Functional Medicine vs. Traditional Medicine

Functional medicine challenges the traditional medicine model of care by offering a patient-centered approach to treatment and wellness. In the United States, traditional medicine has made up most of the healthcare system for decades. However, functional medicine has continued to grow in popularity recently, focusing on identifying the root cause of illness and putting a patient’s health at the forefront of all decisions.

If you’ve wondered what the difference is between these two approaches, you’re not alone. Below, this guide serves to provide a clear breakdown of the difference between functional medicine and traditional medicine. Furthermore, this article explores which medicine is best for overall health and quality of life.

What is Traditional Medicine?

Traditional medicine, sometimes called conventional medicine, encompasses the type of medicine that most people in the U.S. are familiar with. This healthcare system involves professionals addressing symptoms a patient experiences and using symptoms to help diagnose a patient.

Through a series of tests, medications, and other treatments, traditional medicine focuses on symptom management to help patients feel better. This modern health-care model focuses on addressing a person’s symptoms rather than the root cause of the issue. When a patient stops pharmaceutical treatments, their symptoms return because the underlying cause has not been addressed.

Functional Medicine vs. Traditional Medicine

Functional medicine differs from traditional medicine. The functional medicine approach seeks to discover the root cause of symptoms, using symptoms as guidance to uncover more about what is happening in a person’s body. The goal of functional medicine is to help identify why a person is experiencing symptoms by digging deep to find the source of the issue.

Traditional medicine often focuses on masking or suppressing symptoms. Think of this approach as a “bandage” rather than a “fix”. Additionally, conventional medicine frequently treats the body as a collection of various organ systems, each of which requires a different specialist (cardiologist, neurologist, etc.). On the other hand, functional medicine seeks to look at a person’s body holistically, recognizing the importance of each organ system and how they work together. 

Functional medicine puts the patient at the center of treatment, whereas traditional medicine focuses more on addressing the disease itself. Often, functional medicine providers gather more information to make a diagnosis and treatment decisions than a traditional medicine practitioner. Functional medicine providers want to know more about what is occurring on a cellular level using a combination of conventional labs, specialty labs, and other available tools to create a personalized health plan.

Traditional medicine also often fails to create a collaborative effort among healthcare professionals. By addressing just one symptom or problem, other issues or conditions may go unnoticed. Instead, functional medicine takes a collaborative approach to developing a comprehensive plan.

Focus on Overall Health vs. Symptomatic Relief

Functional medicine differs from conventional medicine by examining a person’s overall health. Conventional medicine often focuses solely on one medical problem or symptom, ignoring other parts of the body that may directly affect the issue at hand. In addition, the functional medicine approach considers the importance of genetics, environmental factors, and other lifestyle factors that impact a person’s health.

Functional medicine doesn’t solely treat one symptom or illness. Rather, it focuses on a cellular examination of what is truly happening inside the body, resulting in overall improved health over the long term. With an overall restorative goal, the focus of functional medicine is on reversing and preventing disease, enhancing a patient’s overall health, and most importantly, improving their overall quality of life.

What Medicine is Best?

The scientific and data-driven functional medicine approach yields more results overall, leading to enhanced patient wellness. Functional medicine goes beyond the typical surface-level testing that most contemporary healthcare professionals use.

Functional medicine starts with a thorough examination, taking several important factors of health into account. By taking an “inside-out” approach, functional medicine challenges traditional medicine, providing improved medical care. The goal of functional medicine is not simply to remove a patient’s symptoms but to help restore balance in the body to enhance wellness. In turn, patients are able to feel better and enjoy life to the fullest.

Discover Functional Medicine with Mobile Care Health

Patients deserve modern health care with Mobile Care Health. Our concierge medicine service takes a holistic, patient-centered focus, helping to discover the root cause of patient symptoms. From head to toe, we offer a comprehensive service to address your health concerns.

With our combined approach of traditional and functional medicine approach, each patient is ensured a personalized patient-directed plan and a healthcare team that truly listens. If you’re looking for a new way to take charge of your health, Mobile Care Health is here to help. Book your visit today to discover the difference you deserve with Mobile Care Health’s functional medicine services.

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