Why should patients and doctors consider Functional Medicine as their model of care?
In an overstretched NHS, doctors and patients alike often experience the frustrating inadequacy of consultations that are too short and too infrequent to fully address the complexity of chronic disease management.
As busy healthcare professionals, we often see patients with ongoing intractable symptoms ranging from chronic headaches to unexplained allergies, from abdominal cramping to debilitating fatigue, to raised blood sugar levels that do not respond to oral therapy or to insulin, and so on. In the conventional model of care, after investigating to exclude sinister causes, trials of medications are given to alleviate symptoms, but often the cause remains unknown. The symptoms may be partially or wholly managed for a while, but the underlying causes have not gone, leaving the patient open to recurrence or chronicity.
This may result in both the doctor and the patient feeling frustrated or even helpless, asking themselves if there is truly nothing else that can be done. Functional Medicine fills this gap. It searches for the root causes of the symptoms and attempts to correct them. This therapeutic approach is usually highly effective and, speaking as conventional practitioners for many years, often pleasantly surprises even the most critical of colleagues.