The ability to assess and treat all human systems and see them as one, is the practice of integrative functional medicine. Functional medicine practitioners and naturopathic doctors diagnose diseases, or imbalances in the body, using modern medicine diagnostic tools such as: laboratory testing and physical examination which have been around for centuries, but perfected in the modern era.
No matter what viral pandemic we come across, chronic diseases will always be a mainstay pandemic in North America if the way we approach healthcare and diet doesn't change. Currently, the top ten health problems in America (not all of them chronic) are heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and septicemia. The nation’s aging population, coupled with existing risk factors (tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity) and medical advances that extend longevity (if not also improve overall health), have led to the conclusion that these problems are only going to magnify if not effectively addressed now. (1)
It would be wonderful if all our patients came to us when they were healthy. But this is not the case and why prevention rather than symptom suppression has not been the priority of the healthcare systems aside from the fact that prevention is not profitable.
The primary driver of chronic disease is the interaction among genes, activities of daily living (lifestyle), and the environment.
The old model of health care does not work because chronic disease is a food- and lifestyle driven, environment- and genetics- influenced phenomenon.
I'm sold, how do I begin to address my health through the lens of functional medicine?