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Why have pharmacists begun to embrace functional medicine?

Functional medicine has come a long way since this concept was first introduced in the early 1950s as an alternative form of medicine. As the 1960s and 1970s progressed, it continued to slowly but surely gain recognition. During this time, functional medicine began to emerge as a practice that offers real results for people with various medical conditions.

At a time when millions of people suffer from many illnesses and conventional medical practices offer no real solution to the problem, a number of progressive physicians and practitioners have begun to explore alternative medicine as a way to provide patients with better outcomes than their diagnosis.



What is functional medicine?


The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) defines the practice as “an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that enables patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness.”

Unlike traditional medical practice, in which treatments only address the symptoms of a disease, functional medicine focuses on the root cause of the problem and correlates it with different biological and environmental factors.


What are the benefits of functional medicine?


Functional medicine takes a more holistic approach by addressing a patient’s medical condition using the “GOTOIT” framework, which stands for “Gather, Organize, Inform, Order, Initiate and Track.”

This strategy allows the physician to gain a deeper understanding of the disease, identify the real cause of the problem, initiate a personalized treatment plan and establish a strong relationship with patients.



How does functional medicine help patients?


Functional medicine has gained popularity over the years because it has helped many patients enjoy a better quality of life. This practice emphasizes the use of various diagnostic and laboratory techniques to give patients a clear picture of what they have.

It focuses on using a combination of traditional medicines, supplements, exercise regimens, nutrition plans, detoxification techniques and stress management strategies to treat disease and prevent complications through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle.


Why are more and more pharmacists using functional medicine?


Over the years, pharmacists have used functional medicine as part of their practice.

In fact, functional medicine pharmacists play an important role in the successful implementation of functional medicine because they can ensure the best outcome of a patient’s treatment plan through a holistic approach to care.

Unlike conventional medicine methods, functional medicine allows pharmacists to expand their role in counseling and supporting patients during their pharmacy visit.



Why should pharmacy owners bring functional medicine to their pharmacy?


As more functional medicine pharmacists begin to value functional medicine in their practice, pharmacy owners should also begin to integrate it into their pharmacy to provide a more comprehensive service to patients.

As one of the providers of health supplements, pharmacies are at the forefront of ensuring that functional medicine is taken correctly to maximize its benefits and promote a healthy lifestyle for patients.

If you would like to learn more about functional medicine and its benefits to your practice, you can join our zoom meetings every Thursday completely free of charge.



Dr. Mansi Shah

Functional Wellness Network

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