Functional practitioners focus less on masking symptoms and more on how the body works as a whole. Functional practitioners are interested in determining the root cause of a body's dysfunction and how to restore it to a normal, healthy condition. The symptoms are only clues to the root cause.
Functional medicine professionals dig into the unique health history of each person to uncover more clues about why and how they are not functioning as it should.
This involves sitting down with the patient for a considerable amount of time (often 45 to an hour), and asking pertinent questions to get a better understanding of the person.
For example, notes on vacations, new pets or job changes, as well as other details that could give clues about a person's current health. These are just a few examples. These topics are not covered in the traditional model.
If necessary, laboratory tests may be ordered to give more information about treatment options. These tests may include standard blood tests as well as food allergy, stool tests, hormone tests and so forth.
Once this information has been gathered, the goal is to find the best way for the body to achieve its optimal condition. We know that pharmaceutical options should be used only as a last resort. They can mask symptoms but leave the root cause untreated.
Exercise recommendations and stress reduction techniques are also available. Others may recommend additional treatment options such as massage, acupuncture or chiropractic care.
These treatment plans are usually slow to start once they have been started. Chronic diseases are not something that patients develop in one day, or even one week. These treatments can take weeks or even months to restore your body's proper function and balance.