Nutrition & Functional Medicine
Functional and nutrition medicine is a personalised medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic diseases. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional and nutrition medicine values and addresses the powerful inert healing mechanism within each person and at the same time recognises the unique expression of health and vitality for individuals.
Complex, chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, chronic fatigue, cancer, and autoimmune disorders are on the rise in our society. Many of these diseases are unique of our time. Conventional medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care. Conventional pathology testing is designed to define the acute or end phase of an illness and falls short to recognise the long progression of functional deterioration before the final stage of disease formation. Furthermore, treatment modalities of conventional medicine aim at life saving and symptomatic relief in acute and emergency situations. In this area of acute care, conventional medicine has advanced considerably and provided hope for many of the heart attack patients, stroke sufferers and trauma victims.
Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in modern Western society.
Furthermore, there’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years—particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness. Functional and nutrition medicine’s aim is to evaluate, assess, and carefully enfold emerging research in a practical, efficient, and safe manner.
The functional and nutrition medicine approach is an integrative, science-based health care approach, where practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in patient’s history, physiology and life style that lead to body dysfunction and illness. Diagnoses are measured by both conventional laboratory testing and testing that is specifically designed to evaluate organic and cellular functions.
The unique genetic make up of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning. A focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, exercise, botanical medicines, supplements, stress management strategies, combined with some conventional medical drugs where appropriate provide the best outcome for many patients. Working along with the body’s physiology and powerful healing ability instead of against them to restore organic and cellular function forms the basis of this unique approach.