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Functional Medicine

Dr. Crosser Takes On Functional Medicine!

Dr. Cynthia Crosser recently attended a six day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses on of the key issues in healthcare practice today -- improving the management of complex, chronic disease. IFM programs utilize the emerging research base to identify effective interventions and to train physicians and other providers to integrate those approaches for the benefit of their patients.

The training Dr. Crosser completed involves understanding the etiology, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological and structural balance.

Lifestyle is a very big factor; research estimates that 70-90% of the risk of chronic disease is attributable to lifestyle. That means what you eat, how you exercise, what your spiritual practices are, how much stress you live with (and how you handle it) are all elements that must be addressed in a comprehensive approach.

"... we have been able to identify modifiable behavioral factors, including specific aspects of diet, overweight, inactivity, and smoking that account for over 70% of stroke and colon cancer, over 80% of coronary heart disease, and over 90% of adult-onset diabetes." [Willett, WC. Science, 2002:296, 695-697]

Working in partnership with a trained functional medicine provider, patients make dietary and activity changes that, when combined with nutrients targeted to specific functional needs, allow them to really be in charge of improving their own health and changing the outcome of disease.

Within the scope of practice of their own particular disciplines, functional medicine practictioners may also prescribe drugs or botanical medicines or other nutraceuticals; they may suggest a detoxification protocol, a physical medicine intervention, or a stress-management procedure. The good news is; when you look at functionality, you uncover many different ways of attacking problems -- you are not limited to the "drug of choice for condition X."

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