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What is Functional Medicine?

When you go to the doctor, you ultimately want more than just relief from your different symptoms. While this relief can certainly be welcome, particularly if you’ve been living with chronic pain, what you really want is for the root cause to be addressed, ensuring you continue to feel healthy, vigorous, and strong.

 

Too much of the time, conventional medical practices focus on addressing symptoms and mitigating patient complaints. Again, this is not necessarily bad, but neither is it sufficient. That’s why more and more patients seek care from functional medicine providers.

 

Functional Medicine 101

Functional medicine is an approach to medicine that’s based in biological systems. What distinguishes it is the focus on determining the underlying causes of your symptoms, as opposed to just masking the symptoms themselves.

 

Within the functional medicine framework, each symptom or diagnosis is understood as one contributing factor to the patient’s overall condition. Sometimes this means one symptom is explained by a number of underlying factors; for instance, depression may be the result of low thyroid, a vitamin D deficiency, and pre-diabetes, these factors working in tandem. Other times, one underlying factor may explain a wide range of symptoms; for instance, inflammation may be at the root of diabetes, arthritis, and depression.

 

By better understanding causes and symptoms, and how they relate, functional medicine seeks to make a more meaningful and lasting impact. To put it another way, functional medicine doesn’t start with the question of how can we help you feel better. Instead, it starts with the question why are you ill in the first place, from which point more effective solutions can be determined.

 

What Kinds of Conditions Can Be Treated with Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine can be used to address virtually all chronic conditions. Some examples include:

  • Allergies, both environmental and food-related
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive concerns
  • Thyroid disease
  • Gut health 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Candida 

 

What to Expect from a Functional Medicine Appointment

When you see a functional medicine provider, you should be prepared to provide a rigorous medical history. In particular, your functional medicine provider will want to know more about:

  • Your lifestyle, including diet, exercise, hobbies and activities, stress levels, and your work life.
  • Genetics, including family history of physical or mental health disorders.
  • Environment, including any exposure you’ve had to potential toxins or allergens.

To gather this information, your provider will review your health history, perform a physical examination, discuss your health goals, and likely ask to conduct some basic genetic testing. 

 

What Kinds of Treatment Should I Expect?

Functional medicine emphasizes a holistic approach to personal wellness. As such, you can definitely expect an in-depth conversation about nutrition. Many functional providers take a “food is medicine” mentality, meaning they will seek to address many of your concerns with a strategic approach to vitamin and nutrient intake (and the exclusion of toxins, such as processed foods, sugars, glutens and alcohol).

 

In some cases, your provider may also recommend other types of holistic treatment, which can range from herbal supplements, acupuncture and massage to the use of CBD products. Functional medicine is not always strictly opposed to pharmaceuticals and other more conventional treatments, but it does seek to minimize the extent to which these treatments are used.

 

What Kinds of Results Will I Get?

Functional medicine can be incredibly effective in helping you achieve your health goals, reduce worrisome symptoms, and enjoy an overall higher level of energy and vigor. You may even find that functional medicine helps you address problems you didn’t know you had; for instance, you may discover that it improves your sleep, your digestion, and your mood. But of course, this is all contingent on you adhering to the lifestyle and behavioral changes that your provider recommends.

 

Seek Holistic Care

Functional medicine is a great option for anyone who prefers a more holistic and whole-body approach to their healthcare.

That’s something we’re passionate about here at Asé Pure Naturals, too. In fact, we are happy to partner with a number of functional medicine providers, supplying them with CBD that they can offer their patients for therapeutic use. Questions about any of this? Contact Asé Pure Naturals at your next convenience.

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