To some, this term may be new. To others, it may sound similar to other non-conventional practices of medicine such as naturopathic or integrative. These practices of medicine share commonalities, however, functional medicine is the only approach to medicine that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of chronic disease. It is the medicine of ‘why.’
Functional medicine is the practice of preventative medicine rather than reactive. When the body is symptomatic, there are usually underlying issues causing the symptoms. For example, a constant runny nose can be caused by an underlying issue causing inflammation and immune dysfunction. Following guidelines, a doctor practicing conventional medicine would diagnose you with allergies and prescribe an antihistamine medication (such as Claritin or Zyrtec) to simply manage symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner would want to determine why the nose is running. What is causing it? When did it start? These questions help determine the root cause of the symptom, which help determine a treatment plan. By optimizing diet, exercise, and stress level incorporating patient-specific factors, these conditions could significantly improve without the use of medications.
Functional medicine looks at the body as one integrated system rather than a collection of independent organ systems. In today’s modern western medicine, we see specialists for each part of the body when something is wrong – a cardiologist for chest pain, an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor for recurring sinus infections, a rheumatologist for joint stiffness. In functional medicine, the entire body is looked at as one connected system, by one practitioner or a group of practitioners working together. If there is an imbalance or inflammation in one part of the body, it is most likely affecting a different part of the body. By finding the root cause of the problem, we can avoid covering up symptoms with medication and instead treat the initial problem. The goal of functional medicine is to develop a treatment plan with you, the patient, to optimize and improve your health starting at the root of the problem.
Why Should You Get a Functional Medicine Consult?
- To optimize health – wake up feeling energized and motivated
- To prevent chronic disease
- To reverse or stop the progression of a disease
- To discontinue or reduce your prescription medications
- If you are at high risk for developing a medical condition
- You have tried other doctors but have not gotten the results you desire
- You have a lot of stress in your life
In a consultation, we will spend time reviewing your personal and medical history to get an understanding of your current health status. Our pharmacists will take into account your specific factors that affect your health, such as your diet, environment, stress, social interactions, movement, genetics, family and personal history, medications, conditions, and many others. We will work together to create an individualized treatment plan that will include lab testing recommendations, nutritional interventions, supplement recommendations and lifestyle modifications to address the root causes of your symptoms and improve your health. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
How do you start?
Contact Potter’s House Apothecary by phone at 623-362-9322, or click here to request a consultation. A Functional Medicine trained pharmacists will be in contact with you to schedule an initial consultation appointment.