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What Do Functional Medicine Doctors Do? A Simple Guide for Beginners

You’re already aware of functional fitness. It’s not just a big fitness craze. Functional fitness focuses on how you move so you can handle everyday tasks. Some of these everyday tasks include carrying groceries up the stairs or having a baby on your hip and turning around quickly.

Did you know that there are functional doctors, too? It’s a growing area of medicine to the point where the prestigious Cleveland Clinic opened a functional medicine centre. 

Do you want to know what do functional medicine doctors do?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Before we get into what functional doctors do, we have to look at the field of functional medicine. This will give you a better understanding as to what functional doctors do.

The way medicine is practised now is that if you have a health issue you see a doctor. A doctor will usually look at the problem and give you medicine to make the problem go away.

There’s usually no discussion of the underlying issues that are causing the problem. Here’s an example. You were just diagnosed as a diabetic. Rather than addressing the causes of diabetes, which is usually a poor diet, you’re given insulin to live with diabetes.

Without looking at the underlying causes, you’re just putting a tiny bandage over a big wound and replacing that bandage over and over. The wound never heals.

Functional medicine looks at the problem in a scientific way. They’ll then treat health issues using natural remedies. They don’t prescribe magic herbs or supplements. They’ll stick with science and only use things that have been scientifically proven to work.

What Do Functional Medicine Doctors Do?

Functional doctors understand that health issues don’t happen in isolation. They look at all aspects of your life to treat health problems.

What do functional medicine doctors do? They listen to their patients. How many time have you gone to the doctor, waited for 20 minutes, and then spend 5 with the doctor? You get your five minutes and you’re sent on your way.

A functional medicine practitioner takes the time to get to know you to get a better understanding of your lifestyle. In this process, they’ll see areas of opportunity to improve your overall health. They may prescribe an exercise program, meditation, or dietary changes to improve your health.

They’ll also take into account stress and mental health issues as both can have negative impacts on your overall health.

How Does Functional Medicine Differ From Alternative Medicine?

Another common question around functional medicine is how it differs from other forms of alternative medicine, like integrative health.

Integrative medicine also looks at the entire lifestyle of the patient to address the underlying causes of health issues.

Functional medicine takes the integrative approach to overall health. It also applies scientifically-based systems to treat patients. In a sense, it combines the best of traditional Western medicine and integrative medicine.

Live a Healthier Life

It’s no secret that we are an unhealthy population. There’s no one cause to the decline of health, but many different factors. We’re stressed out, we don’t exercise, and we eat too much. We’re also unhappy as a population, which plays a role in physical health.

What do functional medicine doctors do? They work with you to address all of the factors that play a role in your health. They use scientifically-proven systems and remedies to address your health issues. They’re a partner in your health.

They’re not just someone that will give you a prescription and tell you to come back if the issue persists.

Would you like more health tips? Take a look at the general health section of our blog for more great articles.