Gynecology And Functional Medicine Alexandria Gynecology And Functional Medicine Alexandria
Gynecology And Functional Medicine Alexandria

39070 John Mosby Hwy| Aldie, VA 20105 | tel. 703.327.2434 fax. 703.327.2729

At-a-Glance

Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine AlexandriaFunctional Medicine is an integrative, science based approach to health care that treats patients as a whole person rather than a set of symptoms. By shifting a disease-centered medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, practitioners are able to spend time with their patients and evaluate their medical history, as well as the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence the patient's long-term health. Functional medicine aims to maintain a patient's overall health on a preventative, individual basis.

Why do we need functional medicine?

As more and more people are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and autoimmune diseases, it is apparent that the acute care currently provided by doctors is not sufficient to prevent and thoroughly treat these conditions.

Most physicians provide patients with acute care for short-term trauma or illness, or for urgent conditions such as appendicitis or a broken leg. Treatment for these conditions, often in the form of drugs or surgery, aims to relieve symptoms or provide immediate relief for the condition.

Unfortunately, the acute-care approach is not beneficial in preventing and treating complex, chronic conditions, and does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual, their lifestyle and their environment. Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying cause of complex chronic diseases or to provide strategies to treat and prevent these illnesses.

How is functional medicine different?

Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention and treatment of complex, chronic diseases. The essentials of a functional medicine approach include:

  • Patient-centered care - Functional medicine aims to improve the patient's overall health, far beyond just treating his or her disease. Treatment is tailored to the patient's individual needs.
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach - Functional medicine practitioners consider several individual factors, including genetic makeup, medical history, lifestyle, environment and physiology, to develop a treatment plan that will improve and maintain overall health.
  • Integrating the best medical practices - Functional medicine combines traditional Western medical practices with alternative medicine to help prevent chronic diseases through nutrition, diet and exercise. Physicians may prescribe a combination of drugs, botanical medicines, supplements, detoxification programs or stress-management techniques to help patients treat and prevent complex conditions.


Working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner

The Functional Medicine Approach to Assessment
Functional Medicine AlexandriaFunctional medicine practitioners promote wellness by focusing on the fundamental underlying factors that influence every patient's overall health.

The functional medicine practitioner will consider:

  • Environmental inputs - Your health is affected by the air you breathe, the water you drink, the diet you eat, your level or physical exercise, traumas you have experienced and more.
  • Mind-body elements - Psychological, spiritual and social factors can all have a profound influence on a patient's health, and are important in treating patients as a whole person rather than just physical symptoms.
  • Genetic makeup - Although certain genes may make patients more susceptible to some diseases, new research shows that genes can be influenced by environment, experiences, attitudes and beliefs, meaning that the way genes are activated and expressed can be changed.

By assessing these underlying causes and potential triggers, a functional medicine practitioner is able to understand how certain processes are affected, and how that can lead to symptoms, which can then lead to disease. Some of these processes include:

  • How your body rids itself of toxins
  • Regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
  • Immune system function
  • Inflammatory responses
  • Digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • How you produce energy

The Functional Medicine Comprehensive Approach to Treatment
After assessing a wide range of factors that can affect your health, the functional medicine practitioner will work with the patient to develop a treatment plan that addresses the findings of the assessment.

  • Prevention is paramount - Virtually every complex, chronic disease is preceded by long-term disturbances in functionality.
  • Changing how the systems function can have a major impact on the patient's health - Your physician will examine a wide array of available interventions and customize a treatment plan that will have the most impact on underlying functionality.
  • Functional medicine expands the clinician's tool kit - Treatments may include combinations of drugs, botanical medicines, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets and detoxification programs, as well as lifestyle, exercise and stress management adjustments.
  • The patient becomes a partner - As a patient, you will become an active partner with your functional medicine practitioner. This allows you to be in charge of improving your own health and changing the outcome of disease.

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