Texoma Living Well Magazine May/June 2018 - Page 44

A Pharmacist’s Perspective on the Increasing Need for Functional Medicine T By Donna Barsky, PharmD hroughout the decades of modern medicine, more and more medications have been developed to treat a large number of diseases and mala- dies. The more medications available, the harder it is to keep up with what medication is best for the patient. That is why most medical schools have de- veloped a standard protocol for diag- nosis. Unfortunately, these protocols do not always address the person as a whole or the underlying issue. Therefore, if a patient is experiencing symptoms such as weight gain, insom- nia or mood changes, that patient will be treated with medication X. They will then perhaps be given additional labo- ratory tests and be treated with yet an- other medication. This diagnosis has very little to do with what’s causing the issue, but everything to do with how to patch the problem and create a false sense of security. It rarely gets totally to the source of the problem. A new approach to diagnosing disease states and symptoms was greatly needed. Our goal as functional medicine healthcare providers is to understand and fulfill the healthcare needs of patients from a “functional” perspective in concert with the patient’s phy- sician. Functional medicine examines the underlying cause of a disease or set of symptoms and addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine’s core principles involve spending time with patients, listening to histories and looking at the inter- actions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease states. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. 44 TEXOMA AREA Living Well Magazine | MAY/JUNE 2018 As a result of stressful environmental factors, the ever-de- pleting nutritional value of foods, and the “one size fits all” medication approach, our society is experiencing a sharp rise of negative effects on their bodies such as nutritional depletions, auto-immune disorders, obesity, diabetes, fa- tigue, allergies, heart disease, cancer and mental illness, just to name a few. Because of this, there is a great need to make changes in how we approach healthcare and the medicines we put into our bodies. Not only are countless practitioners embracing the rapidly growing demand for functional medicine and alternative treat- ment options, but there is an ever-evolving wave of patients who are no longer accepting the “patch it up and keep go- ing” approach. These patients want to focus on the underlying cause of their condition, not just covering up the symptoms with medications that can have negative side effects. By focus- ing on the underlying cause of symptoms, more personalized and holistic (whole body) solution ́ɕ͍ɥ