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What is the difference between functional and conventional medicine?

Conventional (western) medicine deals with a specific disease process or condition and then proceeds to analyze it in terms of its patholophysiology and its effects on the body.  Thus, the goal of treatment is to bring that diseased area back to "normal" with primarily pharmaceutical medications but, more recently, with other modalities such as physical or cognitive therapy.

Functional medicine deals primarily with the prevention and causes of disease, rather than mostly on the symptoms after the disease has developed. It is grounded by the seven principles of core clinical imbalances: hormonal & neurotransmitter, oxidation-reduction & mitochondropathy, detoxification & biotransformation, immune, inflammatory, digestive/absorptive/microbiological, and structural imbalances.

All of the principles of conventional medicine are used in functional medicine but the latter goes one step further in that it integrates the diagnosis, signs/symptoms, and evidence of the clinical imbalances into a comprehensive, all-emcompassing approach to healthcare.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.