Functional Medicine started 32 years ago by physicians and scientists looking for better results for chronic health conditions. First, we are 37th in world rankings for treating chronic illness among all nations, but we spend the most and take the most drugs. Second, our current health care uses the same model for acute illness, like infections, as it does for chronic illness. Third, a person does not get a chronic illness overnight, it happens over time.
The functional medicine approach is practiced by all pedigrees of doctors that provide primary care: MD’s, DO’s, DC’s, ND’s, LAc’s, NP’s. There are now over 50,000 functional medicine practioners and it is offered as a master’s program some major universities. All the doctors on PBS and celebrities like Dr. Oz are functional medicine doctors. I have been practicing functional medicine for 30 years (more than most FM providers) and have worked as a trainer at nutritional workshops.
The basic principles of Functional Medicine are to identify the underlying reasons a person develops a chronic disease: heredity, diet, lifestyle, toxicity, stress factors, etc. Then, knowing that all chronic illnesses share a common cause of chronic inflammation, we utilize comprehensive laboratories to evaluate dozens of causes of inflammation. Next, we create a personalized plan to help people by modifying diets, nutrients and lifestyles to change the course of the illness, all as proven in scientific publications. In addition to people having remarkable improvements in symptoms, follow up tests also show measurable changes, often reversing the course of their condition.