Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is a complete rethinking of health and disease, based on understanding the whole body. It seeks to identify and take care of the root causes of disease. It is a shift from medicine by symptoms to medicine by cause.

It treats the “whole body” as an integrated system. It searches for underlying causes in the interaction between an individual’s genetic uniqueness, lifestyle, environment and diet.

Functional medicine then engages patient and practitioner in designing a personally tailored health-management program that couples pharmaceutical science, where necessary, with changes in the patient’s environment, diet, and lifestyle.

How is Functional Medicine Different?

  • Patient-centered care. The focus is on patient-centered care by listening to the patient and learning his or her story. Through the discovery process, treatments address the individual’s unique needs.
  • A functional, science-based healthcare approach. Practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. They consider internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
  • Combine best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention and treatment through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?

Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Physicians prescribe treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom only.

There is a huge gap between emerging research in basic sciences and the ways doctors practice. The gap of integrating this research into medical practice is enormous particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness. Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet and exercise to both treat and prevent illnesses in their patients.

Complementary and alternative medicine has never been more popular. Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM for short. Doctors are embracing CAM therapies, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies — spawning the term “integrative medicine.” Click here to learn more about CAM on the Mayo Clinic website.

Working with a Functional Medicine Doctor

During your time with Dr. Carolyn George she will consider multiple factors, including:

  • Environmental inputs – The air you breathe and the water you drink, the particular diet you eat, the quality of the food available to you, your level of physical exercise, and toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced all affect your health.
  • Mind-body elements – Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all can have a profound influence on your health. Considering these areas helps to view your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just your physical symptoms.
  • Genetic makeup – Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchanging blueprint for your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.

Through assessment of these underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction, Dr. Carolyn George is able to understand how key processes are affected. These processes are related to larger biological functions, such as:

  • Hormone regulation
  • Immune system function
  • Inflammatory responses
  • Digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • Energy production
  • Toxins and how your body rids itself of them
All of these processes are influenced by both environmental factors and your genetic make-up; when they are disturbed or imbalanced, they lead to symptoms, which can lead to disease if effective interventions are not applied.

Take The First Step Today On Your

Journey Back To Health

Maybe you have some questions you'd like to ask before you make a decision on becoming a patient. Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you regarding the process or pricing to help you decide it VIDA Integrative Medicine is right for you. Please call the office at 954-361-5202 ext. 1, Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm or email sally@carolyngeorgemd.com to speak to our patient coordinator. If you are ready to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. George or our Physician Assistant to review and discuss your health concerns