What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is now a growing trend around the world. Learn more about how it incorporates traditional medical approaches with scientific methods here.

Functional Medicine

For many years, the approach to treating diseases has remained the same. A patient goes to the doctor with some health complaints, undergoes some tests and gets a diagnosis. Once his medical condition is determined, the doctor will then look to the books to create a treatment plan for him. If he is diagnosed with diabetes, then he’ll undergo the same form of treatment and take the same medications as the other thousands of diabetic patients out there.

Although this was effective at some point, it’s now becoming inefficient in treating patients, which is why we’re seeing a lot of people dying from their disease or suffering its complications for the rest of their lives. But there’s now a better approach to medical treatments, one that focuses on personalized care to make sure that each patient is treated exactly for what he needs and not just for what his disease is.

How can functional medicine help?

Functional medicine looks at health in a different way. It follows a biology-based approach in determining the root cause of a disease. Through a more patient-centered and individualized method, a patient undergoes tests that will help a doctor make a full assessment of his condition and determine its underlying cause considering factors in genetics, nutritional science and genomics.

The practice was founded by Jeffrey Bland, PhD in 1991 based on the approach “to serve the highest expression of individual health through the widespread adoption of functional medicine as the standard of care.” Dr. Mark Hyman, the Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine explains: “If you have head pain, we call it migraine. If you have stomach pain, we call it reflux. But those are simply names we give to conditions shared by a group of people. The causes might be multiple and different, and thus the treatments should be different and personalized depending on the causes.”

A lot of patients who come to try functional medicine have already gone through most conventional treatments without getting positive results. Some are even feeling hopeless with the case and are ready to accept that they are either going to die from their disease or suffer from it for the rest of their lives. But the thought leaders behind functional medicine believe that there is a better away to approach these diseases and so, the practice is born.

Functional medicine treats mostly chronic conditions that millions of people are suffering from. A functional medicine practitioner is trained to address a wide variety of health issues including:

  • Acne
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • ADHD and ADD
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Detoxification and healing
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive disorders
  • Eczema
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Environment and food allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Female reproductive conditions
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Healthy aging
  • Healthy weight and metabolism
  • Heart health
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Low testosterone
  • Mercury and heavy metal toxicity
  • Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep/insomnia
  • Thyroid and adrenal disorders
  • Tick-borne illness

Unlike traditional medical approaches where doctors only see a patient for a short time, a functional medicine practitioner spends time with you.

Aside from discussing your medical symptoms, a doctor will also talk to you about how to treat your disease through proper medication, diet, exercise and a complete lifestyle change.

Functional medicine also follows a collaborative method where doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners work together in addressing the underlying cause of a medical condition by considering factors like lifestyle choices, genetic makeup and environmental influences.

What the Functional Medicine Group can do

The Functional Medicine Group is a community of functional medicine practitioners including pharmacy owners, pharmacists and other related professionals looking to achieve the common goal of giving patients better health outcomes through a more personalized and patient-centered approach to treatment.

Aside from addressing a patient’s health condition through proper medication where we collaborate with pharmacists and pharmacy owners, we also work with nutritionists in creating proper health plans that will promote complete wellness to patients and allow them to live a long and healthy life.

We address common health problems like arthritis, athletic performance, autoimmune diseases, memory and cognition issues, cancer, detoxification imbalances, diabetes and metabolic syndromes, digestive problems, environmental and food allergies, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome and insomnia.

Join our growing community

As a pharmacy owner, pharmacist or other healthcare practitioner, you can enjoy a lot of benefits from incorporating your practice with the principles of functional medicine.

We will offer you all the resources that you need to learn about functional medicine and we will also allow you to take advantage of opportunities to increase your customers and build your network through conferences, webinars and other events.

Read this article on how to become a functional medicine pharmacist practitioner.