Peachy the Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 84

WRITTEN BY Nancy Palermo Lietz, MD Medicine Designed for the 21st Century I If you are standing on a tack, no amount of aspirin or pain medication will make the discomfort of the tack completely disappear. The medicine will only subdue the pain temporar- ily. You must remove the tack to allow the discomfort to abate. If you are standing on two tacks, remov- ing only one is not enough to make you feel better. You must address both triggers to be completely free of the pain. Unfortunately, our current medical system addresses disease just this way. Instead of getting to the root cause of a problem, symptoms are simply treated with disregard for what is causing the problem in the first place. When a disease process has multiple symptoms, often patients end up on multiple 82 PEACHYTHEMAGAZINE.COM medications—essentially “a pill for every ill” as many who practice Func- tional Medicine like to say. Functional Medicine is different in that it aims to get to the root cause of disease by identifying specific details of a patient’s physiology, history, lifestyle or genetic makeup which might be contributing to the problem. Functional Medicine prac- titioners also consider an individual’s internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social) environ- ment as factors that contribute to overall functioning. Functional Medicin e treats the whole individual, not just organ sys- tems. Disease affects all organ systems, so it only makes sense not to isolate sepa- rate systems. Functional Medicine practi- tioners apply strategies such as nutrition,