Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that looks at the root cause of disease. It takes into account the whole person, their lifestyle, environment and genetic background when diagnosing and treating illness. This approach to medicine is becoming more popular as people become more aware of the need to address the whole person, not just their symptoms. Functional medicine can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, both chronic and acute. Rather than focusing on treating individual symptoms, functional medicine practitioners work to identify and address the underlying root causes of disease.
Functional medicine is based on the principle that all systems in the body are connected and that imbalances in one system can lead to problems in other systems. For example, an imbalance in the gut microbiome (the community of bacteria that live in the gut) has been linked to a wide range of chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. If you experience childhood trauma, that can lead to imbalances in the brain that increase your risk for anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.