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What is Functional Medicine?

By Toni Eatros, MS, Dipl Ac, AP

What is Functional MedicineThe best definition of functional medicine that I have seen is by Dr Dan Kalish.  He defines functional medicine as “a science-based approach to healing that is based primarily on natural health solutions to common health problems.”  The heavy use of labs, research and science embraces our current medical model and helps my patients to see scientifically what is going on in their body.  This is important for the science minded people.  The difference between our current western medical system and functional medicine lies in the treatment approach.

Functional medicine attempts to find and treat the underlying cause of health problems rather than medicating the symptoms of the dysfunction.  We test to see what system is breaking down and then utilize natural remedies and lifestyle changes to fix the system.  When the system function is restored, the physical health symptoms disappear.

What is the goal of functional medicine?
The goal of functional medicine is to help our patients in a way that combines timeless, natural healing principles with our latest scientific advances in laboratory testing.  We want to reset the body system function and erase the effect that stress has had on your body, so you can go on and live the next chunk of your life with these systems functioning properly.  This will improve your quality of life and also slow down the rate that you are aging, biologically.

What do functional medicine providers do?
The number one thing we do is listen.  During the hour long initial functional medicine consultation we discuss at length your entire health history and identify in detail what your current symptoms and health concerns are.  We take time to answer your questions, thoroughly.  Based on this extensive intake, proper at home lab tests are ordered to test how the the body systems are functioning.

A customized supplement and lifestyle program is formulated based on the results of the lab tests.  Lifestyle changes are recommended to support your body in correcting and restoring the systems that have broken down.  These programs focus on correcting neurotransmitter imbalances, hormone imbalances, energy issues, detoxification issues, and digestive disorders.

As the systems begin repairing, patients begin feeling better and lifestyle recommendations and the supplement regimen is tweaked.  Usually within 6-18 months, system function has been restored and a maintenance program is implemented to support you in moving forward.

What is the functional medicine philosophy?
Functional medicine operates on the philosophy that if given the correct circumstances, the body can heal itself.  So, by giving the body the building blocks it needs for proper system function, and by removing the so called “obstacles to cure”, the body will repair itself.

We do this by giving proper vitamins, minerals and possibly pre-hormones so the body has the raw materials it needs to function properly.  We also tend to remove things more than add things.  For example, for blood sugar issues or pain and inflammation in the body, we would have you remove sugar from the diet instead of adding pharmaceuticals to balance blood sugar or relieve pain.

Functional medicine is systems based, rather than symptoms based.

We all intuitively know that stress is contributing to our health problems.  Stress is the main initiator of body system breakdown.  Starting a functional medicine program will really make a difference in how you feel on a daily basis. We will show you scientifically exactly how your body is holding up to the stress you experience on a daily basis.

Call today 239-260-4566 or schedule online,, to schedule your Functional Medicine New Patient Consultation now.  Don’t let your physical and emotional condition be the reason you cannot travel to see your grandchildren, why you aren’t playing outside with your children or why you aren’t completing your bucket list.

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