Functional medicine is a practice that works to restore optimal health by addressing the root cause of disease. Doctors take a holistic look at each person’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors to create an individualized treatment plan. This includes things like nutrition, movement, hormones, sleep, and mindfulness, which means it takes an approach that is different from traditional medicine.

Human bodies are complex, and so is disease. Each condition can have a number of different causes, which means it’s critical to take the whole person into account in recommending treatment options. The Institute for Functional Medicine says this model of healthcare is, “an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together.”

This partnership is critical to creating successful outcomes – especially in the United States, where approximately 50% of adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 25% of adults have two or more chronic health conditions. A functional medicine doctor will help you create a plan to restore your health, which provides better outcomes and cost savings for patients in the long-term.

Looking for a functional medicine practice in Oklahoma? Contact Bargas Wellness today.

What does a functional medicine doctor do?

Conventional medicine is good at putting patients in a box and labeling a set of signs and symptoms with a diagnosis that is most often treated with pharmaceuticals. Functional medicine, on the other hand, is about thinking outside the box to reverse dysfunctional health processes. Would you rather take pharmaceuticals for the rest of your life, or get to a point where you might not need them at all? Functional medicine doctors can prescribe drugs, of course, but it’s not their default solution.

When you visit a functional medicine doctor, they will conduct a critical and thorough review of your history, as well as details of prior testing and procedures, and they’ll explain everything in terms that you’ll understand. Their comprehensive assessment will include a physical exam as well as advanced laboratory studies, which they’ll use to develop an individualized and detailed care plan.

As part of this, your doctor will also provide a personalized functional lifestyle prescription, which will address things like sleep, exercise, meal-planning, and mindfulness. Their recommendations may also include nutraceuticals, which are pharmaceutical alternatives that provide physiological benefits through nutrition. The goal is to help you make changes that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

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Does functional medicine really work?

Conventional medicine does a great job at treating acute and emergency medical situations, and but it’s not always suited to chronic illness. Heart disease is a great example, because it’s the leading cause of death in the United States – according to the CDC, it claims about 655,000 lives every year, which means it kills one person every 36 seconds. It’s not always simple to treat. Drugs may reduce the symptoms, but they can’t always treat underlying issues and restore a person’s health. Things like nutrition, exercise, and emotional wellbeing play really important roles in prevention.

Functional medicine is a breakthrough in medical practice, because it considers factors beyond just the obvious signs and symptoms that each patient presents. Taking a holistic view of each patient allows doctors to improve overall health and even prevent chronic disease from occurring in the first place. It achieves a lasting benefit beyond simply improving symptoms temporarily. This method goes above and beyond to help you find the answers you need to make the best choices possible.

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What diseases can functional medicine treat?

Just like conventional medicine, functional medicine doctors have different specialities. Here at Bargas Wellness, for example, we specialize in integrative cardiology, hormone balance, medical weight loss, and internal medicine. We’ve been providing functional medicine services in Oklahoma since 2010, using evidence-based methods to help people improve their quality of life.

Dr. Royce Bargas has a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California and she completed an internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She also completed an internal medicine residency, and fellowships in cardiovascular disease and clinical cardiac electrophysiology, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Bargas has also completed her training by the Institute for Functional Medicine and will be IMF certified soon. She’s passionate about helping people feel their absolute best.

Ready to take the first step toward better health? Request an appointment today.