Functional medicine provides new way to look at underlying cause of disease


By Chris Bavender

A Carmel chiropractor is offering functional medicine to clients. According to Dr. Derek Shrout, functional medicine is a different way of thinking about and treating disease.


“It addresses the root cause of chronic conditions by looking at the whole body and how it functions as a unit versus just treating symptoms and putting out fires. It is also extremely individualized to each patient,” said Shrout, co-owner of Shrout Family Chiropractic and Functional Medicine. “We all have different genetics, combined with different environmental stimuli and lifestyles, so a cookie-cutter approach to health care just doesn’t work. Conventional medicine is amazing for acute and life-threatening conditions but is less effective in controlling more chronic conditions that many of us just learn to live with.”

Functional medicine can be effective in addressing conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowl, acid reflux, hormone imbalance, weight-loss challenge, depression and many other chronic health conditions.

According to Tawny Jones, an administrator with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the approach to treating patients is based on a multitude of factors ranging from nutrition to sleep to stress levels. The Cleveland Clinic was the first academic medical center in the nation to open as a center for functional medicine in 2014.

“According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), chronic disease care represents the vast majority of health care costs, and chronic diseases are responsible for 7 in 10 deaths among Americans,” Jones said. “Therefore, it’s necessary to consider new approaches, like functional medicine, to understanding and treating disease.”

Shrout said the chiropractic and functional medicine philosophy of prevention and natural remedies fit well together.

“Functional medicine is part of a concept called integrative medicine, which conveys the idea that different medical providers can help patients as part of a team, including chiropractors, medical doctors, acupuncturists, massage and physical therapists and others,” he said. “More research on functional labs and treatments is being done each year, which is leading to more health care practitioners practicing in a more functional way. I believe this is the future of health care, and I think the increasing number of providers in this paradigm bears that out.”