Functional Medicine defined is: "a patient-centered approach that addresses the underlying cause of diseases". With this approach, both the patient and the practitioner are in a therapeutic partnership. When patients are part of this therapeutic team, they become more empowered to take ownership of their own well-being and healing.
Functional Medicine is a type of healthcare that is respectful of, and responsive to, the individual preferences of the patient. Practitioners spend more time with their patients to learn about their medical history and look at the interactions between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term medical issues and chronic diseases. In doing this, the practitioner looks at the patient as a whole, not just a set of symptoms. Functional Medicine focuses on prevention and overall health promoting lifestyle change and sustainable treatments that address the underlying cause of dysfunction thus restoring patients to optimal health.
The primary difference between conventional medicine and functional medicine is that the focus of care is driven by wellness. The goal of conventional medicine is to identify diseases by recognizing patterns of symptoms and treating them with drug-based therapies, while the goal of functional medicine is to promote health and vitality in each patient. Functional medicine is designed to treat the patient by identifying the underlaying cause of the disease and then personalize a treatment protocol for each individual patient.