• The Basics of Functional Medicine

    Functional medicine (FM) is different from patients’ usual experiences (in a very good way). Office hours, prescriptions, invasive procedures—patients won’t associate any of these words with functional medicine and its practice. What they will associate is personalized care, natural remedies, wellness, and answers.

    While a majority of the American health community continues to rely on traditional Western medicine, functional medicine is a new approach to medical treatment, and its popularity is quickly growing. Functional medicine works to fill the gaps left by Western medicine, and is itself the next progression in medical treatment. It makes connections between all the different experiences of the body to make sense of an ailment and provide alternative treatments. However, despite its successes and proven track record, many still do not know what this alternative type of treatment is and how it can help them.

     

    What Is Functional Medicine?

    Functional medicine is a thorough, diagnosis-based medical ideology that puts a strong emphasis on patient history and lifestyle choices. It involves a holistic, integrative type of medical practice that looks at the whole patient instead of just that patient’s symptoms. Functional medicine seeks to find root causes for health issues in a patient’s diet, genetics, and personal health history, looking not just at the systems affected by symptoms but all parts of a patient. Once root causes are found, treatment is personalized based on the patient’s overall health needs so that the patient not only has relief from their symptoms but is healthier and able to avoid having other health issues in the future.

    Dr. Mark Hyman defines functional medicine in this way.

    “Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.”

     

    How Functional Medicine Works

    Because a greater knowledge of the patient is required in order to accurately diagnose, doctors who practice functional medicine work harder to develop a relationship with their patients. They ask for a full patient history and go through every aspect of family medical history that might explain some of the present problems. For them, knowing their patients inside and out is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.

    Instead of using chemicals and invasive procedures, doctors of functional medicine work with the natural systems in the body to fight illnesses and painful symptoms. For example, they may recommend boosting a certain nutrient that aids the immune system by adding a nutrient rich vegetable or other superfoods to the diet. By simply adding different nutrients to your daily regiment and avoiding harmful foods, functional medicine philosophy attests that a patient can completely turn their health around. Treatments are centered around feeding the body the fuel it needs to fight illness and symptoms on its own.

    Many individualized treatment plans involve dietary changes as well as new considerations for lifestyle. These treatments often involve active participation from the patient—far more than would be needed if the patient were merely prescribed a pill. In order to help patients to adopt these changes, doctors of functional medicine often make themselves available to their patients between appointments through email, phone and text. This provides patients greater opportunity for success and allows patients and doctors to maintain an open, active relationship.

     

    What Can Functional Medicine Treat?

    Chronic headaches, stomach pains, sore muscles, lethargy, sleeplessness—the list of ailments that are treated by functional medicine goes on and on. Patients who come to receive functional medicine may struggle with joint pains or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They may also have a gluten intolerance or allergies, or be a child struggling with developmental or behavioral issues. Whether it’s a recent pain somewhere in the body, an emotional phase, or a problem that has plagued a patient for years, doctors will work to improve the quality of life for patients by using functional medicine. No prescription drugs, no unnatural chemicals; just healthy changes in diet, lifestyle, and outlook.

    Dr. Maggie treats patients suffering from the effects of digestive issues, cyliac disease, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, migraines, gluten intolerance, thyroid issues, and many other common health issues.

    With the proper attention and diagnosis, practitioners of functional medicine can work to find solutions that other doctors would solve simply by writing on a pad and sending a patient to the pharmacy.

     

    Who Is Functional Medicine For?

    Functional medicine is for men, women, and even children who have tried various prescription medicines for their chronic illness without any improvement. Functional medicine is for patients who don’t want to deal with troublesome side effects like weight gain or drowsiness, or want to figure out the source of their pain instead of masking symptoms. Whether you suffer from stomach pain, headaches, stiff muscles, lethargy, or even emotional problems like depression and anxiety, functional medicine can help improve your health and overall wellness.

    Anyone who has trouble swallowing a pill or has struggled with allergic reactions to past medications will find functional medicine to be much more sensitive on the body. Because most of the prescriptions involve making a new grocery list, improving the body’s wellness can be appetizing and fun. Instead of remembering to look at your pill box and take your meds, taking your medicine can be your afternoon snack or your dinner. Functional medicine is ideal for people who have not had success with typical Western medical treatments and are tired of living with medication routines and persistent ailments.

     

    Functional Medicine in Orlando

    Orlando has a wealth of medical services available to locals with a variety of doctors that each provide services shaped by their own medical philosophies. Dr. Maggie’s philosophy is shaped by functional medicine and its ability to completely change the lives of patients. Dr. Maggie is a practitioner of functional medicine in Orlando, Florida. She is flexible to work with and can provide a health plan for you during your first visit. While some doctors may be restricted by office hours, Dr. Maggie makes it a point to be as available as possible to her patients. Each person is created differently, with a unique body and mind requiring unique treatments. Dr. Maggie sees this and designs individualized plans based on each person’s needs. Make an appointment with Dr. Maggie today to begin your journey to good health.

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