What is Anti-Aging Medicine?
According to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, representing over 30,000 physicians who have focused their efforts in this specialty, "Anti-aging medicine is a clinical specialty founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy life span in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on principles of sound and responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The phrase "anti-aging," as such, relates to the application of advanced biomedical technologies focused on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of aging-related disease."
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is the new medical specialty, www.functionalmedicine.org, devoted to understanding the root causes of chronic illness and then using a personalized medicine approach to intervene and reverse these underlying causes of disease, returning a patient to a state of health. This approach can be used to target virtually any chronic medical condition and, when focused on the aging process itself, is called anti-aging medicine.
How is Functional Medicine Different from Traditional Medicine?
Conventional medicine is focused on acute illness, trauma, suppressing the symptoms of chronic illness, or heroic end-of-life interventions using a disease-based model: you either have the "disease" and are treated, or you don't meet all the criteria and are ignored or placated with treatment of symptoms, (i.e., taking an antidepressant for PMS or Ibuprofen for joint pain, or an acid-blocker for indigestion, or a cholesterol pill, or a blood-pressure pill). Yet, you may still feel sick, you need help and you don't want to take drugs indefinitely to treat symptoms. Functional Medicine can help in these cases. Functional Medicine works to diagnose these conditions at a much earlier stage and to reverse them, hopefully preventing or even curing the full-blown disease state.
What types of Conditions Respond to Functional Medicine?
I tell my patients that any patient's health can be improved with this approach. How much a disease can be reversed depends on how willing the patient is to implement the physician's suggestions, how much damage has already been done, how old the patient is, what are the other contributing factors to the disease state. Starting early and preventing a severe illness is much easier than treating an established full-blown illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Conditions we have treated successfully in our practice include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- GERD/Indigestion/Acid Reflux
- Andropause (Low Testosterone)
- Food Sensitivities and Food Allergies
- Irritable Bowel and Intestinal Parasites/Dysbiosis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's and UC)
- Atrial Fibrillation and Arrhythmia
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Angina/Coronary Artery Disease
- Anxiety and Depression
- Chronic Fatigue
- High Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes
- Autoimmune Disease
- Eczema and Psoriasis
- Lyme Disease
- And many others...
Functional Medicine is Personalized Medicine
Each patient is assessed as an individual with an extensive medical, dietary, toxicity, and nutritional history. We use advanced testing to determine root causes of disease. Treatment is individualized based on specific functional imbalances detected via this approach. Medications may be the same in some cases as those used by traditional physicians (i.e., antibiotics for infection), but often medications are compounded or designed just for the individual patient. In addition, nutritional supplements, other natural compounds, diet, fitness regimens, and bioidentical hormones may be employed to return the patient to a state of health.
Functional Medicine is Patient-Centered Medicine
By using extensive intake questionnaires, spending ample time with you during visits, and communicating with you by email and telephone, your functional medicine physician will have a better understanding of you and your needs than perhaps any other physician.
Functional Medicine is a Partnership between You and Your Physician
Your doctor will act as a coach, as an educator, as a nutritionist, as a detective, as a researcher, as well as a prescriber of treatment. You will be responsible for altering those aspects of your lifestyle that are contributing to the disease state and cooperating with the prescribed treatments. Your doctor will reassess you and point out where improvements can be made over time.
Functional Medicine uses the Latest Scientific Data and Technology
Functional Medicine uses the Latest Scientific Data and Technology to evaluate you and treat your condition. All treatments prescribed are supported by evidence in the scientific and medical literature. Your doctor is willing to discuss the scientific rational for treatments and the degree of scientific evidence that is available and to involve you in the decision-making process.
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