What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is the future of chronic disease healthcare

If you’re looking for help with a chronic health concern, and you’re interested in approaches that can help, one of the questions might be asking is: 

what is Functional Medicine?‘.

What is Functional Medicine?

Chronic disease is different to an acute, emergency health problem, like a heart attack or a broken bone.

 And it requires a different kind of medicine.

A type of medicine that is designed for chronic health problems of a kind, and on a scale, that humanity has never faced before.

So what is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is evidence based, science driven, and differs in important ways from conventional medicine when treating chronic health problems. 

It is different from, but works together with, conventional medicine.

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Personalised, root cause medicine

What is personalised, root cause medicine? And why does it matter?

Personalised, root cause medicine means that we are interested in finding out why the condition exists.

Then we can address the underlying root cause or trigger – the ‘why’.

Chronic health problems are often multi-factorialcomplex, and highly individual.

In Functional Medicine, a solution that works for one person may not, and usually does not, work for someone else. There is no single pill or one-size-fits-all approach.

This is because we are all different in our genetics, dietary choices, exposure to bacteria and other pathogens, and our lifestyles. These factors are behind the majority of chronic health problems.

If you take 10 people with intestinal problems, each person could have a different root cause for their problem, and each therefore needs a different, personal solution.

What is Functional Medicine: systems biology, treatment beyond symptoms, and leaky boats

Dee in light white shirt at Coho Functional Medicine Mallorca

Functional Medicine has the power to truly improve, stop, or reverse chronic health problems

This approach requires consideration of lifestyle, personal environment (e.g. toxins and pathogens), dietary, genetic, and epigenetic factors.

It also requires consideration of the interplay between the internal systems of the body (systems biology), such as hormones, intestinal system, nutrients, toxins, pathogens, inflammation, and the immune system.

This is different to finding out that a condition exists and then prescribing medication to suppress the symptoms.

Or to put it another way…

Imagine that you’re in a boat that’s filling up with water.

A Functional Medicine approach:

In chronic disease, a conventional medicine approach:

But still nobody completely fixed the leak or thought about what caused it in the first place.

As you can see, unless you fix the leak and address the causes of the leak happening, it’ll keep getting worse over the years.

In the end, despite huge teams of people trying to take water out of the boat as the leak gets worse and it comes in faster and faster, the boat will eventually become overwhelmed and will sink.

You wouldn’t fix a boat like this, so why would you fix yourself this way?!

How does Functional Medicine treat so many different health problems?

This is a really important question. Up above we talked about ‘systems biology’.

And to truly answer the question ‘what is Functional Medicine?’, we have to understand systems biology.

Instead of treating individual and isolated symptoms, Functional Medicine works with whole systems that are dysfunctional – such as hormones, intestinal system, nutrients, toxins, pathogens, inflammation, and the immune system.

The dysfunction of these systems can result in many different and sometimes seemingly unrelated signs and symptoms (thyroid problems can results in hair loss anywhere on your body, for instance!).

But thyroid problems can also cause all of these of other symptoms, too:

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When we properly fix the underlying system, all of the symptoms get better.

And that’s a better approach, right?

Not only that, but because all of these systems are inter-connected, when you fix one system, other conditions often also get better.

For instance, hypothyroidism has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Functional Medicine practitioners can be described as super-generalists.

Super-specialists, for instance a consultant gastro-enterologist, are experts in a very specific field. And many specialise further within that field, becoming experts in very specific cellular actions.

Super-generalists are experts in systems, and in holistic, patient centred, ‘wide field of vision’ healthcare.

In our experience, super-generalists using a Functional Medicine approach achieve better results in chronic diseases than super-specialists.

And because we work this way, we can help to address a very wide range of health symptoms, and a very wide range of health conditions.

How Coho Health can help you

We can help if you have an existing, diagnosed health condition (often that you’ve been suffering from for years) and want to pinpoint the specific root cause so that you are empowered to take control in employing an effective way of resolving or remediating it.

Our Functional Medicine team is always active in working collaboratively with your GP or Consultant, where appropriate, in order to find the most effective solution.

We can also help if you have a problem that has not been medically diagnosed:

We help by looking at all the possible causal factors at play, pinpointing imbalances, and developing a personalised strategy to achieve optimal health.

And whether you can visit one of our clinics or not, you can access our services wherever you are in the world through our virtual, online Functional Medicine clinic.

Working with our Functional Medicine team not only offers a powerfully different perspective, but also one of the most comprehensive clinical testing suites available. 

We combine this with a range of options that are expertly tailored to your exact requirements and circumstances when designing the very best way forward for you.

Book your free 15 minute Discovery Call with Dee Brereton-Patel now

We hope we helped you explore the whole ‘what is Functional Medicine?’ question!

If you’re looking for a Functional Medicine practitioner delivering real health transformation, you’re in the right place.

Coho Health offers Functional Medicine in the UK, in Mallorca, and to clients around the World through our virtual Functional Medicine clinic.

We’d love to help you.

To your optimised, healthy future,

Dee & the Coho Health team

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