, exercise habits, sleep habits, relationships, stress levels, and other lifestyle elements that could be affecting your health. In many cases, lifestyle can be linked to the underlying cause of a symptom or health problem a patient is experiencing, and a functional medicine specialist will be able to help you with lifestyle changes that will promote healthier habits leading to a higher level of overall wellness.

Thorough Lab Tests

While doctors who practice traditional medicine often order laboratory testing when a patient complains of a health problem, they often only order very specific and narrow tests because their aim is to treat the disease. Functional medicine specialists often order extensive labs to establish a baseline when a new patient comes in. Blood work to test for nutritional deficiencies, hormone levels, and amino acid levels are all common in functional medicine. These tests are extremely helpful in determining what factors are likely to be part of the root cause of any problem a patient is experiencing.

Alternative Treatments

The treatments prescribed by conventional medicine are usually limited to drugs or some kind of surgical intervention. While some functional medicine practitioners are also licensed MDs who can prescribe drugs, patients who visit a functional medicine practitioner are likely to get recommendations and treatments that are uncommon in traditional medicine. These include treatments such as acupuncture, supplements, diet changes, and other lifestyle changes or modifications. 

For more information, contact companies like Inifnity Wellness


30 June 2019

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