Cure the cause, not the condition: the new approach of treatment in the medical world.
Functional medicine and integrative medicine are the two fast flourishing forms of medical attention and treatment that concentrate on the cause of your condition. Both these ways address your physical, emotional, and mental needs to identify your illness’s underlying cause and provide a personalized procedure specially meant for you.
Both functional and integrative medicine have a similar nature and approach; however, they are unique and distinct. Let’s dive deep into the article to understand these two forms and the 7 differences between functional medicine vs. integrative medicine.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine, aka root-cause medicine, focuses on finding the root issue of your symptoms and disease. Prevention is better than cure- this defines the approach of functional medicine. It treats the individual rather than the disease where the patient and the practitioner build a partnership to treat the root of your problem especially chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Instead of managing and treating the symptoms, functional medicine dives deep into the human body, medical history, genetics, and external factors to identify and cure the underlying cause of your disease. This form of treatment considers each patient’s care plan distinct and unique, forming personalization healthcare, medications, and lifestyle modification.
Many functional medicine providers follow the “GO TO IT” framework to find the origin of your issue that stands for – Gather, Organize, Tell, Order, Initiate, and Track. Each step helps the doctor to develop a clear understanding of the patient, his issue, medical history, his lifestyle, the environment he belongs to, and external factors.
The reliable rapport with the patient helps the doctor determine the root of your problem, create a personalized treatment and lifestyle modification plan to treat your condition. The strategy is simple: find the imbalance, determine the cause, and restore the maximum function of all physiologic processes in your body.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is a holistic healing-oriented discipline that considers and evaluates an individual as a whole – his physical, emotional, behavioral, social, spiritual, environmental factors, along with overall health. In short, integrative medicine integrates all aspects of a patient- mind, body, and soul, to heal and optimize the health issue you are facing.
As integrative medicine aims to treat the whole ‘You” rather than just your disease, it often incorporates several medical disciplines to optimize and heal the issue, improving the overall health. The treatment may include acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, behavioral therapy, homeopathy, etc., suitable for your holistic healing process.
Integrative medicine believes that a poor lifestyle is the origin of most chronic diseases. Therefore, integrative physicians also focus on the nutritional and exercise habits to promote your healing and well-being. Along with treating your conditions, they aim for prevention by encouraging you to have a healthy lifestyle throughout your life.
7 Differences Between Functional Medicine vs. Integrative Medicine
Functional medicine and integrative medicine are both rapidly growing forms of medical discipline popular among physicians. Unlike conventional treatment, both functional and integrative disciplines aim to treat the cause of your disease rather than treat or suppress the symptoms. Both target the overall well-being of patients with personalized treatment and procedures.
However tiny, there are some distinct differences between the two disciplines. Let’s see what the difference between functional medicine and integrative medicine is.
Differences of Definition
Functional vs. integrative medicine: their primary difference lies in their definition. Functional medicine focuses on the optimal function of each organ in your body. The providers of functional medicine aim to diagnose and treat the root of your problem. The whole discipline seeks to determine how your body functions if you have any underlying conditions, relevant family history, and lifestyle habits that could cause illness.
Integrative medicine also focuses on your overall well-being combining your physical, mental, and spiritual life. The holistic approach of this discipline doesn’t fix your health problem only; instead aims to improve your overall being- body, mind, and soul.
Functional Medicine VS. Integrative Medicine VS. Conventional Medicine
Functional medicine and integrative medicine are both different from conventional medicine. Unlike traditional medicine, the two disciplines just don’t treat the disease. Instead, they seek to improve the patient’s overall health to cure the underlying cause of the problem. Conventional medicine cures the current symptoms and diseases. However, it doesn’t always address the underlying causes of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, which may overlook many signs.
For example, go to a conventional physician with the problem of depression. He may focus only on suppressing and managing the symptoms by prescribing antidepressants and mental health professionals. However, functional medicine will not aim to suppress the symptoms only. Instead, they will dive deeper to determine the underlying cause of your depression. The physician will run different tests to assess inflammation, nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalance, etc., to determine the cause of your depression.
