We need functional medicine because our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders.
The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute-care (the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg). Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. It often does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors including environmental exposures to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise of chronic disease in modern Western society.
Considering the structure of medical school has not changed in more than half a century, most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies focusing on nutrition and diet, physical activity, detoxification, meditation, genetic polymorphisms, etc., to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.