functional medicine vs conventional medicine - how do they differ

Functional Medicine vs Conventional Medicine – How They Differ

Are you curious about the differences between Functional and Conventional medicine?

If so you are in the right place.

Today I am going to talk about the 8 ways Functional Vs Conventional medicine.

Let’s jump straight in by looking at how Functional and Conventional medicine approach symptoms.

Approach To Symptoms

Functional Medicine looks to treat acute and chronic symptoms by addressing the underlying or root cause of the problem.

Conventional medicine treats acute and chronic problems by suppressing symptoms. Such an approach is perhaps right and proper in the acute or early stages of some symptoms. But it does not promote long term healing as conventional medicine does not address the root cause

View Of The Body

Functional medicine treats the body as an interconnected whole and appreciates the influence of these interconnections in illness and health.

Conventional medicine views the body as a bunch of separate parts. Each of these parts has it’s own specialist doctor (i.e. Gastroenterologist).


Functional medicine treatments have little to no side effects. Plus other seemingly unrelated symptoms often disappear.

Functional medicine treatments may cause die-off effects, which are part of the healing process and are mild and short term.

Conventional medicine treatments, especially drugs, all have side effects. Doctors will often prescribe other medications to diminish these side effects. Conventional treatments may also cause withdrawal symptoms.

Focus Of Treatment

Functional medicine treats the person and not the disease. Treatments are tailored to the person’s needs.

Conventional medicine treats the disease and not the person. People with the same disease or symptoms get the same treatment regardless.

Role Of Patient

Functional medicine is patient centred, which means that they are empowered to play an active role in the healing process.

Conventional medicine is autocratic in nature, which means the process is lead by the doctor. The patients’ opinion is often discounted or ignored.

Treatment Modalities

Functional medicine treatment modalities combine both modern and complementary medicine and emphasize the importance of diet, lifestyle and stress.

Conventional medicine treatments include drugs and surgical procedures which are designed to prevent death and manage symptoms.

Approach To Disease And Health

Functional medicine aims to promote health by preventing disease.

Conventional medicine focuses on controlling health by managing disease.

Source Of Approach

The Functional Medicine approach is based on the latest medical research. Much of the research is funded independently.

Conventional medicine is also based on medical research. Pharmaceutical companies fund much of the research.

What Do You Think?

Do you agree or disagree with the above differences between Functional and Conventional Medicine?

Have I missed any differences?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below

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