What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine Charlotte, located in Cornelius, addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners are holistic doctors who spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

How is Functional Medicine Different?

Functional medicine involves  understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:

  • Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
  • Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Address The Cause

Typically patients come to us having been told that everything looks normal based on the standard tests routinely run by their medical doctor (physical examination, urinalysis, blood tests, etc.).  They know deep down that things are not “normal”, and so do Functional Medicine practitioners.  Most of our patients are by no means “normal”, but are a long way from being in a state of optimal health.

 

How does Functional Medicine Charlotte, located in Cornelius, affect this?

 

Functional Medicine Charlotte promotes wellness by focusing on the fundamental underlying factors that influence every patient’s experience of health and disease. The “underlying factors” are the Cause of the patient’s health issue(s).  Mainstream medicine treats the patient’s symptoms.  Treating symptoms does not promote health, it promotes disease by giving the patient a false sense of  health by eliminating conscious experience of symptoms.  Meanwhile, the Cause continues to grow and snowball beneath the surface.

 

Symptom-Focused Care has been a large contributor to the Pandemic of Chronic Disease in the US.  Chronic disease, by definition, is a disease that is preventable and/or reversible.  According the the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, “Chronic Diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, affect approximately 133 million Americans.  These often-preventable health problems ultimately lead to 70 percent of the deaths in our country each year…The good news is that we can stop and even reverse this trend.”

 

Medications are not the answer to stopping and reversing Chronic Disease.