Functional Medicine is an approach to health that re-orients the focus of both the doctor and patient. What had once been traditionally more about the diagnosis of a disease and medication management, has shifted to one that is instead focused on finding and addressing the underlying cause of a person's symptoms or condition.
How is functional medicine different from today's conventional medicine?
A great analogy for Functional Medicine can be seen in a tree. To keep a tree healthy, one must support the most basic elements first: the roots and soil. If a tree is not healthy, starting at the roots and soil will help you figure out why. These foundational lifestyle factors are incredibly important and the reason we examine lifestyle, stress, nutrition, genetics, exercise and relationships first.
Conventional medicine tends to look at symptoms (leaves and branches) first. This often leads to disease diagnosis and treatment with drugs. This masks the symptoms but does not get to the root cause of the disease or illness.
Hawaii Functional Medicine does not focus on diagnosis codes and disease management, it employs a therapeutic doctor/patient partnership focused on finding the root cause that is underlying your disease. And, instead of a medication focus, or the approach of “wait and watch” till symptoms escalate enough for a disease to be named, Dr. Hamada will often employ tools of functional testing and individualized recommendations including dietary, nutritional and other lifestyle support to help you in obtaining a more healthy state of being.
How functional medicine changes how we do medicine
It offers a better clinical assessment, treatment and prevention of chronic disease.
It incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology and the research showing how lifestyle and environmental factors influence the progression of disease.
A functional medicine practice enables physicians and other health care professionals to practice proactive, predictive, and personalized medicine, which empowers patients to take an active role in their health.