Online Functional Medicine Treatment

Functional medicine is an approach to medicine that focuses on finding and healing the underlying cause(s) of a condition.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is an approach to medicine that focuses on finding and healing the underlying cause to a disease or problem. While traditional medicine tends to relieve the problem itself, functional medicine explores the “why” and then addresses the root cause(s) to fully heal a person from their illness. 

A disease can appear as a result of many causes. Likewise, a cause can lead to many different diagnoses. Functional medicine is an approach that brings lasting healing by addressing these causes at their root personalized just for you, whereas traditional medicine tends to address and suppress symptoms. 

History of Functional Medicine

In the 1980s, publications used the term “Functional” in medicine in a term called “functional somatic syndromes.” This term means that syndromes related to each other are characterized more by their symptoms rather than the disease. A few examples of functional somatic syndromes include:

  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

Medical doctors began to argue that these syndromes should be split into subgroups that are categorized at the cellular level. This dialogue between medical experts started a debate about keeping the syndromes together (lumpers) or splitting them up (splitters) so that patients could be treated clinically on a personalized treatment plan, rather than a “lumped together” treatment plan. 

This new thinking in the medical community resulted in new diagnostic tools which allowed specific tissues and organs to be evaluated in real time. In additional, these technologies helped pave the way for new functional approaches like:

  • Functional neurology
  • functional immunology
  • functional cardiology
  • functional oncology
  • functional radiology
  • functional genomics 

In 1991, the Institute for Functional Medicine was founded with 7 defining characteristics of functional medicine. These included:

  1. Patient centered versus disease centered.
  2. Systems biology approach: web-like interconnections of physiological factors.
  3. Dynamic balance of gene-environment interactions.
  4. Personalized based on biochemical individuality.
  5. Promotion of organ reserve and sustained health span.
  6. Health as a positive vitality—not merely the absence of disease.
  7. Function versus pathology focused.

Also in 1991, the definition of “functional” was changing from a singular bucketed approach to an integrated focus on all the pieces of the puzzle. 

Functional Medicine Treatment Options

A functional medicine doctor’s goal is to restore balance and normal function of your specific illness by developing a personalized plan just for you. Here are a few options that may be included in your personalized functional medicine treatment plan:

  • Change in your diet
  • Change in your exercise
  • Change in your lifestyle
  • Stress management
  • Psychotherapy
  • Detox programs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Herbal and botanical medications
  • Supplements 

Benefits of Functional Medicine

Functional medicine has many benefits compared to traditional approaches.

  • Functional medicine is personalized for you
  • Functional medicine treats the causes rather than the symptoms
  • Functional medicine is a solution instead of a band-aid
  • Functional medicine can prevent other potential health issues by addresses root causes
  • Functional medicine combines traditional medicine with alternative methods of treatment

Which Conditions Can Functional Medicine Treat?

We’ve all been treated at the doctor’s office, left with medication or got a shot, and still felt sick days later. Medications can treat the symptoms of an illness, but don’t often address the root cause(s). Functional medicine has a wide range of benefits for the following medical conditions:

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, arthritis, and celiac disease can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

Cardiometabolic Conditions

Cardiometabolic conditions like high blood pressures, diabetes, and heart condition can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

Digestive Disorders

Digestive Disorders like ulcers, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and others can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

Hormonal Issues

Hormonal problems like thyroid conditions, fatigue, and menopause can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

Psychiatric Conditions

Psychiatric conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and ADHD can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

Skin Disorders

Finally, skin conditions, like acne and eczema, can benefit from a functional medicine approach.

See an Online Functional Medicine Doctor

My name is Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, I am a consultant psychiatrist in Miami, Florida. I believe that compassion, when directed towards self and others, can lead to profound health and healing. If you need to speak with an online functional medicine doctor, we can help! I have created a unique treatment model in which you will have the  opportunity to work with providers who I specifically refer to based on your current experience, diagnosis and needs.  I build this team around you and will coordinate your care with the goal to find meaning in your experience, and free you of your symptoms so that you can feel more at peace, and have greater capacity to adapt to life circumstances, to challenge yourself, to be creative, to develop intimacy and to have a fulfilling lifestyle With more than 20 years of clinical experience and a vast network of clinical partners, I’ve developed a unique treatment approach that delves into the underlying issues that place a person at risk for mental health conditions.  Together we will create a protocol and treatment plan that is well coordinated, and that can guide you on your healing process, toward health and inner peace. Contact me today!

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