WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE?
All of us, patients and healthcare professionals alike would like to know the answer. Many of us believe that digital technology will solve all the problems. We celebrate analytic supercomputers that, by using the Big Data, will make better and more up-to-date diagnoses than doctors. We celebrate nanorobots that will enter the blood vessels and will help the immune system in fighting bugs and cancer cells. We celebrate surgical robots that are extremely precise and can cut and remove bad tissues in a minimally invasive surgery. We hope that one day we will be able to detect and even modify the DNA that is responsible for the patient’s actual or future problem. We hope that drugs will be smarter, more precise and will be able to stop diseases. We hope that someone will solve our health challenges, fix the problems.
WHAT IF THIS IS NOT REALLY CASE?
Fact is that despite the advancement we have achieved in medicine there is a growing number of sick people even in modern societies. So, what if technology is not the answer? What if the current medical paradigm is not effective in treating chronic diseases?
This is the realization that led to the onset of functional medicine. Instead of addressing symptoms, functional medicine wants to find deeper causes of the problem. Functional medicine accepts that the human body is one indivisable organism. In addition to this, in the functional medical paradigm health is based on 4 pillars:
- Body balance
- Psycho-social balance
- Nutrition and detoxification
Consequently, a functional medical approach means addressing the deeper interrelationships of the actual symptoms. In order to restore the functional balance of the patient, functional medicine focuses on:
- Micronutrients and hormones
- Food allergies and food intolerance
- Meditation and social skills
What do we know about the etiology of chronic diseases? All of them have multiple causes. This is called multifactorial origin. Functional medicine accepts this, so the treatment is organised in an orchestrated teamwork. In fact, restoring the functional balance of the patient is not only more effective, but cheaper as well and also a perfect way of prevention and early intervention.
Digital technology has brought many advances. It is not a question that technology can make healthcare and cures easier, more precise, more accessible and even cheaper. However, this is possible only if we combine technology with the most appropriate medical paradigm that focuses on real causes and not only symptoms.
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