Integrative medicine focuses on the different ways one can treat the human body. Functional medicine focuses on lifestyle changes to prevent chronic illness from overwhelming your body. Integrative medicine doctors aim for optimum health and incorporate strategies to help support your body’s self-healing process. Your body reacts to your surroundings. For example, environmental factors affect your body’s healing process. In this article, we’re going to explore the fields of functional and integrative medicine. We’ll be discussing each one individually, how they are similar, how they differ, and how to pick the type of medicine that works best for you.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is a whole-person approach to medicine that looks at the mind, body, and spirit. Integrative medicine physicians work with their patients to come up with a treatment plan that is unique to them. This type of medicine is not one size fits all. Each person’s situation is different so each treatment plan must be tailored to the individual. Integrative medicine considers all aspects of a person’s life including their diet, lifestyle, environment, and stressors. This holistic approach to medicine can help prevent disease and promote health and well-being.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that seeks to find the root cause of a person’s illness or disease rather than just treating the symptoms. It is an individualized, patient-centered approach to healthcare that looks at all aspects of a person’s health including their lifestyle, diet, and environment. Functional medicine doctors work with patients to find the underlying cause of their health problems and develop a personalized treatment plan to address them.
The Difference Between the Two
While there is some overlap between functional medicine and integrative medicine, there are some key differences. Integrative medicine takes a holistic approach to healing while functional medicine focuses on the root cause of diseases and conditions. Integrative medicine also emphasizes the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection, while the functional medicine approach focuses on the interactions between the body’s various systems.
The main difference between functional and integrative medicine is that while both focus on treating the whole person, functional medicine also seeks to find the root cause of a person’s illness or condition. Functional medicine looks at all the factors contributing to a person’s health issues, including lifestyle, diet, environment, and genetics.
While integrative medicine practitioners take a holistic approach to healing, functional medicine practitioners seek to identify and address the underlying causes of a person’s health problems. This approach is well suited to treating chronic conditions because it focuses on identifying the root cause of the problem instead of just addressing symptoms. If you are suffering from a chronic condition, it may be worth considering seeing a functional medicine doctor.
Both functional and integrative medicine have advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately it is up to the patient to decide which approach is right for them. Integrative and functional medicine practitioners often use a variety of modalities to treat their patients, including diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, herbs, acupuncture, and homeopathy. Their goal is to identify and treat the underlying causes of disease rather than simply suppressing symptoms.
Focus on Functional Medicine
Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the function of the body’s systems and organs. Functional medicine doctors seek to understand how the body’s systems work together to maintain health and how imbalance between these systems can lead to disease. By helping patients make lifestyle modifications, functional medicine practitioners aim to treat the whole person, not just their symptoms.
While integrative medicine aims to connect the healing of your mind, body, and spirit, functional medicine seeks to identify the underlying cause of your disease or health condition. The main idea is that many factors may have contributed to the development of a chronic disease. One thing you don’t have to worry about is overreliance on medications. Your physician won’t give you medical prescriptions unless necessary.
Functional and Integrative Medicine – Which One Should You Choose
There is a lot of debate in the healthcare community about which approach is better: functional medicine or integrative medicine. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference between them before deciding which one is right for you.
Functional medicine focuses on treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of a disease. This approach looks at the underlying factors contributing to good health including diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and environmental exposures. By considering all of these factors, functional medicine practitioners can develop individualized treatment plans that are much more likely to be effective than conventional treatments.
Integrative medicine is similar to functional medicine because it also focuses on treating the whole person. However, integrative medicine practitioners take a more holistic medicine approach to treatment, using both conventional and alternative therapies. This approach looks at all factors contributing to good health, including diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and environmental exposures. By considering all of these factors, integrative medicine practitioners can develop individualized treatment plans that are much more likely to be effective than non-personalized approaches.
Key Takeaways of Integrative and Functional Medicine
Now that you know the difference between functional and integrative medicine, you can choose which one works best for you. A well-trained physician knows which healing approach will best help your well-being, and can incorporate lifestyle coaching to help you achieve your goal. A functional or integrative medicine doctor focuses on restoring optimum function and long-term health. For example, functional or integrative medical doctors can provide you with treatment options for gut health, chronic pain, and even nutritional therapy. The fundamental takeaway from these practices is that they aren’t cookie-cutter treatments. They are specially designed for each patient’s unique well-being.
Bio: Index Health is a healthcare team specialized in personalized healing and root cause diagnosis and treatment. Our multi-disciplinary care team is made up of physicians and nutritionists that are trained and certified in functional or root cause medicine.