What is Functional Medicine?

     Functional medicine strives to identify and address the root causes of disease using a systems-orientated, patient-centered approach. In contrast to the disease-centered model of conventional medicine that focuses on defining disease and treating a set of symptoms, functional medicine seeks to determine the origin or upstream causes of imbalance primarily aimed at prevention. By focusing on building a therapeutic partnership with each patient, a functional medicine practitioner looks at the whole person, understanding the body as an integrated system. A review of an individual’s medical history, personal genetics and lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management and social networks, provides useful information to identify and address the underlying mechanisms of dysfunction.


     A vision of Susan and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, The Institute for Functional Medicine (www.functionalmedicine.org) was created to offer an innovative model for teaching and practicing functional medicine. Functional medicine practitioners consider health as a positive vitality, beyond the absence of disease utilizing the latest laboratory testing, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs and/or stress-management techniques to optimize health. 


     Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (www.integrativerd.org) is a specialty practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also known as DIFM. Focused on providing a holistic and personalized approach to health and healing, DIFM practitioners believe in the power of food as medicine. To learn more about Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, click on the video below.