Functional Medicine is an evolution in healthcare that addresses the underlying cause of disease. Unlike traditional medical practice, which looks at symptoms in isolation, doctors specializing in Functional Medicine spend time with patients, taking an in-depth look at the interactions between genes, environment, diet and lifestyle. This approach helps identify root causes of complex illnesses and aims to eliminate the underlying problem.
This holistic approach to care is often referred to as Integrative, Holistic or Personalized Medicine. Many patients turn to Functional Medicine out of frustration with a constellation of symptoms their primary care doctor can’t seem to piece together into a diagnosis. Others simply want to find a way to improve their health without medication and its residual side effects.
Uncovering the Science of Healing: Exploring the Core Principles of Functional Medicine
Doctors in the Sutter Health network who specialize in Functional Medicine take an in-depth approach to your wellness, evaluating all factors that can influence long-term health and chronic disease. In addition to addressing your symptoms, they consider how you interact with food, sleep and stress. By exploring your unique biochemistry, they are able to identify the root causes of your condition and offer personalized strategies to help you feel better.
Functional medicine practitioners have a much deeper understanding of how your body works than most primary care physicians. They often have lengthy intakes (up to an hour) where they get one-on-one time with each patient. During this time, they are able to dig much more into a patient’s background than the 7 minutes that most primary care physicians are restricted to. They are also able to prescribe things such as supplements, therapeutic diets and detoxification programs in addition to traditional medications.