Functional medicine is not a new concept, but in recent years it has enjoyed an increase in popularity among chiropractors who pursue a nutritional and holistic approach to treating patients. It is a very effective method of treating many chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
The basis of functional medicine is holistic treatment methods that focus on restoring proper metabolism within the cells. This is accomplished by reducing oxidative stress and the cumulative toxic load within the body, allowing mitochondrial respiration to normalize.
This, in turn, encourages cellular energy production to return to normal as well which results in diminished symptoms of chronic illness. It also works very well with nutritional therapies used to treat diseases and disorders.
In chronic disease that is moderate, or even mild, a singular treatment approach may not be enough. Doctors using nutritional therapies or other treatments often find that incorporation functional medicine into the program has very good results.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a methodology that utilizes medical treatments or practices that have a strong emphasis on not only curing or relieving illness and chronic conditions within the body, but to restore optimal functioning to the body. It is comprised of systems that incorporate alternative medicine and holistic practices, including nutritional therapy.
Why is Functional Medicine Necessary?
As incidences of chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, mental illness, and heart disease, continue to steadily rise, it is important to not only find ways to combat these conditions, but to draw patients into the process so that they are no longer spectators of their own healthcare, but partners with their physicians.
The approach that most doctors take to medicine is focused on acute care. The standard is diagnosing and treating illness or trauma that requires urgent care on the short term such as a broken bone, the flu, or appendicitis. There is a system already in place for treating these conditions and doctors only need to follow it, applying prescribed treatments that are specific to the condition such as surgery or medications. These treatments tend to address the symptoms or immediate problem but rarely target the core or cause.
This acute care method misses the mark when it comes to treating chronic diseases. This type of complex medicine requires a different methodology and a different set of tools that must address each patient’s unique genetics as well as lifestyle and exposure to environmental toxins.
These elements all directly contribute to the increase in chronic diseases in the modern western world. Mostly this is due to the significant disparity between how doctors practice medicine and the research that is being conducted in the sciences – in particular, chronic illness.
The connection simply isn’t there and as a result the majority of doctors are ill equipped for adequately treating chronic illness. They are not trained in identifying the underlying causes of chronic illness, or in supportive therapies including exercise, diet, and nutrition. They have an idea, but often are not able to take that rudimentary knowledge, expound upon it and apply it to a patient’s specific medical needs.
I first saw Dr. Giudice a few years ago for weight loss and chronic fatigue and joint pain. Working with him and his staff, I learned how to eat to live and got into terrific shape. I also suffered from migraines and had auto immune issues which he helped me alleviate. — Phyllis Lindy
Just over 13 months before this (picture) was taken, I had gone to your office as none of the doctors that I had visited in the previous eight years could help with my chronic medical issues. My life had been so diminished that I feared I wouldn’t be able to continue working full time and I had given up hope. Now, thanks to you and your amazing staff, I’m not only able to work but I can spend my weekends hiking the last 1,000+ feet to the top of Whiteface Mountain. And, I haven’t needed antibiotics since being in your care. Thank you for giving my live back.— Sheryn
The most noticeable change is with the horrible brain fog I was having. Dr. Giudice really does treat the whole person. He is so knowledgable about the total body and it’s functions. I feel like myself before the thyroidectomy. — Shazela Hansraj
What Makes Functional Medicine Different?
Functional medicine shifts the focus away from the immediacy of acute care and hones in on long term treatment that addresses the whole patient. It involves not just the treatment of complex disease, but also their prevention and origin. There are three primary hallmark traits of functional medicine: