Functional medicine is a healthcare model used to determine how and why disease occurs, with the goal of restoring and promoting health by addressing root causes of illness for each person. This holistic approach leverages nutrigenomics, an intersection of nutrients, a patient’s genes, and biochemistry, to support optimal function.
In recent years, functional medicine has garnered increasing attention in the healthcare field. Leading medical groups like the Cleveland Clinic have adopted functional medicine centers aimed to use nutrition and lifestyle interventions to give patients more control over their wellness as first-line therapy.
With its heavy focus on underlying causes, functional medicine is sometimes referred to as “root cause medicine.” Yet, uncovering potential factors for illness can take time. Functional medicine doctors must take time and get to know their patients exceptionally well to dig deeper, performing investigative work to identify health issues instead of just treating symptoms. And, the steps needed to improve health often require comprehensive lifestyle changes, not just a new medication. To that end, functional medicine requires dedication on both the doctor’s and the patient’s part.
The Future of Functional Medicine
Based on the rapid rise of functional medicine, it’s clear that the model is certainly working well for patients. While the medical community may have shown some resistance at first, the Cleveland Clinic’s center has grown quickly since its inception in 2014, and as the center continued to make progress with patients, functional medicine became more widely accepted. Now, studies are underway to use functional medicine as a means for treating asthma, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer.
The rise of functional medicine will undoubtedly bring good news for patients. According to a report, more than 4,200 patients treated at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine had better clinical outcomes—and lower medical bills—than their peers who received traditional care.
Whether for preventive care or to help manage a chronic illness, functional medicine may be an option worth pursuing any patient seeking alternatives to traditional healthcare approaches.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.