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A functional medicine doctor can restore whole-body health.

What Does a Functional Medicine Doctor Do?

A functional medicine doctor will look at your entire body and lifestyle so they can understand your health as a whole. They look at things like nutrition, stress, genetics, and bacteria to identify the root causes of your problems. In fact, functional medicine is often referred to as “root cause medicine.” By shifting the emphasis from treating symptoms to getting to the root cause, functional medicine doctors find out how to optimize your overall health.

If you’re interested in learning more, our functional medicine practice is based in Johnson City, Tennessee, and we work with people from all over the Tri-Cities area and beyond.

Ready to take charge of your health? Schedule a free discovery call.

What is Functional Medicine?

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, “the functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness.”

Functional medicine focuses on function instead of disease. The practice believes that the cause of disease and its symptoms is due to underlying dysfunction and/or imbalances within the body.

Is a Functional Medicine Doctor a Real Doctor?

Functional medicine doctors are licensed medical professionals who have received either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Once completing medical school and a fellowship or residency, the licensed medical professional may choose to pursue advanced training and practice functional medicine.

Our medical director, Dr. Joseph Radawi, has an M.D. from the American University of the Caribbean, completed his residency at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He also spent a decade practicing emergency medicine, which is when he first became interested in functional medicine.

He noticed that traditional medicine is great at treating acute illnesses and injuries but not chronic conditions. He started looking for better practice models and ended up completing advanced clinical training through the Institute of Functional Medicine.

Can Functional Medicine Doctors Write Prescriptions?

Functional medicine doctors prescribe a holistic, personalized plan for the patient, including nutritional guidance, stress reduction practices, exercise recommendations, and lifestyle changes. However, as licensed medical professionals they may prescribe medications if necessary – though they prefer to avoid prescription drugs as much as possible, relying instead on natural methods to treat and prevent chronic diseases.

What Conditions do Functional Medicine Doctors Treat?

A functional medicine doctor can treat anything a conventional doctor can, but through a systemic, root-cause focused lens. Functional medicine offers a new way to view chronic wellness issues such as diabetes, arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, and anxiety. They treat the underlying cause of a disease instead of treating just the symptoms.

Functional medicine doctors believe that chronic disorders are the result of physiological imbalances throughout your body due systemic inflammation or hormonal imbalances. Other contributing factors include a poor diet, lack of key nutrients, stress, emotional and environmental toxins, or a sedentary lifestyle.

The functional medicine approach also looks at the root cause of pesky symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, bloating, and skin rashes and eliminates them. It improves your quality of life, from energy and clarity to weight and immunity. It’s about helping you feel your best now and ensuring you have a healthy life in the future.

Anyone struggling with a disease or chronic illness, or simply looking to maximize their long-term health, can benefit from functional medicine. Some of the most common conditions we treat include:

Suffer from one of these conditions? Watch our free webinars to learn how we can help.

What Should I Expect at a Functional Medicine Appointment?

A functional medicine doctor views your body as a whole. After listening to your unique medical history and specific needs, your practitioner will use a combination of comprehensive lab test results, physical findings and key information from in-depth talks to devise a customized treatment plan that will get you to your optimum health.

During the lab tests, the functional medicine doctor will look for conditions such as inflammation, thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, and adrenal issues. After interpreting the results, the practitioner will discuss your individualized health plan with you, which may include lifestyle changes, supplements, and hormones.

Since functional medicine doctors interpret test results much differently than conventional doctors, they can often identify hidden causes of symptoms that have gone undiagnosed for years. This is because functional medicine doctors base their care on your overall health, while conventional testing typically only focuses on disease detection.

Does Functional Medicine Really Work?

Functional medicine takes a unique approach toward healing that’s both science-based and holistic. It combines the best aspects from conventional and alternative medicine to treat the person as a whole. Functional medicine is becoming an increasingly effective and popular solution for patients who deal with chronic disease.

While functional medicine may not replace conventional medicine in every circumstance, it does provide lasting benefits as opposed to only temporarily improving your symptoms. By focusing on various factors such nutrition, sleep, and exercise, functional medicine improves your overall health and can even prevent chronic disease from occurring in the first place. Although there is no quick fix, functional medicine can help you obtain optimal health and live your best life.

What are the Benefits of Functional Medicine?

The primary benefit of functional medicine lies in its ability to help you achieve true health. Because functional medicine doctors view the body as a whole, they can often reverse or even prevent the imbalances that cause chronic conditions. By restoring and optimizing bodily functions, functional medicine can help increase quality of life in every way.

Functional medicine doctors want to get to the bottom of what is going on, and help you heal from the ground up. Whether you’re dealing with a complex, chronic condition or simply want to support your wellbeing, functional medicine treatments are tailored to your specific needs.

Functional medicine emphasizes a gentle approach, meaning you can heal or feel better without experiencing a host of unpleasant side effects. It also avoids serious interventions – such as surgery – whenever possible, so you can avoid major safety risks and complications.

Is Functional Medicine Right for Me?

If you want a life where “health” means vitality, not the absence of disease, functional medicine may be the right choice for you. While conventional medicine is great at preserving your life in a medical energy, functional medicine focuses on improving your health and quality of life.

Functional medicine allows you to take an active role in your health. By becoming part of the solution and modifying behaviors, you will learn how to properly care for your own body and mind based on your personal biological requirements – and ultimately get to the root cause of your health concerns and conditions. If you’re searching for a functional medicine clinic that provides individualized, patient-focused care, Tri-Cities Functional Medicine is here for you.

To find out more about our services and how we can help, schedule a free discovery call.

Tri-Cities Functional Medicine is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, and serves patients throughout East Tennessee and into Virginia and North Carolina. These areas include but are not limited to: Washington County, TN, Sullivan County, TN, Carter County, TN, Greene County, TN, Knox County, TN, Bristol, TN, Holston Valley, TN, Tri-Cities, TN, Walnut Hill, TN, Elizabethton, TN, Greeneville, TN, Morristown, TN, Blountville, TN, Bluff City, TN, Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN, Colonial Heights, TN, Limestone, TN, Knoxville, TN, Bristol, VA, and Abingdon, VA.