Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from
complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and
autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the
diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such
as appendicitis or a broken leg. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or
surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools
for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account
the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins
and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in
modern Western society.
There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging
research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years—
particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness. Functional medicine’s aim is to evaluate, assess,
and carefully enfold emerging research in a practical, efficient, and safe manner.
Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex,
chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent
these illnesses in their patients.
Copy provided by The Institute for Functional Medicine
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