What is Functional Medicine?

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to creating health taking into consideration how our biological processes work together in our one system. This is in contrast to a conventional medicine approach that typically focuses on one body part at a time not taking into consideration how the systems can interact with each other. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of the illness or presenting symptoms.

Functional medicine asks how and why an illness or presenting symptoms occurred and then creates a systematic approach to addressing those issues.

It is an approach to patient care that views health

and illness as part of a continuum in which all components of the human biological systeminteract dynamically with the environment, producing patterns and effects that change over time. The goal is not simply to treat the symptoms, but to treat the underlying cause to alleviate the symptoms. We often tell our patients that you arrive at our office with several symptoms and systems that are related to your discomfort, fatigue, less than optimal hormone balance etc. So instead of treating addressing each symptom with a drug or medication, we find out where in this forest of symptoms or imbalances did most of the issues start. Then we ask, ‘why did it start there?’ And a treatment strategy is set up to address the why along the most likely organ system(s) from which the symptoms developed. This often allows significant improvement or elimination of the issue without simply treating the symptoms with medications and then treating the medications side effects with more medications.

Take thyroid function for example. In conventional medicine when you are diagnosed with a thyroid issue you are prescribed a thyroid hormone to replace the thyroid hormone that your body does not appear to be producing. Then one hormone is measured and monitored to see how effective this treatment strategy is. However many people after receiving the thyroid hormone replacement either still feel unwell or eventually experience the same symptoms or different symptoms coming back over time. When they go to the doctor they are often told everything looks fine. But they don’t feel fine and subsequently they are given more medication to address more symptoms. Unfortunately no one ever asks the question, “why was your thyroid hormone low in the first place?” Or “What can we do to boost thyroid hormone naturally without needing to take a medication?”

This scenario is exactly what happened to New You Health and Wellness founder Stacey Roberts. And it lead her on a multi-year journey to find optimal health and wellness for herself and then subsequently share her success with others.