What Is Functional Medicine?

What Is Functional Medicine?

Introducing Dr. Rosemarie Rutecki, PharmD, IFMCP

Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing each individual’s root causes.

What’s it like to work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner?

The Functional Medicine practitioner will consider multiple factors, including:

Environmental inputs:

  • The air you breathe and the water you drink.
  • The particular diet you eat.
  • The quality of the food available to you.
  • Your level of physical activity.
  • Toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced all affect your health.

Mind-body connections: Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all can profoundly influence your health. Considering these areas helps the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just your physical symptoms.

Genetic makeup: Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchanging blueprint for your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.

By assessing these underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction, the Functional Medicine practitioner can understand how key processes are affected. These are the body’s processes that keep you alive. Some occur at the cellular level and involve how cells function, repair, and maintain themselves. These processes are related to more significant functions, such as:

  • How your body rids itself of toxins
  • Regulation hormones and Neurotransmitters
  • Immune system function
  • Digestion and absorption of nutrients and the health

of the digestive tract

  • Structural integrity (bone health, skin)
  • Psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • How you produce energy
  • Inflammatory responses

Environmental factors and your genetic makeup influence these processes; when they are disturbed or imbalanced, they lead to symptoms, leading to disease if effective interventions are not applied.

A comprehensive approach to treatment: Prevention is paramount. Virtually every complex, chronic disease is preceded by long-term disturbances in functionality that can be identified and effectively managed. Some of the body imbalances can be addressed, restored, or improved.

The Functional Medicine practitioner examines a wide array of available interventions and customizes a treatment plan, including those with 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, or detoxification programs. They may also include counseling on lifestyle, exercise, or stress-management techniques.

The patient becomes a partner. As a patient, you become an active partner with your Functional Medicine practitioner. Such a partnership allows you to be in charge of improving your health and changing the outcome of the disease.

Have you been thinking about optimizing your health and be in peak performance? You can find a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner by going to www.ifm.org.

You can also reach Dr. Rosemarie Rutecki, PharmD, IFMCP, at www.functional-pharmacy.com to learn more about Functional Medicine.

Rosemarie Rutecki is a Pharmacist, Board Certified in Functional Medicine by the Institute of Functional Medicine.

*Information provided by the Institute of Functional Medicine.