What is a functional medicine practitioner?
A functional medicine practitioner strives to determine the root cause of their patient’s disease by taking a deep dive into the patient’s biochemistry, history, lifestyle and environment, to find the reasons why the patient is unwell. This is a systems biology oriented and highly personalised approach and takes time and testing to gather the relevant information to determine the causes of the disease.
Once this information has been gathered, a patient treatment plan is carefully designed. The aim is to not only make a diagnosis and eliminate symptoms using drugs or surgery (although if absolutely necessary, drugs and/or surgery are of course considered), but rather aiming to reverse each area of dysfunction by addressing the underlying causes and thus striving to eliminate the symptoms.
The relationship between the practitioner and the patient is collaborative. In essence, functional medicine has its focus on the person who has the disease rather than the disease that has the person. Mind, body and spirit are addressed to promote wellbeing.
Patients will often come into the practice with a couple of complaints, and leave with information about other areas of dysfunction that have been uncovered by the detailed consults and investigations. By addressing these the patient may be able to prevent other diseases developing.