Functional medicine aims to deliver a personalised approach to healthcare. By working closely with individuals to understand the root cause of illness, we can treat more than just its symptoms.
What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine involves gaining a full understanding of the biochemistry of the body. Searching for the root cause means looking at more than just the physiological signs and chemical or hormonal imbalances. We also consider mental state and psychology, to create a holistic view of the patient that includes their psychological, neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.
It involves gaining a full understanding of the biochemistry of the body. Searching for the root cause means looking at more than just the physiological signs and chemical or hormonal imbalances. We also consider mental state and psychology, to create a holistic view of the patient that includes their psychological, neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.
Why would you need functional medicine?
Functional medicine is often used to support patients with ongoing, chronic diseases. Such diseases – many of which can be attributed to our modern day sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles – lead to an increase of inflammation in the body.
This increased inflammation can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes from obesity (diabesity), metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some cancers.
Functional medicine has also been used to support patients with autoimmune diseases, thyroid disfunction and other digestive issues. It can even help with women’s health conditions (like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and muscular & joint disorders. Functional medicine has also helped patients with stress related conditions like burnout, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression & anxiety, too.
Finally, many patients have also reported improvements with optimising their health into older age, including managing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
How does functional medicine work?
The methodology behind functional medicine is to take a holistic view of the patient across all the Psycho-Neuro- Endocrino-Immuno (PNEI) systems.
This enables physicians to go to the cellular level, aiming to restore homeostasis (biochemical equilibrium within the cells).
Functional medicine looks to the detoxification of the gastro-intestinal system and the liver, to help the body regenerate the tissues and boost the energy of the systems.
To do this, physicians undertake a more in-depth medical history of the patient, looking for genetic susceptibility, biochemical disruption, and stress accumulation. We also use scientific laboratory testing to get a detailed understanding of the patient. We look for any signs of hormone imbalance, toxicity overload and unresolved psychological issues to give a complete assessment.
Functional medicine can work alongside – or as an alternative to – drug based therapies and established medicine.
What are the benefits of functional medicine?
The overall aim of functional medicine is to try and reverse a condition, rather than simply manage an illness and its symptoms.In doing so, functional Medicine methods offer a truly patient centred approach. We work with the patient to deeply examine their unique history, which inevitably leads to the most personalised care, too. Functional medicine does, of course, recognise the strengths of conventional medicine for illnesses. Physicians often use a range of additional or different approaches that are perhaps better suited to managing chronic conditions.
What are the possible complications of functional medicine?
There don’t tend to be complications, as such, with functional medicine.
Due to the methodical approach, however, getting to the root cause of disease may take time. It requires detailed effort, persistence and commitment from the patient – which doesn’t always fit easily into our modern-day lifestyles.
And because our modern-day lifestyle is often a contributor to a disease, it can involve broad changes, which some find difficult to maintain. Our bodies are complicated, so sometimes the way to repair it can be complicated, too.
How long will it take to recover from functional medicine?
Functional medicine doesn’t work in the same way as acute medicine, so there isn’t a recovery time associated with this treatment type.
Functional medicine is often about making positive lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime.
Will my insurance cover functional medicine?
Depending on the particular insurance policy, it may cover some of the tests we undertake as part of our assessment. Speak to your insurer to find out what is and isn’t covered.
Patients are welcome to see us privately if they wish to pay for themselves, too.