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What is Functional Medicine?


This is a question that comes up often so I’d like to share my perspective.


Functional Medicine is an approach to understanding what is not functioning optimally in the body and using the most natural means possible to restore balance. It involves an in-depth evaluation that takes into consideration even the conditions of being in the womb to present day including aspects of mind, body, emotions, lifestyle, and environment. Functional medicine sees all things as being connected rather than separate. It all matters, just like every moment, and choice in life.


Through both the understanding and appreciation of one’s life journey, it’s possible to identify potential causes and triggers that lead to imbalance. Functional Medicine may involve advance testing to assess nutrient status, gut health, hormone levels, adrenal function, toxic load, or genetics to better understand the “root cause” of what is not functioning optimally in the body. It uses a variety of therapies to restore balance or homeostasis in the body such as food-based solutions, adjustments in lifestyle factors, and supplementation of herbs or vitamins to name a few. Health plans are customized to each individual's needs to optimize wellness.


Functional Medicine serves to uncover the underlying cause of chronic conditions and symptoms opposed to focusing only on treatment, as is common practice in Conventional Medicine. For example, the underlying cause of headaches may vary and be triggered by foods, a nutrient deficiency, toxicity, stress, occult infection, or even hormone imbalance. Understanding the cause is a vital step towards healing. When we understand the cause and subsequently the effect, different choices can be made to restore balance.


The following words from the founder of Functional Medicine, Jeffrey Bland, capture the essential importance of our daily choices and serve to remind us of the power of choice itself.

"Throughout your life the most profound influences on your health, vitality and function are not the doctors you have visited or the drugs, surgery or other therapies you have undertaken. The most profound influences are the cumulative effects of decisions you make about your diet and lifestyle on the expression of your genes..." Jeffrey Bland


Interested in a functional medicine evaluation? Please contact the office at 813-644-9384 or email at for more information or to schedule an appointment. Reshma Patel, M.D. is a Board certified physician using a functional medicine focus practicing in the Tampa Bay area in Florida. She is passionate about using nutrition and lifestyle choices to help heal the body.



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