Functional Medicine versus Conventional Medicine


Functional Medicine versus Conventional Medicine

Different health care facilities approach the delivery of health care differently. There are a number of factors that determine the approach that a certain facility takes as far delivering health care is concerned. The functional and the conventional medicine are both in practice in the different facilities. In some cases, the two can exist in the same facilities. Conventional medicine focuses on determining the symptoms a patient is suffering from and using the symptoms to determine the disease that the same patient is suffering from and hence create a plan for treating the patient. On the other hand, functional medicine focuses on determining the root cause of the disease. This approach therefore uses the symptoms not to treat the disease but as hints to assist in determine what is the root cause of the illness. Treatment is therefore based on eliminating the root cause of the illness rather than eliminating the symptoms. This articles focuses on identifying how the two (functional medicine and conventional medicine) vary.

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Building on the definition that has been provided, it is clear that conventional medicine is focused on the disease while the functional approach of medicine is concerned with the health of the patient. Conventional medicine focuses on ensuring that the symptoms are eliminated and hence the absence of the disease. This way, the root cause of the disease may not be eliminated which may mean that the disease may re-occur (Isidori et al.). On the other hand, when the root cause of an illness is treated as is the approach with functional medicine, the health of the patients is taken care of. In such situations, cases of recurrent infections may be absent or very minimal.

Functional medicine is a patient centered approach while the conventional medicine is a physician centered approach. Functional medicine advocates for the health of the patient to restored rather than having symptoms treated. It displays having the interests of the patient at heart. On the other hand, the conventional approach is a form of care where the physician is at the center of it all. He is the only determinant of what gets treated and how(Isidori et al.). The interest of the patients which would be to get well completely are not considered since with treating symptoms, the illnesses may not heal fully.

Conventional medicines advocates for treatment that is the same for all patients while the functional approach considers treating different patients individually. Different diseases may pose as the same if the symptoms and the signs are considered. With the conventional medicine, such diseases may then be treated as the same, the same medication given to different patients who suffer from different conditions since the symptoms are the same (Hotta et al.). On the other hand, since functional medicine emphasizes on understanding the root cause of the illness and treating the cause, each patient is treated as a unique case and each case handled in an individuality manner. This hence seems to be more effective in terms of managing diseases.

Due to the effectiveness in managing the different cases, functional management is therefore cost effective while the conventional medicine approach is expensive. With the conventional approach, loads of resources can be utilized in treating the different conditions, since most conditions have a possibility of recurring. Treating the same patient for the same condition several times is actually expensive and this number of times may not come to a close. Resources used in this kind of cycles can be directed to addressing other cases or needs if such cases could be avoided which is what functional medicine advocates for. 

Functional medicine works in a holistic approach while conventional medicine works in a more specialized approach. Functional medicine considers addressing the needs of the patients in terms of what they require to ensure that diseases and illnesses are tackled with or do not occur or re-occur. Functional medicines therefore caters for not only the presented cases, but restoring the well-being of a patient as whole (Isidori et al.). Conventional method on the other hand ensure that the presented symptoms have been treated. It is therefore a specialized approach that deals with the case that is presented.

Finally, the holistic functional medicine is also a way of preventing diseases while the conventional medicine is focused on detecting a disease early enough. When health care is provided in a holistic approach, prevention of other illnesses that the patient cold be potentially exposed to is done as well. This means that the immune system a person is strengthened in the functional medicine and other infections prevented. The conventional method works with identifying the symptoms in an early stage for treatment to take place.

Having known these differences, it is clear that both conventional medicine and functional medicine exist. This is the case since there are some illnesses that the conventional approach would be more efficient in treating. However, adopting the functional approach to manage illnesses might be the best move for all facilities for the sake of the patients as well as that of the facilities.

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  1. Hotta, Masatoshi et al. “Impact of FDG PET/CT Using Point Spread Function (PSF) Reconstruction Compared with Conventional FDG PET/CT and Pelvic MRI for Lymph Node Staging in Rectal Cancer.” Journal of Nuclear Medicine 58.supplement 1 (2017): 422–422. Google Scholar. Web.
  2. Isidori, Andrea M. et al. “Conventional and Nuclear Medicine Imaging in Ectopic Cushing’s Syndrome: A Systematic Review.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 100.9 (2015): 3231–3244. Google Scholar. Web.
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