Functional medicine refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on a person’s overall health. It seeks to determine the root cause of a person’s condition and then work to correct it. Practitioners of this branch of medicine tend to believe that food is medicine and tailor their treatment plans to address the lifestyle and environmental factors that lead to a person’s condition. This branch of medicine is very different from traditional medicine, which focuses on a specific illness.
There are a variety of different forms of medicine, and many physicians use both functional and integrative medicine as part of their practice. Functional medicine, for instance, focuses on lifestyle coaching and functional testing, which can be beneficial for certain illnesses and lifestyle changes. Functional medicine doctors may be better suited for people who are trying to lose weight, while integrative medicine specialists tend to focus on treating a specific disease. Before making a decision about which medical approach is best for you, it’s important to understand what each type of medicine entails and who will be most likely to be most helpful to you.
Despite similarities, there are important differences between functional and integrative medicine. Functional medicine focuses on a patient’s overall wellness, while integrative medicine looks at the whole person and uses various forms of therapy to treat a person’s health. Functional medicine emphasizes a patient’s lifestyle and mind to promote optimal health and prevent future health issues. A holistic approach to healing is also important for functional medicine, but it’s important to be clear about your specific medical condition before undergoing any treatment.