Functional medicine is a drugless, non-pharmaceutical approach that seeks to addresses the underlying causes of ill-health and disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership that incorporates patient education and empowerment so as to create short term healing and long term health benefits. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the savvy, educated patient of the 21st century who is looking for more than taking drugs to achieve a healthy state. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of typical western medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. Functional medicine doctors believe that health is a by-product of a normally functioning body.
The sad truth is that most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease with strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these conditions in their patients.
In lieu of drugs, most practitioners who practice ‘functional medicine’ are C.A.M (complementary and alternative medicine) practitioners. Our clinic director at Alternative Physical Medicine of Colorado is Dr. Ron Spallone, D.C. a licensed chiropractor who incorporates a complementary and alternative functional approach. This approach considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creates a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, and/or stress-management techniques.
Common conditions that can have a positive and favorable response to being treated functionally are: Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Thyroid conditions such as Hashimotos, hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, obesity, auto-immune conditions, GI disorders such as leaky gut, Chron’s Disease, IBS;irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches
In our complementary and alternative clinic in Littleton we use advanced blood testing to assess and determine underlying causes of symptoms and then procure treatment regimes aimed at balancing body and chemistry throughout the use of neurological balancing, neurofeedback and/or pharmaceutical grade therapeutic nutrition and supplementation.