What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a growing field within modern medicine. It offers advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many diseases. Functional medicine deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms. It emphasizes preventative patient care rather than disease care.

An abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurologic syndromes.

Functional medicine is rooted in the understanding that core clinical imbalances underlie various disease conditions. Those imbalances arise as environmental inputs such as diet, nutrients, exercise, and trauma are processed by one’s body through a unique set of genetic predispositions. The fundamental physiological processes include communication, both outside and inside the cell; bioenergetics, or the transformation of food into energy; replication, repair, and maintenance of structural integrity, from the cellular to the whole body level; elimination of waste; protection and defense; and transport and circulation.

Core clinical imbalances are precursors to the signs and symptoms of tissue and organ system disease. Improving balance is the precursor to restoring health.

Functional medicine uses specialized tests to investigate the biochemical and metabolic ‘glitches’ that result in specific disease processes. Using the results, Dr. Shalita then develops personalized, patient-specific treatment protocols designed to reverse the disease process.