The Women's Journal

Functional Medicine – What Is That?

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

On a daily basis, I am addressing this question. While many patients find themselves either dealing with a chronic disease or they wish to become well or even to stay healthy, patients today are more than ever wishing to address the “why” behind their health status. And it has come to the forefront that patients feel that while prescription drugs may alleviate symptoms, at least temporarily, or they might have perfect blood pressure, the reason behind the condition or symptoms rarely or never is alleviated. Patients are clearly seeking answers and that requires a change of how we think about and address health care.

So, what is this functional medicine? It is a model of health care that is a truly dynamic and comprehensive approach to assessing, preventing, and treating complex chronic disease as well as working with more mild health concerns. It is well known that alterations in physiological and biochemical changes of the human body have occurred for some time before a patient experiences this decline. This manifestation of change, even in basic physiological processes over time will produce symptoms of increasing duration, intensity, and frequency.  

Thus, functional medicine addresses the effects of interactions among our environment, our lifestyle, and our genetic predispositions. Each patient presents with their own unique, interwoven picture of these variables and their effect on their physiology and, ultimately, their health. The goal is to focus on restoring balance to the dysfunctional systems.  

So, what can a patient expect in working with a well-trained functional medicine doctor? The intake most often is a lengthy consultation to gather the lifetime history, along with the current symptoms in an effort to understand the story behind every patient. A plan is usually mapped out explaining what testing might be necessary, such as X-rays, more common bloodwork, or even immunology testing for things such as leaky gut, or dysbiosis from a stool sample. Then results are explained to the patient with an understanding of how this is to be addressed whether it be diet, exercise, supplements, etc. Other testing that might be done are tests such as stool tests, hormone panels, mold testing, or genetic testing. There are many roads that might be taken to find these dysfunctional processes. Over time, with addressing the specific issues with natural and less toxic means, patients are able to change and experience healthier lives, sleep better, think more clearly, handle stress better, and are able to participate in life more fully, AND without side effects.

In summary, functional medicine is a patient centered approach, rather than a disease centered approach, that sees health as a positive vitality rather than the absence of disease, and which recognizes the interconnections of internal physiology and seeks to restore balance among functional systems of the body. I feel so very grateful that I have the opportunity to work with patients that are seeking this level of health and are willing to do the work to accomplish what it feels like to be fully alive! Isn’t that what you want for yourself? For more information contact us at or 302-994-1010.

Wellness within reach!

Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling