The Difference Between Functional and Integrative Medicine

The Difference Between Functional and Integrative Medicine | Meliora Integrative Medicine

Visitors to Meliora Integrative Medicine often ask us about integrative medicine vs. functional medicine. What is functional medicine? What is integrative medicine? We focus on integrative medicine, but some providers and laypeople use the two terms interchangeably. That’s why we’d like to explain the distinctions between these two treatment philosophies.

Functional and integrative medicine have many similarities, further contributing to patient confusion. Both approaches provide patients with a more holistic approach to healing and treatment for chronic conditions.

They also shift the focus from symptom treatment to overall well-being. Practitioners aim their focus on body systems, biology, environment, lifestyle, and a strong relationship between patient and provider to treat multiple issues and improve the patient’s overall quality of life.

Functional and integrated medicine practitioners also aim to give patients a personalized wellness care plan with a more human touch that allows them to spend more time with their providers.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Specialized functional medicine practitioners use a holistic approach that considers the patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual health. This shift in philosophy represents an attempt to pinpoint the root causes of chronic disease.

An investigation by a functional medicine doctor may analyze environmental influences, lifestyle decisions, and genetic underpinnings that can contribute to disease development and abnormal symptom manifestation.

Functional medicine doctors approach the body as a complex, interconnected system to identify disease precursors and construct a treatment plan to address them. Treatments combine traditional medical care with changes to sleep patterns, exercise, nutrition, environment, and personal relationships. This technique involves constructing a personalized plan to enhance a patient’s quality of life while traditional medicine addresses disease symptoms.

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative and functional medicine both aim to expand treatment perspectives beyond immediate disease treatment and augment the patient’s quality of life through a holistic improvement and treatment plan. Integrative medicine combines multiple medical treatment philosophies; the functional and proven techniques of both traditional Western medicine and time-tested therapies complement one another to ensure providers meet all patient needs.

Provider-Patient Relationship

Integrative medicine treatment attempts to foster an intimate and therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient founded on open dialogue, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to healing. The provider acts as a guide and friend toward a higher quality of life rather than a dispenser of strict rules. Patient autonomy and respect sit at the core of this treatment modality.

Doctrine Synthesis

As its name implies, integrative medicine integrates multiple medical belief systems and combines a diverse array of treatment methods, such as nutritional and dietary optimization, behavioral changes, and hormonal adjustments. It may also repurpose treatments, such as cosmetic facial injections, for new therapeutic purposes.

Integrative Medicine vs. Functional Medicine

Both treatment modalities use a holistic subject approach to improve every aspect of a patient’s health. However, they differ in their focus. Functional medicine attempts to discover and rectify a condition’s root cause or causes. Providers analyze every facet of patient health, from lifestyle to genetics, to create a comprehensive understanding of the patient and use that understanding to develop a thorough treatment plan.

In short, this methodology takes an all-encompassing approach to diagnosis and analysis to discover every potential source of disease. A less comprehensive approach can perpetuate the disease despite curative efforts, but this multifaceted analysis ensures no source of illness goes untreated.

Integrative medicine is also holistic but embraces all forms of treatment and attempts to foster a relationship between patient and caregiver. This model uses a more collaborative approach to share decision-making and address needs while maintaining an alignment with the patient’s personal values and lifestyle considerations.

Though functional medicine attempts to create a treatment plan that encourages growth in all health forms, integrative medicine enhances this approach by adopting numerous treatments. These treatments may include traditional medication, hormone therapy, yoga, massage, and acupuncture. The broad-spectrum therapeutic efforts direct responsive patients toward the most helpful treatments.

Common Symptoms Treated with Integrative Medicine

We embrace a vast assortment of treatments to support patients with an equally diverse collection of symptoms: 

  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Brain fog (poor concentration)
  • Chronic pain and injuries
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension and inflammation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • IBS
  • Insomnia
  • Low testosterone
  • Menopause
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-cancer recovery
  • Post-stroke recovery
  • Weight management

Because we combine a range of approaches, we are uniquely positioned to address a comprehensive spectrum of health conditions. Patients seeking relief can receive the support they need to achieve a healthier lifestyle from a single practice rather than a plethora of cost-prohibitive specialists.

Schedule a Consultation With Meliora Integrative Medicine

Join us and embrace the opportunity to shape the future direction of your health narrative. We invite you to engage in a transformative healthcare experience that empowers you to reach comprehensive wellness while you address your unique medical needs.

We encourage you to schedule a consultation with us Meliora Integrative Medicine. We will engage in a meaningful dialogue about your health history, current symptoms, and future wellness goals. All the while, you will remain at the center of your wellness journey.

Our scheduling process is both straightforward and convenient. Fill out our online form at your leisure or connect with us via phone during normal business hours. Positioned at the intersection between Green Bay Road and Emerson Street, we are proud to serve the vibrant Evanston, IL, community.

Contact us, and together we’ll chart your course toward holistic well-being. We look forward to forming a collaborative relationship with you that elevates your health to the level you deserve. 

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