Health Tips Blog
Longevity & Functional Medicine: An Enhancement to Traditional Western Medicine
By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on July 6, 2015
There is no getting around the fact that America is in the midst of an epidemic of chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and autoimmune diseases.
Western Medicine - which favors treating the symptoms of an illness via prescriptions and medications- is effective in treating the symptoms once they arise in many cases. But where Western Medicine falls short is in the prevention of these diseases in the first place.
That’s precisely where Longevity and Functional medicine can help. Through this type of practice, physicians are trained to access the underlying causes of complex chronic diseases, and treat and prevent these illnesses with a combination of nutrition, proper diet and exercise. Indeed, Longevity and Functional medicine aims to reduce the number of prescriptions a patient will need, instead focusing on preventing the illness in the first place, or by treating the symptoms first by modifying lifestyle, habits, and nutrition.
Longevity Medicine is a whole body wellness-oriented model of advanced clinical preventative medicine, coupled with a proper diet and exercise program. Longevity Medicine is customized to each individual’s unique circumstances, taking into account genetic susceptibility, environmental exposures, and lifestyle factors in order to prevent an individual from developing complex chronic illnesses.
Longevity and Functional Medicine physicians aim to prevent chronic illnesses or disorders through focusing on wellness of the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, and nervous systems. The goal of all physicians practicing Longevity and Functional Medicine include the prevention of illnesses, the successful treatment of existing conditions and a focus on long lasting health, without the need for multiple medications and their accompanying side effects. In short, Longevity & Functional Medicine has a big picture approach to wellness, versus relying solely on treating symptoms of an illness or condition without regard for a long term plan for wellness.
Physicians who focus their practice on Longevity and Functional Medicine will often suggest nutritional supplements, blood and hormone testing, a revision in diet, a consistent exercise regimen, and the modification of various lifestyle factors in order to promote optimal health and wellness.
One of the primary fundamental assumptions behind Functional Medicine is that underlying diseases are caused by factors such as nutrients and toxins that disturb normal function. As such, physicians who practice functional medicine invoke laboratory testing which concerns itself with biochemistry, physiology, and organ function. Therefore testing including nutritional assessments, gastrointestinal/immune profiles, hormone testing, food allergy testing, and even adrenal-cortex stress testing are often recommended by physicians practicing Longevity and Functional Wellness.
Allan Kurtz, D.O. is a Board Certified Internist practicing in Woodland Hills, California. He is fellowship trained in Functional Medicine, and Integrative Wellness Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and The Institute for Functional Medicine.