Functional medicine is a type of medicine that seeks to address the underlying causes of disease. It uses a systems-oriented approach to bring patient and practitioner into a therapeutic partnership. The goal of functional medicine is to shift the conventional disease-centered approach to healthcare to a more patient-centered model.
To learn more about functional medicine or to schedule an appointment, contact Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition at (310) 289-8000.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a type of medicine that provides chronic care management by analyzing the role of diet, nutrition, environmental toxins, and stealth infections in illness. It focuses primarily on the way these factors interact with patients’ gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems.
In taking a “systems-oriented” approach, functional medicine seeks to analyze how all the individual components of the human body interact with the environment. Functional medicine holds that the patient’s entire history ought to be analyzed and understood in its complete context. It says that by taking in this full history, the physician is better equipped to assist the patient.
As part of the functional medicine approach, we take into account the following areas:
- Oxidative stress
- Digestive system integrity
- Structural anomalies
- Nutritional status
- Immune system
- Toxic exposure, heavy metals
- Ability of the body to detoxify
- Hormones and neurotransmitters
- Psychological equilibrium (mind-body connection)
In addition to these, our doctors consider overall lifestyle, sleep quality, exercise, relationships, self-care, belief systems, and more. All of these factors combined create the functional medicine matrix model. This model helps us at LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition gain a comprehensive perspective of a patient as a “whole-person”, not just a set of isolated symptoms.
The Institute for Functional Medicine
Founded in 1993, the Institute for Functional Medicine is a nonprofit educational organization that seeks to help treat and prevent disease through education, research, and collaboration with doctors. The goal of the Institute for Functional Medicine is to provide a new systems-based clinical model to replace the current healthcare model. The purpose of this is to empower healthcare professionals to implement a more predictive, proactive, and personalized medicine that allows patients to take a more meaningful and active role in their own care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is functional medicine different from conventional medicine?
A: Functional medicine is an innovative approach to healthcare. It goes beyond the conventional modes of thinking and treats patients in a holistic way. Rather than focusing on isolated symptoms, functional medicine looks at the interaction of the entire body with a number of factors including, mind, relationships, and environment.
Q: Who can benefit from functional medicine?
A: Anyone who suffers from gastrointestinal or gastrointestinal-based problems can benefit from the insights of functional medicine.
Q: Why do we need functional medicine?
A: As modern society sees more and more people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases (including autoimmune disorders, cancer, and diabetes), functional medicine becomes increasingly important. Unlike conventional medicine, which often only prescribes medications and procedures to treat symptoms, functional medicine is able to get at the root of these difficult and complex problems by treating patients in a systems-oriented – or holistic – manner.
Q: Does LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition’s staff have special training in functional medicine?
A: Yes, our health care providers are trained in functional medicine.
Contact a Functional Medicine Doctor in Los Angeles
Are you interested in exploring an innovative “whole-person” approach to health and healing? You may contact us by calling (310) 289-8000 or by emailing us to set up your consultation and discover what a functional medicine approach can do for you.
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