What is Functional Medicine – Educate Your Patients

I wanted to share with you a recent blog post I wrote for my patients and potential new patients explaining the differences between FM practices and mainstream practices.  Why?

  • Because educating your patients leads to compliance.
  • If this post doesn’t fit the philosophy of a potential patient, then it serves as a filter – keeping patients out of your office who don’t match your style (this is a big time saver and makes a big difference between success and failure in your office).
  • Truth resonates – the explanation below is truth and more importantly, it makes sense.  Truth has a way of resonating with people.

So here it is…

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a medical approach that focuses on identifying the causes of disease rather than treating the symptoms.  It seeks to understand the origins of chronic disease so that meaningful treatment and prevention methods can be developed and implemented.  The functional medicine approach is a partnership between the patient and the doctor.  The goal of this partnership is to bring the patient back to health as well as to teach the patient about the core principles of health maintenance and prevention.

Functional Medicine Philosophy –

The philosophy recognizes that each patient is a unique individual with a unique set of genetics and biochemistry, as well as a unique set of environmental and lifestyle factors.  These genetic/environment interactions are complex not simple.  Thus a person could potentially have the same disease with a completely different set of causes.  To that end, the approach of functional medicine relies less on synthetic drugs and more on the thorough investigation of a patient using the following tools:

  • Comprehensive medical history
  • Evaluation of the patient’s lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • Functional outcomes based laboratory workup vs. static labs based on standard deviation bell curves of an assumed normal range.
  • Comprehensive physical evaluation
  • Education based approach so that ultimately the patient is less dependent on the doctor to maintain their health.

Mainstream Medicine is Broken –

Mainstream medicine is problem focused.  Drugs are prescribed to mask symptoms without concern for the root cause of the disease.  Drug companies have a huge influence over what is being taught in medical schools.  Additionally, drug companies are allowed to advertise to consumers directly.  Both of these practices are extremely unethical and lead to numerous problems.

The new health care bill created socialized medicine.  What does this mean for you?  – Free care that doesn’t work for chronic health conditions. Medicine is the largest business in the world despite the fact that it has perpetually failed it’s customers.  Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases continue to increase and spiral out of control.  What is mainstream’s solution?  More drugs? Drugs only mask the underlying cause of disease.  If drugs haven’t worked to date, why are they perpetually pushed down our throats as the solution?

My Approach?  Educate Patients on the Differences –

Functional Medicine uses the Triangle of Health Approach

My approach is to treat the patient and identify the cause for their problem vs. medicating symptoms.  The only way success can be achieved is to educate the patient on why the illness exists in the first place.  Mainstream medicine places the patient in the role of a victim.  Functional medicine empowers the patient with education so that health can be restored.  The diagram above illustrates my philosophy.  I developed this functional approach to fill the current medical gap.

  • DNA is influenced by the three outer triangles (these outer triangles represent the environment)
  • Biochemistry = Nutrition (vitamins, minerals, water, etc)  Additionally, food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities affect biochemistry as do pollution in the air and water.
  • Physical = structure.  For example, being 20 pounds overweight causes excessive pressure on your heart, blood vessels, joints, and more.  Exercise greatly influences the physical aspect of the Triangle of Health.
  • Mental = your psychological and spiritual state of mind.

If you are tired of a 50 minute wait for the doctor followed by a 5 minute consult and a quick drug prescription fix, you are in the right place.  Many of you that know me know that I am on the cutting edge of medicine.  What I do in my office today to help patients will be common place in medicine in ten years or so.  Do you have 10 years to wait to get healthy?

Whether you are local in Houston or Sugar Land or far away (out of state or country), click on the become a patient tab if you have been chronically ill and don’t know why.

Hope this helps you get your health message into the hands of your patients.

All the best,

Dr. O

Want to learn more?

Check out my Functional Medicine Blueprint <<<

Dr. Peter Osborne

Dr. Peter Osborne