Why Functional Medicine?
By Jude Trotter, APRN
80% of healthcare dollars are spent on the management of chronic disease in the USA. This is twice as much per capita for health care as any other country, but yet we rank 37th in the world in terms of health outcomes. Clearly, we are in need of a new system to help take care of those with chronic disease. Our trauma and infectious disease care are top notch, no doubt, but this is acute care not chronic disease care
Functional Medicine was born out of the idea that a new set of lens were needed to interpret and act on clinical information. It is a research based way of looking at a person’s individual story of how their unique set of genes has been influenced by the environment and their life style. These all then influence how the body’s systems collectively function. We now know that 80-90% of a person’s risk for a chronic disease is based on their daily life style choices and not their genetic destiny.
A Functional Medicine practitioner will start out by getting a detailed history from birth to the present, teasing out the person’s unique story. Every chronic disease has a past, present and future tied to progressive loss of function and vitality. Functional Medicine then looks for the roots of an illness, and tries to nudge the body to auto-correct as it often times does when given a chance to reboot and heal.
Only by looking at the entire person, whole-istically, and not as each of its parts in isolation, can we understand the complex presentation of multiple symptoms that a person so often exhibits. Then, using a patient centered approach rather than a disease centered model, we can see patterns of connectivity between our systems. For example, a new field in medicine is psychoneuroimmunology which sees depression, anxiety or dementia as a manifestation of inflammation and not simply a missing chemical or pill in the brain. Autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many more are all due to a combination of genes, gut problems and inflammation. We then look at how to change the person’s life style to maximize their health and function. It all starts with the gut we are fond of saying!
If you would like to explore how your unique story and life style have brought you to experience some thing other than ideal health and vitality, come to one of our upcoming free talks or come in for a consult with the team. Dr. Patricia Murray and Jude Trotter, APRN are experienced Functional Medicine practitioners who were both trained by the Institute for Functional Medicine. We look forward to meeting you!