Dissecting Functional Health: What Exactly Is Functional Medicine?

What is functional health? Some say it’s the most comprehensive and effective treatment approach to date. Others say it’s a scam.

Who has the answers?

We do. Or, at least, we have enough of them to grant you a basic understanding of functional health. 

In the following guide, we explore the definition, overview, and even the controversy of functional medicine. Learn all there is to know about functional medicine right here. 

What is Functional Medicine?

What makes the functional treatment approach so different is its primary goal. That is, functional medicine targets the underlying cause(s) of a health condition rather than the condition itself. The idea is that, once the causes are addressed, the body can heal itself naturally.

Addressing the Root of the Problem

Take, for example, a patient that’s depressed. Traditional medicine may prescribe pills or cognitive training to address the depression.

Functional medicine first looks for the cause or causes of the depression, such as a hormonal imbalance or vitamin deficiency. Then, it treats those causes.

Personalized, Patient-Centered Care

For this reason, functional medicine is far more personalized than conventional medicine. After all, the underlying causes of health conditions are very personal.

They are usually a combination of factors that are different for each patient. As such, functional medical treatment must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Conventional medicine offers the same treatment to multiple patients with the same condition. But functional medicine offers different, personalized treatment to each individual patient.

Use of Alternative/Natural Remedies

Conventional medicine uses established pharmaceutical cures and other tried-and-true methods. That’s because they most often yield clear, measurable results in reducing or eliminating the condition.

But, functional medicine has a different goal, to go after the root cause. And that’s a new and unprecedented goal for each individual patient. As such, functional medical doctors must look beyond these established methods.

Therefore, functional medicine incorporates natural and alternative remedies normally shunned by modern medicine. These range from advanced genetic sciences, like nutrigenomics, to herbal treatments.

Does Functional Medicine Work?

In theory, this all makes sense. It’s based on science, it gives the utmost attention to each patient, and it aims to uproot health problems at their source.

Still, the big question remains, “Is functional medicine legitimate?” Unfortunately, this question is still a topic of great controversy among the medical community today. Here’s what both sides of that argument are saying today.

In Opposition of Functional Medicine

A lot of mudslinging comes from the opposition, labeling functional practitioners, “quacks.” In fact, further accusations abound that functional practitioners are simply “milking” desperate patients for every cent they can get out of them.

In Support of Functional Medicine

Those in support of functional medicine argue that the conventional approach only masks the true problems. That is, if the current condition is cured, the root causes remain. Then, the same conditions or others will simply arise again, like weeds.

They also believe, as no two people are alike, neither are two patients with the same condition. All patients, they say, require individual treatment.

Functional Medicine: A New Way to Functional Health

Functional health is still a very new approach to healing. But that also makes it very promising.

If you’re opposed to conventional medicine or simply wish to keep an open mind about your health, try functional medicine for what ails you.

Find more great tips about health on our dental blog.