Kunle on the Huffington Post
August 24, 2015

Lief Sosa, Medical Doctor

Functional medicine is a form of alternative medicine[1] which proponents say focuses on interactions between the environment and the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems.[2] Practitioners develop individual treatment plans for people they treat.[2] Functional medicine encompasses a number of unproven and disproven methods and treatments,[3][4] and has been criticized for being pseudoscientific.[5]

The discipline of functional medicine is vaguely defined by its proponents.[5] Oncologist David Gorski has written that the vagueness is a deliberate tactic which facilitates the discipline’s promotion, but that in general it centers on unnecessary and expensive testing procedures performed in the name of “holistic” health care.[5]

Proponents of functional medicine oppose established medical knowledge and reject its models, instead adopting a model of disease based on the notion of “antecedents”, “triggers”, and “mediators”.[6] These are meant to correspond to the underlying causes, the immediate causes, and the particular characteristics of a person’s illness respectively.[6] A functional medicine practitioner will devise a “matrix” from these things which acts as a basis for treatment.[6]

Treatments will generally be those not supported by traditional medical evidence.[3] These include:

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