What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model of integrative medicine. It maintains the patient-centered approach, especially focusing on the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health. Functional medicine provides a flexible and adaptive structure for clinicians to gather and sort information into the seven biological systems in which core clinical imbalances are found:

  • Assimilation: digestion, absorption, microbiota/GI system, respiration

  • Defense and repair: immune, inflammation, infection/microbiota

  • Energy: energy regulation, mitochondrial function

  • Biotransformation and elimination: toxicity, detoxification

  • Transport: cardiovascular and lymphatic systems

  • Communication: endocrine, neurotransmitters, immune messengers

  • Structural integrity: subcellular membranes to musculoskeletal integrity

The Core Principles of Functional Medicine:

  • Acknowledging the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness

  • Incorporating a patient-centered rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment

  • Seeking a dynamic balance among the internal and external factors in a patient’s body, mind, and spirit

  • Addressing the web-like interconnections of internal physiological factors

  • Identifying health as a positive vitality—not merely the absence of disease—and emphasizing those factors that encourage a vigorous physiology

  • Promoting organ reserve as a means of enhancing the health span, not just the life span, of each patient n Functional Medicine is a science-using profession

For additional information on Functional Medicine: www.ifm.org