Functional Medicine vs. Pathology
Prevention based (lifestyle) medicine vs. Disease based (reactive) medicine
Medicine and health care are undergoing a paradigm shift. At Core Naturopathics we are seeing more and more demand for our services to assist clients with the sky rocketing incidence of chronic disease in society and the resulting complex health challenges they are facing.
Despite the advances in medical care, diagnostic skills and surgical procedures, current Western medical practice has failed in addressing a population that is becoming fatter, more stressed, more depressed, more chronically sick and more nutrient deficient irrespective of wealth and modernisation.
It is the emphasis on disease rather than health that is the essential difference between pathology based medicine and functional medicine.
Modern pathology based medicine has chosen to concentrate on the disease process itself, rather than looking to understand and modify the underlying causes and contributing circumstances.
At Core Naturopathics, we assess you with a focus on physiological function as a marker of ‘health’, rather than pathology as a marker of ‘disease’. This is a personalised prevention based (lifestyle medicine) approach rather than a reactive population based disease (and drug treatment) approach.
Your practitioner looks at ‘trends and patterns’ rather than diagnostic labels and seeks to inform and guide you to make better choices and prevent disease before is occurs. We ask: how far from balance are you, what diet suits you best, how are your lifestyle and environment contributing to any imbalances, and what support do you require to restore and maintain health .
|Functional View||Pathological View|
|The body is viewed as a dynamic and complex interconnected system of mind, body and emotions||The body is viewed as a “machine” composed of separate systems reduced into its constituent parts|
|Emphasis is placed on identification of areas of imbalance or dysfunction in normal biochemistry||Emphasis is placed on the identification of disease or pathological tissue change|
|Assessment integrates data from many different systems and methods||Diagnosis is extremely specialised|
|Treatment addresses the underlying causes of dysfunction||Treatment is based on reducing symptoms|
|Major focus is spent on methods to assist self regulatory capacity based on a concept of optimal physiological function||Major focus is spent on how the patient is doing based on charts, statistics, and test results that are measured against a statistical ‘norm’|
|Allows for early prediction of dysfunction||Relies on late stage development of disease as a marker|
|Health is measured along a wellness continuum – a spectrum moving from health to disease where intervention can be made at any stage||Health is measured as an absence of disease. As long as you do not have a disease, you are considered healthy|
There is no right or wrong choice to be made here and in an ideal world both would naturally coexist with appropriate choices in care being made reflecting the condition presenting for treatment.
After all, why hop on one leg when you can walk on two?
However, the Functional medicine approach is arguably the most appropriate in facing the challenge of chronic disease, the broad range of syndromes and the many minor self-limiting symptoms of today’s maladies.