Treating medical issues isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution. Each patient comes to their medical provider with individual concerns and a unique background. This requires a customized treatment plan reflective of that.
Personal, integrative treatment is the core of functional medicine. Understanding the prevention, management, and cause of complex chronic disease allows functional medicine providers to work with patients to live their healthiest lives.
At Cyrus Advanced Institute in El Paso, TX, we treat each patient individually. We work with you to provide a treatment plan that integrates conventional medicine and holistic approaches to offer a comprehensive approach to your health.
As functional medicine grows ever more popular, you may have some questions: What is functional medicine? How does it work? And is it right for you?
Read on and learn all about how patients are empowered to reach their full health potential through functional medicine.
What Is Functional Medicine?
The key to functional medicine is offering a patient-centered approach to chronic disease management. In addition, functional medicine aims to be personalized and effective by working collaboratively through a model that embraces traditional medicine, nutrition, behavioral therapy, alternative medicine, and other disciplines.
At Cyrus Advanced Institute, our functional medical center first aims to identify the root cause of your health issues. Then, we examine the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences that affect your overall health and your specific condition.
The goal of our expert team goes beyond just making you feel better; we want to return your body to its natural, functional state by treating your whole body, not your symptoms.
How Does Functional Medicine Work?
At our functional medicine center, we ask each patient to undergo a thorough medical assessment. We aim to identify what is causing you pain or illness through this information.
Triggers we’re looking for include poor nutrition, stress, allergens, toxins, genetics, and your microbiome, which is the bacteria living in and on your body. Once we identify your triggers, we create a comprehensive medical plan customized for you.
Our functional medicine plan addresses everything from your nutrition, exercise, and sleep to any emotional or mental stressors in your social or work life that may aggravate your condition.
One of the founding principles of functional medicine is utilizing food and nutrition as a critical treatment area for many chronic conditions. By combining nutrition with lifestyle and behavioral treatments, we put patients on the path to optimal health.
What Goes into a Functional Medicine Assessment?
Patient assessments are a critical component of functional medicine. We create a complete picture of your health through completing an in-depth history, a physical examination, and lab testing, allowing us to develop a treatment plan customized to your needs.
Your medical assessment focuses on multiple factors, including your body’s functions, environment, genetics, and the mind-body connection.
Your body’s clinical functions encompass the processes that keep you alive. Your environment, genes, and mental health all contribute to how your clinical functions perform.
We focus on the following seven core clinical functions:
- Assimilation, including digestion, absorption, and your microbiome
- Defense and Repair, which encompasses your immune system
- Biotransformation and elimination, or detoxification
- Communication and transport, including cardiovascular and lymphatic systems
- Structural integrity, from your cellular membranes to your musculoskeletal system
Imbalances in these core clinical functions are the root cause of all chronic illnesses.
Lifestyle may play a part in up to 80% of all chronic illnesses. We believe that lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to treat chronic diseases.
Some of the most accessible modifications include:
- Exposure to pollution or toxins
- Sleep quality
- Stress management
Our functional medicine practitioners will offer specific lifestyle change suggestions to suit your needs.
For instance, lab testing may identify celiac disease, an immune disorder that damages the small intestine. Eliminating gluten controls the damage and symptoms of celiac disease. As a result, those with celiac disease can be effectively cured by identifying the cause and making nutritional adjustments.
Genetics plays a role in your susceptibility to disease. However, while genes play a part in assessing your condition, they are just one piece of the overall puzzle. Some patients may need to overcome their genetics to achieve their overall health, and by thoroughly understanding their genetic makeup, they can begin that process.
Psychological, social, and spiritual factors all directly influence your overall health. Therefore, one of functional medicine’s critical components is its holistic approach in addressing your mental health and how that contributes to your physical health.
How Does Functional Medicine Differ from Traditional Medicine?
Traditional medicine generally focuses on treating symptoms of illness or disease. Treatment plans target reducing symptoms but don’t necessarily work at uncovering the underlying reason for the disease or why you’re experiencing symptoms in the first place.
Conventional medical providers often design the same treatment plan regardless of the patient. For example, regardless of their background, nutrition, stressors, or exercise habits, most patients who visit a traditional medicine provider for high blood pressure will receive the same remedy.
In functional medicine, we aim to understand why you’re sick. By identifying the cause of your symptoms, our functional medicine provider will create a customized treatment plan. We analyze your lifestyle at our functional medicine center, run lab work, and design a treatment plan based on our findings.
Functional medicine does not reject traditional medical practices. Instead, functional medicine incorporates traditional medicine into a treatment plan as one piece of an overall solution.
What Conditions Benefit from Functional Medicine?
While anyone looking for a more comprehensive approach to their medical care can benefit from functional medicine, those facing chronic conditions often see significant benefits. Most commonly, those conditions include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Cancer prevention
- Adrenal disorders
- Women’s health disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Cardiovascular disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Digestive disorders
Many people with chronic pain or ongoing conditions seek out functional medicine when conventional medical methods fail.
Is Functional Medicine Right for You?
What is functional medicine? It’s a partnership between you and your physician that utilizes every tool in the toolbox to help you achieve optimal health.
Functional medicine isn’t only about treating chronic conditions. Our functional medicine center aims to prevent other conditions and treat current health concerns.
Call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Benitez at Cyrus Advanced Institute in El Paso, TX, today to begin your path to wellness.