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Since Functional Medicine is relatively a newcomer to the family of Clinical Health Sciences, there are many potential problems and irregularities with how it is practiced and promoted. Often, health care practitioners who have not studied it thoroughly would simply incorporate a few aspects of functional medicine into their practice, while ignoring its core principles, thus diluting it or misrepresenting it. Practitioners who are entrenched in prior belief systems that are based on long-term cultural, familial, or professional influences, or those who base their health advice on their own lifestyle choices, may actually negate the benefits of science-based functional medicine when they "dabble" at it or even when they become experienced at it. Financial considerations and convenience, or even political considerations can all play significant roles in how Functional Medicine is practiced. Therefore, the details of Functional Medicine’s scientific and clinical approach must be clarified and its practice guidelines must be refined constantly, for accuracy’s sake, for increased public awareness, and as a crucial step-wise evolution with one purpose: Improving people’s health in a predictable, reproducible, efficient, safe, and cost-effective manner. In this article the original principles of functional medicine will be described in some detail, and information that might not be known to all functional practitioners will be added. Also, some recommendations are made for the expansion of functional medicine’s scope of practice, in order to provide help to a greater segment of the population. A future article will expand the discussion about worrisome trends within functional medicine that must be exposed: Only by washing our own "laundry" can we maintain integrity and avoid the patterns we so frequently criticize in other forms of medicine, especially orthodox AMA-sponsored medicine.
To read the complete Functional Medicine article, please go here.