At The WAE Clinic, PLLC, in Cleveland, Mississippi, the team works diligently to understand your symptoms, as well as your medical and family history, in order to get to the root of your health concerns. The WAE Clinic’s focus is on disease prevention and lifestyle modification with a goal of empowering and supporting you with the medical care and resources you need to break free from anything that is keeping you from achieving true wellness. Call the office or schedule an appointment online for more information.
Functional Medicine Q & A
Functional Medicine is patient-centered medical care. Instead of treating health problems as isolated diseases, it treats the individual by identifying and addressing the ROOT causes of those symptoms in an individualized way, appropriate to each patient’s particular situation.
Functional medicine uses a systems-oriented, science-based approach that involves taking into account how the human body works when it’s healthy in everyday life, and what goes wrong with it when someone gets sick. This method views the big picture and treats the whole patient through recognizing and addressing the ROOT of disease, instead of only the visible symptoms. It also considers the patient’s diet, lifestyle, genetics, stresses, and environmental exposures.
Using scientific principles, advanced diagnostic testing, and treatments other than prescription drugs or surgery, the goal of Functional medicine is the patient’s lifelong optimal health.
When a patient has a problem that is hard to diagnose, a chronic illness (such as digestive, metabolic, hormonal, or cardiovascular disorder), or a nagging condition (like IBS, insomnia, or chronic fatigue), these conditions are almost always preceded by a period of imbalance or declining function in one or more of the body’s systems. Restoring health requires reversing (or substantially improving) the specific dysfunctions that have contributed to the disease state.
Functional Medicine practitioners use a combination of nutraceuticals (supplements and herbs), clinical nutrition counseling, lifestyle medicine, spiritual/emotional counseling, patient education, and if necessary, prescription medication. These combined methods give the patient a much better chance to successfully resolve their health challenges.
After diagnosis and treatment, a Functional Medicine patient can expect that his or her symptoms will diminish in severity. In addition, he/she will be able enjoy a renewed sense of well-being and significant increase in health and vitality.
In addition, educating patients about their conditions empowers them to take charge of their own helath, ultimately leading to greater success in treatment.
Nutraceuticals = vitamins or supplements
Homeopathics = herbals
Pharmaceuticals = prescriptions
It has been said that “The good physician treats the disease; the great physicaian treats the patient who has the disease.” Sir William Osler, one of the first professors at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and later its Physician- in-Chief.
Because your body naturally wants to be healthy. however, the body may be missing things needed to function at its best, or something might be standing in the way of its optional functioning. Functional medicine first identifies the factors responsible for the malfunctioning. Then it deals with those factors in a way appropriate to the patients particular situation.
Elements of Functional Medicine
The knowledge base—or “footprint”—of Functional Medicine is shaped by seven core principles:
- Acknowledging the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness
- Incorporating a patient-centered rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment
- Seeking a dynamic balance among the internal and external factors in a patient’s body, mind, and spirit
- Addressing the web-like interconnections of internal physiological factors
- Identifying health as a positive vitality—not merely the absence of disease—and emphasizing those factors that encourage a vigorous physiology
- Promoting organ reserve as a means of enhancing the health span, not just the life span, of each patient
- Functional Medicine is a science-using profession
To assist clinicians in understanding and applying Functional Medicine, IFM has created a highly innovative way of representing the patient’s signs, symptoms, and common pathways of disease. Adapting, organizing, and integrating into the Functional Medicine Matrix the seven biological systems in which core clinical imbalances are found actually creates an intellectual bridge between the rich basic science literature concerning physiological mechanisms of disease (first two years of medical training) and the clinical studies, clinical experience, and clinical diagnoses of the second two years of medical training.
These core clinical imbalances serve to marry the mechanisms of disease with the manifestations and diagnoses of disease.
- Assimilation: digestion, absorption, microbiota/GI, respiration
- Defense and repair: immune, inflammation, infection/microbiota
- Energy: energy regulation, mitochondrial function
- Biotransformation and elimination: toxicity, detoxification
- Transport: cardiovascular and lymphatic systems
- Communication: endocrine, neurotransmitters, immune messengers
- Structural integrity: subcellular membranes to musculoskeletal integrity
Using this construct, it is possible to see that one disease/condition may have multiple causes (i.e., multiple clinical imbalances), just as one fundamental imbalance may be at the root of many seemingly seperate conditions.