Functional Medicine FAQs: Five Things You Need to Know

If you’re new to functional medicine, it can feel like there’s a lot to learn. It’s becoming mainstream, but it’s important to remember that functional medicine is different from the current standard care model. Below we answer the top five functional medicine FAQs to help you better understand this emerging field. 

1. What Is Functional Medicine? 

Functional medicine combines techniques from conventional and alternative medicine to address underlying symptoms and imbalances in the body. Functional medicine is a personalized approach that treats you and not the disease.  

2. How Does Functional Medicine Work? 

Everyone has a unique biochemistry. This means your body functions in a slightly different manner than anyone else’s and reacts uniquely to environmental factors such as toxins and lifestyle choices. The difference may be small, but it can be critical. You can learn more about our approach here

3. Are Functional Medicine Doctors Real Doctors? 

It’s normal to be cautious when it comes to your health. Perhaps you’re not sure if functional medicine doctors are “real” doctors. And while anything new can be scary, it’s important to know that functional medicine practitioners are real doctors with advanced training above and beyond their medical degrees. 

4. What Does Functional Medicine Treat? 

A functional medicine practitioner can diagnose and treat many chronic conditions, including: 

  • Thyroid conditions 
  • Fatigue 
  • Gut and Gastrointestinal Issues 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Migraine headaches 
  • Peripheral neuropathy 
  • Food allergies and chemical sensitivities 
  • ADD/ADHD 
  • Depression & anxiety 
  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Dizziness and balance problems 

5. How Is Functional Medicine Different? 

Functional medicine is paving the way for a better and more patient-focused approach to healthcare. So, what makes it different from conventional medicine? Here are five of the main things you should know: 

  1. Traditional medicine identifies the “what” of illness, while functional medicine explores the “why.” 
  1. Functional medicine is a patient-centered approach, while traditional medicine is doctor-focused.
  1. Traditional medicine is disease-centered, while functional medicine is a health-centered approach that treats you as a whole person. 
  1. Functional medicine is a holistic approach that considers all factors of your body. Traditional medicine is broken down into specialties such as cardiology or gastroenterology.
  1. Conventional medicine provides generic solutions, while functional medicine provides personalized healthcare based on your unique genetic code. 

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