Root Cause Revolution

health prevention and wellness

The Rise of Functional Medicine

More people than ever before are reporting dissatisfaction and sometimes even feel failed by the healthcare system. Among the top complaints include long appointment times, high cost, limitations of insurance coverage, and subpar focus on preventive care and wellness, according to a Time Magazine poll in August 2023. 

Primary care is failing health prevention and wellness. 

In the U.S., the task of disease prevention and wellness falls primarily on primary care providers. Still, in recent years, primary care providers have been tasked with increasingly complicated medical care, leaving less time and resources for wellness and disease prevention. In fact, the emphasis on chronic illness management in medical training leaves much of disease prevention and wellness from medical training. 

The Functional Medicine

A nontraditional approach. 

Over the last decade, a less-known specialty, Functional Medicine, has emerged and gained increasing popularity among healthcare consumers and medical providers.  

The rise in popularity comes as many people report feeling dissatisfied and unheard by their healthcare provider. While traditional medicine is quick to prescribe medication and provide a quick fix, functional medicine seeks to create a personalized and holistic understanding of your health by deeply diving into your medical and family history, habits, and diet. Functional medicine is an approach that focuses on treating the root causes of health issues rather than just addressing symptoms. 

Functional medicine excels where traditional medicine doesn’t. 

  1. Holistic Approach: Functional medicine takes a holistic approach to health, considering the interconnectedness of various systems in the body. This approach resonates with individuals seeking comprehensive and personalized healthcare.
  2. Patient-Centered Care: Functional medicine often involves more personalized and patient-centered care. Practitioners typically spend more time with patients, taking into account their individual health histories, genetics, and lifestyle factors.
  3. Preventive Focus: Functional medicine emphasizes preventive measures, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications to promote long-term health. This preventive focus can appeal to individuals who want to take an active role in maintaining their well-being and optimizing their health.
  4. Chronic Disease Management: Functional medicine providers can be an essential element specialty to the healthcare team in persons dealing with chronic conditions. Its focus on addressing the underlying causes of diseases rather than merely managing symptoms makes it attractive to those looking for alternative approaches to healthcare even when chronic illness exists. 
  5. Integration of Conventional and Alternative Therapies: Functional medicine integrates elements of conventional and alternative therapies. This integrative approach may appeal to individuals seeking a more comprehensive and flexible healthcare solution.
  6. Focus on Nutrition and Lifestyle: Functional medicine strongly emphasizes nutrition and lifestyle interventions. For individuals looking for ways to improve their health through dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, functional medicine provides a framework that aligns with these goals.

Rising Popularity 

A surge in popularity is likely due to increased awareness and access to information about functional medicine through media, the internet, and social media. Like anything with increasing popularity, it’s important to examine the medical accuracy and credentials of the author. A quick review to ensure a licensed medical provider such as a MD, DO, NP, PA, or RD has written the article will help protect you against erroneous or misleading information. 

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