Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:
- Biochemical individuality describes the importance of individual variations in metabolic function that derive from genetic and environmental differences among individuals.
- Patient-centered medicine emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care,” following Sir William Osler’s admonition that “It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has.”
- Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
- Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – an abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurologic syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
- Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span.
Put simply, Functional Medicine is “Root-Cause” medicine. It’s going beyond symptoms and symptomatic treatment and looking for the deeper causes of illness, of not being well.