Functional Medicine is what most people used to think of when they contemplate Medicine. Also referred to as Integrative Medicine, it is the preventative approach you want and imagine you will receive in a highly collaborative relationship with your Physician. However, in practice, the model that is still dominant today is the Conventional approach to medicine. This traditional model has persevered for generations, is inherently less patient-centric, and is more focused on managing the disease after it has occurred. In Conventional Medicine, Practitioners focus on controlling illness by suppressing the symptoms through prescription drugs rather than focusing on finding and treating the cause. The Conventional medicine approach does not, therefore, prevent disease but seeks to control its further spread.
Functional Medicine practitioners take the opposite approach: They implement the highest level of care by working closely with patients to help them prevent the disease from happening at all. They do this through Advanced Integrative testing, initially, and throughout their doctor-patient relationship rather than testing after the patient’s diagnosis with a medical condition. If the patient does develop a disease or a condition, they holistically investigate the entire body, treating the underlying cause to reverse the diagnosis as completely as possible, often without surgery or medication. Ultimately, patients are not only able to get well but also to stay well.
Conventional medicine has been waging a losing war again Chronic Disease and Inflammation over the same period that Dr. Deepti first began her medical journey. We have seen epidemic levels of Chronic Inflammation, Metabolic Disease and Obesity-related illnesses in America which are being treated while or after they are occurring. In the United States:
- Six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease, while four in 10 suffer with two or more chronic conditions. (8)
- Seven of the current top 10 causes of death are chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and chronic disease is responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths each year. (9, 10)
- Nearly six million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, a number expected to reach nearly 14 million by 2050; the disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. (11)
- More than 100 million Americans—nearly one in three—have either prediabetes or diabetes, the seventh-leading cause of death, while some 50 million citizens have an autoimmune disease. (12, 13)
- Research suggests that more than half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug, with some estimates as high as 70 percent; many in this group regularly take between two and four medications. (1, 2)
- Between 1988 and 2010, the number of older adults taking more than five prescription medications tripled, from 12.8 percent to 39 percent. (3)
- More than 20 percent of children under the age of 18 take at least one prescription drug every month, including antidepressants and even opioids. (4, 5, 6)
Conventional medicine’s losing war on disease management and a reactionary approach has opened the door to Functional Medicine Practitioners. This “True” medicine is an Evidence-based Preventative approach focusing on the Nutritional Health of the patient as well as many other Environmental and Genetic Factors. Functional Medicine focuses on treating the Cause rather than treatment of the symptoms through prescription drugs and deals directly with the underlying health issue. Each patient is treated as a whole, unique individual. After extensive Advanced Integrative Testing, Practitioners work together with health coaches, nutritionists, and other allied health providers to understand the whole picture and support patients as they make their journey toward Wellness.