Functional medicine is a science-based whole systems approach that looks at the fundamental and underlying causes of clinical symptoms. As a functional medicine physician, I am not only looking for what is wrong with my patient but also why the individual has a certain issue. It is not alternative medicine, neither is it an "either-or". It is simply taking some of the new findings for systems biology and applying the knowledge to establish how different influences can impact our health. When I understand the underlying causes of the condition or disease, I have expanded my options on how to treat it. The systematic approach allows me to look at the disease through detective lenses and observe what happened, what created that problem, and the patient outcome! What I’ve experienced for myself as a patient of functional medicine is that I could appreciate the idea that I was being looked at as an individual.
Rather than just focusing on the disease state when I am learning about the patient's condition, I like to hear their own words and their own experience first. Then, looking at genetics, toxicology, nutrition, spiritual issues, trauma, etc., the work becomes more exciting and rewarding later. The whole picture gives me a set of tools to have a very systematic look at chronic problems and unravel the cause of that problem and then it’s easy to address the underlying causes. I give my patients a roadmap to empower and engage them in their own care and achieve better health outcomes by shifting their illness to a wellness path.