On the other hand, integrative medicine offers a more holistic approach that investigates your overall health, lifestyle, social life, family life, adaptation ability, stress life, spiritual belief, etc., to understand the underlying cause of your depression. Thus, the discipline provides overall healing of your body, mind, and soul.3
Approach to Patients
Each individual is different and unique, and their needs are also exceptional. Both functional medicine and integrative medicine follow the motto. However, their approach to the patient is a little different. Functional discipline physicians attempt a direct approach to their patients, evaluating each patient in context by diving deep into their history and past health.
They evaluate your lifestyle, habits, stress factors, and other external factors that may contribute to your health problem. Thus, the provider and the patients create a partnership that helps diagnose the root of your issue and treat it appropriately.
Integrative medicine providers also create a strong partnership with their patients to improve your overall well-being. Their holistic approach not only diagnoses the disease, instead helps you in every way, promoting prevention and healthy life.
However, with a detailed review of your history and habits, they also assess your spiritual and social life by asking questions about your stress levels, emotional health, family life, support system, and conforming capability. Thus they determine the ways to fulfill all the requirements of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
Approach to Diseases
Both Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine focus on the patient’s overall health rather than treating just the disease. Functional medicine addresses a science-based way to diagnose the cause of your problem. The provider looks closely at the intricate interactions between human biology, genetics, lifestyle, and environmental circumstances to correct the imbalance of your body.
This direct approach to the source of your condition helps them treat the root issues and produce long-lasting results. Integrative medicine deals a patient with a holistic approach to seek the underlying cause. The provider runs diagnostic tests to rule out underlying reasons that may contribute to your symptoms. Integrative medicine seeks to gain a deeper level of healing by treating the body, the mind, and the spirit. Thus, integrative medicine can restore and optimize health in a more meaningful and lasting way.
Treatments and Procedure
Functional medicine acknowledges each individual as genetically and biochemically different. Therefore, instead of medicating the person’s current medical condition with drugs, the practitioners prescribe all science-based medications and therapy to improve your well-being.
The treatment includes modern science-based medication, supplements, nutritional therapies, and detoxification methods. On the other hand, as integrative medicine focuses on your overall well-being, including your physical, mental, social, and spiritual life, the physicians apply any conventional and unconventional method suitable for you.
The treatment may include modern science-based medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage, alternative medicine, ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, yoga, etc.
Approach to Lifestyle Habits
Both functional medicine and integrative medicine focus on lifestyle and habits- both for diagnosing and for treatment. Functional medicine assesses your lifestyle, habits, stressor, and history to determine the root of your problem. As they believe lifestyle and habits are one primary contributor to your condition.
Therefore, they prescribe lifestyle changes to improve your overall health – a nutritious diet, physical exercise, sufficient sleep, and therapy to suppress your stress. Integrative medicine also focuses on essential lifestyle modifications like exercise, sleep, and diet.
However, they also suggest meditation, yoga, concepts of yin and yang or balance, acupuncture, tai-chi, chi-gong, relaxation, mindfulness, movement, breathing, aromatherapy, etc., to improve your emotional well-being. They also deal with your social relationship and spiritual belief.
Preferences to Natural Interventions
Functional medicine is an all-sciences-based discipline looking for the imbalance in the function of your organs. Their medication is also science-based. Therefore, no natural interventions or treatment is there in functional medicine.
However, integrative medicine proposes any methods of medication suitable for your overall improvement. The practitioners often prescribe traditional Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medications, herbal medicine, aromatherapy to heal your body, mind, and soul.
The medical world is changing rapidly with its new advancement, methods, and treatments. Functional medicine and integrative medicine are both flourishing forms of this new world. Both these medicines are pretty similar, giving the utmost focus to the overall improvement of the patients rather than curing the current condition only. However, there are few differences between the two that make the two disciplines unique and distinct. Here is the list of 7 differences between functional medicine vs. integrative medicine.
However, which discipline is perfectly suitable for you? You are your advocate when it comes to your body. However, choose the medicine that is suitable, comfortable, and adjustable for your body. Consult MyConciergeMD, to get a clear understanding of functional medicine vs. integrative medicine. The doctors and staff are happy to help you with your queries and provide the best service suitable for you.