Main stream allopathic medicine is designed to screen for and diagnose disease or treat physical trauma such as in a car accident. The advances in medicine today is a great blessing, and saves many lives. But when considering a chronic disease, there are some limitations. If someone doesn't fit the qualifications for a diagnosis (a label for a set of symptoms) they are often told they are "fine" or left to figure it out on their own. When symptoms or lab work get to a certain severity, then a diagnosis may be made. But even then there are very few options on how to improve the set of symptoms. Mainly a prescription medication is one of the very few options a physician has when trying to help someone improve how they feel or manage symptoms.
Functional medicine on the other hand views health and disease as the result of complex interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that are fluid, ultimately getting to the root cause of the set of symptoms and helps to change the current conditions to improve or reverse the symptoms allowing them to to actually get well and stay well.
Here's an example of how these factors can be interconnected:
Genetics: Our genes play a role in determining how our bodies respond to environmental stressors, such as toxins and infections, and can also impact our susceptibility to certain health conditions.
Environmental factors: Environmental stressors, such as exposure to toxins, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity, can disrupt the delicate balance of our bodily systems and lead to the development of chronic diseases.
Lifestyle factors: Our daily habits and behaviors, such as sleep patterns, stress levels, and diets, can greatly impact our overall health and well-being. For example, chronic stress can weaken the immune system and increase inflammation, while a diet high in processed foods can contribute to oxidative stress and nutrient deficiencies.
Gut health: The gut microbiome is a complex community of microorganisms that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and function of our bodies. An unhealthy gut microbiome can lead to digestive problems, food sensitivities, and systemic inflammation, which in turn can contribute to a wide range of health conditions.
Hormonal balance: Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur in conditions like adrenal fatigue and thyroid disorders, can impact energy levels, mood, and metabolism, and can also contribute to chronic health problems.
Immune system: The immune system is responsible for protecting our bodies from infections and diseases. When the immune system is weakened or imbalanced, it can lead to chronic inflammation, which is a key factor in the development of many chronic health conditions.
In functional medicine, the goal is to identify and address the root causes of health problems by considering the interconnections between these various factors and addressing them through personalized interventions, such as dietary changes, specific unique nutrient support, and lifestyle modifications.