What is Functional Medicine & Nutrition?

What is Functional Medicine & Nutrition?

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a systems biology approach to understanding the origin of chronic disease. It is a comprehensive analysis of all components of the human biological system and how they interact with the environment over time. Most diseases are rarely the result of a single physiological problem localized to a single organ. Rather, most chronic disease results from the complex interactions of multiple organ systems and multiple physiological and biochemical pathways with environmental influences and genetic predispositions. Therefore, functional medicine offers a new clinical approach to disease prevention and treatment.

Functional medicine is not the same as conventional medicine, nor is it considered alternative medicine. It is a science-based approach to personalized healthcare. It aims to assess and treat the underlying cause of illness through individually tailored therapies that restore health and improve function.

What is Functional Nutrition?

Functional nutrition is founded on the principles of functional medicine with a specific focus on how food affects the body on a physiological level. Functional nutritionist help bridge the gap between the science of chronic disease and the application of therapies for prevention and treatment using food, lifestyle, and nutraceutical interventions.

Functional nutrition is:

  • Personalized by focusing on the unique biochemical individuality of clients.

  • It is predictive in tailoring health strategies based on personalized needs.

  • Aims for prevention of disease by shifting the focus from illness to wellness and from disease treatment to functional enhancement.

  • Empowers and engages the client for a partnership and participatory relationship with the practitioner.


*The above descriptions are adapted from the Textbook of Functional Medicine.

Jones, D. S. (2010). Textbook of functional medicine. Gig Harbor, WA.: Institute for Functional Medicine.