Functional medicine analyzes the entire body and its imbalances or deficiencies which contribute to health issues. Conventional medicine, on the other hand, aims to diagnose specific conditions and treat their symptoms.
Every health condition can benefit from functional medicine, as it offers a comprehensive, whole-body approach that examines underlying factors. With that being said, there are certain conditions that may benefit more than others. This is especially true for complex conditions for which there is no one easily identifiable cause or treatment.
With functional medicine, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach as there sometimes is in conventional medicine. Instead, personalized treatment plans are established to improve a patient’s condition and overall health while taking into consideration the unique circumstances that affect them, such as health history and lifestyle factors. Explore some conditions for which functional medicine can benefit below.
Characterized by widespread muscle pain, fibromyalgia remains a mystery to many modern medical practitioners. Within functional medicine, fibromyalgia is understood to be a result of chronic inflammation. The source of this inflammation may be leaky gut syndrome, vitamin deficiencies, or other medical factors which can be identified through testing and then addressed through targeted treatment or lifestyle changes.
Chronic fatigue syndrome goes far beyond ordinary tiredness. Patients experience extreme exhaustion, brain fog, and sleep challenges. While traditional medicine often fails to recognize the legitimacy of the condition, functional medicine not only recognizes but aims to understand the causative factors behind it. Underlying chronic infections, hormonal imbalances, and adrenal issue scan all contribute to this complex medical issue.
Although diabetes has been exhaustively researched and is well understood by the medical community, the same approach to care remains unchanged: monitoring and controlling blood sugar. While this may indeed be necessary, functional medicine helps patients establish behaviors to help the body naturally stabilize glucose and insulin levels. For instance, diet and lifestyle modifications could prevent the need for diabetes medications entirely.
In patients with autoimmune conditions, the immune system has an overactive response, attacking healthy tissue instead of just foreign invaders. Conventional medicine aims to suppress this immune response, but functional medicine seeks to uncover the root causes of widespread inflammation and autoimmunity. In so doing, it identifies the factors which can be modified to regulate the body’s immune response.
Obesity is a widespread epidemic caused by a variety of contributing factors. Genetics, lifestyle choices, and diet can all prompt weight gain. Because this health concern requires a comprehensive approach, it’s well-suited for the principles of functional medicine.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The gastrointestinal tract is the powerhouse of the immune system, with nearly 70% of immune cells residing there. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a result of compromised gut microbiome. From stress to yeast overgrowth, there are many factors which can impact intestinal health. From thorough testing to an assessment of lifestyle factors, functional medicine doctors can uncover the causes behind IBS and develop a targeted treatment plan.
There are several contributing factors behind depression, including inflammation caused by infections, enzyme deficiencies, and micronutrient imbalances. Instead of just addressing symptoms through medications, functional medicine doctors help people with depression address the condition’s underlying causes for a more comprehensive and effective approach. If you would like to learn more about a comprehensive nutritional and molecular test that may help your overall wellness and symptoms, please call a Care Coordinator at 800-531-0831. You may also visit www.stemedix.com/blog for helpful health awareness blogs.