Roots Not Branches: A New Way To Treat Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are afflicting Americans in astounding numbers. In fact, according to one study, half of U.S. adults are afflicted with at least one chronic condition and even more shockingly, 25% of adults in the U.S. have at least two chronic illnesses. Part of the problem is that for years medical practitioners have been treating the symptoms of their patients and not attempting to diagnose the root problem. Just like a good arborist knows that saving a tree may start at the roots, so should your doctor. One groundbreaking model of health care is attempting to change all that: family functional medicine. A family functional medicine specialist attempts to address the root cause by taking a closer and more detailed look at the patient. Here's how the model attempts to get at the root cause.

Family Medical History

A family functional medicine specialist starts by looking at the family history of their patient. After all, many diseases and chronic illnesses have a genetic component. In fact, family history is one of the strongest risk factors for diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, psychiatric illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Without looking at a patient's family history of disease, a doctor proceeds to treatment without all of the information at their disposal.

Lifestyle Factors

The theory of family functional medicine believes that doctors and patients must work together in order to understand and address the underlying causes of chronic illnesses. In order to do that, a doctor must understand the lifestyle of his patient and how those factors influence the patient's health. According to the World Health Organization, 60% of factors related to health and quality of life are correlated to lifestyle. To understand this, the doctor spends time talking with the patient and learning about the way they live in order to understand how their lifestyle is affecting their health. By analyzing these factors, a functional family medicine specialist can help empower a patient to take an active role in caring for their own health.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors go hand in hand with lifestyle when it comes to health. According to one study, because environmental health threats are ever increasing in the United States, understanding a patient's environmental factors is central to providing effective primary care. But despite that, environmental medicine is one of the least taught subjects in medical school. Functional family medicine seeks to change the treatment of chronic illness by including environmental factors into a patient's personalized treatment plans.

For more information, reach out to a company like Inifnity Wellness