The US spends $2.3 trillion dollars on healthcare annually and 75% of these costs are to treat chronic conditions. Despite spending twice as much per capita on healthcare as compared to other industrialized countries, our outcomes are less successful. Clearly our current medication/surgery-based model is not working for chronic health problems.
Chronic diseases are the byproduct of a complex interaction between our genes, our daily activities, and our interaction with the environment. To treat only the symptoms of such conditions is to miss their underlying causes.
This is where FM (Functional Medicine) offers a different and more effective way to treat chronic diseases. The Institute of Functional Medicine describes the practice of FM as involving four essential parts:
First, eliciting the patient’s complete story during the Functional Medicine intake.
Second, identifying and addressing the challenges of the patient’s modifiable lifestyle factors and environmental exposures.
Third, organizing the patient’s clinical imbalances by underlying causes of disease in a systems biology matrix framework.
Fourth, establishing an effective therapeutic partnership between practitioner and patient.
FM expects the patient to take a more active role in their health with the practitioner (Dr Guy) serving as a member of their health team to help identify the underlying causes and to provide the tools to slow and reverse the course of their chronic condition. These tools include detailed questionnaires, specific food plans, supplements, specialized testing, and personalized modifiable lifestyle changes.
I will be happy to explain Functional Medicine further the next time I see you.