What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine is based on four principles:
Biochemical Individuality - We each have unique genetic heritage. We are unique in how we digest our food, metabolize nutrients and drugs and how we age. Even identical twins have biochemical uniqueness.
Health Is A Positive Vitality - Health is not only the absence of disease but the presence of physical, mental and social well-being. (World Health Organization Criteria – 1952) functional medicine
Homeodynamics, Not Homeostasis - We maintain bodily functions such as temperature, blood pressure, fluids, electrolyte balance and myriad other physiological functions within an ever-fluctuating and dynamic range of viability unique to each individual.
Health Is A Complex Web - We are all interacting physical systems and feedback loops of mutual interdependence designed for optimal immune, hormonal, neurological and cardiovascular functioning.
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How Functional Medicine Differs.:
Functional Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine: This term from the early 1990′s encompasses many modalities such as acupuncture, acupressure, cranial-sacral, Reiki, nutritional counselors, health coaches, massage and more. The term usually refers to practitioners who may or may not be required to be licensed by their state for a particular modality.
Functional Medicine vs. Holistic Medicine or practitioner: This term goes back to the late 1970′s and the 1980′s and may encompass medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors and chiropractors. It refers to treating the whole person and not just a specific organ of the body. It also refers to using more natural treatments rather than just prescription medicines.
Functional Medicine vs. Naturopathic Medicine: Naturopathic doctors (NMD) attend a school of Naturopathy to become a practitioner. They are licensed by their state to practice Naturopathic Medicine. They are trained to use natural remedies and sometimes intravenous vitamin treatments.
Compliments to Functional Medicine:
Functional Medicine vs. Integrative Medicine: This term gained popularity in the late 1990′s and there are several programs in Integrative Medicine at major medical centers around the country. It usually means that an M.D. is using both conventional medicine and some alternative medicine modalities and nutrition in their practice. The University Of Arizona Medical Center has a program in Integrative Medicine.
Functional Medicine vs. Lifestyle Medicine: This relatively recent term, since about 2005, is based on the growing research that the most common chronic diseases in Western society accounting for 78% of all health expenditures in the U.S. are strongly related to lifestyle rather than genetic factors. This includes heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, many cancers like colon, prostate and breast, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and others. There is a professional organization called the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Hunter Yost M.D. has extensive training in Functional Medicine which incorporates the concepts of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Yost is not a naturopathic doctor. He is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
If you would like more information on Functional Medicine, please contact our office.