What Is Functional Medicine
Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved health.
By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
The functional model of care offers a patient-centered approach to chronic disease management. It seeks to answer the question, “Why are you ill?” so you can receive personalized, effective care for your needs.
Functional medicine providers spend time listening to you and gathering your medical history. We use this information to identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as poor nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, genetics and your microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body).
Once we identify the triggers, we can customize a healthy living plan for you. Your plan will address many aspects of your life, from physical needs, including nutrition, exercise and sleep, to mental and emotional stressors related to social, work and community life.
The foundation of functional medicine is the use of food as a first-line therapy. The right nutrition, combined with lifestyle and behavioral interventions, will help you take charge of your health.
Michelle Thomas FNP-c
Michelle is a Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in Integrative and Functional Medicine. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from South University.