Beyond Symptom Management: The Revolutionary Approach of Functional and Integrative Medicine

What is functional medicine? The functional and integrative medicine model is an individual, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors, including diet, and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes. In other words, functional medicine takes a “whole-body” approach to your health, understanding that not all of your issues can be solved or defined by traditional medicine’s methods. Going to a traditional medical facility and being prescribed various medications for your individual symptoms may not be the optimal way of addressing your health anymore. Functional medicine doesn’t just treat your symptoms. It takes a deep dive into the “why” of how you’re feeling and sometimes may provide insight into underlying issues and give answers that you may not have been aware of before. Every “body” is different, and our methods should follow suit.


Beyond Symptom Management: The Revolutionary Approach of Functional and Integrative Medicine

Is Functional Medicine Legitimate?

Some may question whether or not functional medicine works or is legitimate. One common misconception of functional medicine is that it is not evidence-based or that it involves unproven methods of care. However, according to the Institute for Functional Medicine IFM, functional medicine entails a “biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.” Additionally, more large facilities across the country are starting to incorporate and adopt functional medicine as part of their care models, more private practices in functional medicine are opening, and clinical research in functional medicine continues to grow.


How does Functional Medicine work?

Functional health determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. Here’s the truth:

– There is a reason you are still sick (or haven’t achieved root-cause resolution to your illness or symptoms).
– The conventional medical model is limited.
– You might have gone about your chronic wellness issues the wrong way.
– Your current provider might not be the right fit any longer to meet your specific needs.
– There are alternatives to what they have tried!

Functional health treats every person as an individual, not just a number, and takes into account many factors in order to determine the best possible outcome. These factors to consider may include but are not limited to:

– Nutrition
– Stress
– Supplements
– Gut Health
– Emotional Health/factors
– Spiritual Health/factors
– Relationships & Social factors
– Mental Health
– Exercise
– Sleep

By taking these factors into consideration – utilizing them to gain insight into the individual makeup of each person – treatment, diagnosis, and care can be significantly more accurate.

The Possibilities of Functional Medicine

So, say you’re experiencing multiple symptoms – all of which, you’re unsure of if they’re related or not. With root cause analysis healthcare, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of the disease. Symptoms that may have you questioning your health may have a deeper root cause, and can look like this:

– Weight gain, inability to lose weight
– Poor sleep
– Fatigue
– Mood swings/changes in attitude or general outlook
– Depression or anxiety
– Getting sick easily/decreased immune function
– Muscle and joint pain
– Swollen lymph nodes
– Changes in hair or skin
– Bowel changes or frequent diarrhea
– Menstrual changes
– Heart palpitations
– Brain fog, difficulty concentrating
– Low libido
– Fertility issues

They may find one condition has many different causes, and likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual, including (but not limited to) the following:

– Thyroid disease, Hormone Imbalances, Adrenal and Stress Imbalances, Antiaging and Telomere testing,
– Autoimmune, Leaky Gut, Nutrient Deficiency and Food Sensitivities, Celiac and Gluten Allergy and Sensitivities,
– Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, MTHFR Genotype,
– Toxic Conditions, Heavy Metals

What makes functional medicine “Revolutionary”?

For far too long, patients in traditional medical facilities have been seen as dollar signs and treated as just another number to shuffle in and out as fast as possible. After all, time is money, isn’t it? Wrong. It’s time your concerns were heard. It’s time you were treated as an individual. It’s time to put your health and well-being first. Healthier individuals make healthier communities and, eventually, a healthier future for generations to come. Are you ready to begin your journey to a healthier you with functional medicine?

At Advanced Practice Clinic, we are the Joplin, MO, and four States’ Functional Medical facility of choice. We work to try and find the underlying cause of your concerns and chronic symptoms while creating an individualized wellness plan designed to kick-start your health journey. We will work to heal you from the inside out.


Take back your health and schedule an appointment.

Get in touch with us today!