Internal Medicine vs. Functional Medicine: Understanding the Key Differences of a Holistic Approach

Internal Medicine vs. Functional Medicine: Understanding the Key Differences of a Holistic Approach

Posted on July 21st, 2023.

When it comes to our health, finding the right approach to care is essential for overall well-being. 

Traditionally, many of us have been familiar with internal medicine as a standard practice for diagnosing and treating various medical conditions. However, there is a growing interest in functional medicine, which takes a holistic and personalized approach to health. 

In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between internal medicine and functional medicine and shed light on why this new holistic approach is gaining popularity.

What is Internal Medicine?

Internal medicine, also known as general medicine, is a branch of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating diseases and medical conditions in adults. Internal medicine physicians, often referred to as internists, are primary care doctors who specialize in managing a wide range of health issues and coordinating care for their patients. They are well-versed in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions, acute illnesses, and preventive care.

Internal Medicine in Action

When you visit an internal medicine doctor, they will conduct a thorough examination and medical history review to understand your health concerns fully. They may order diagnostic tests, such as blood work and imaging studies, to aid in the diagnosis. Based on the results, they will provide treatment options or refer you to specialists, if needed, for further evaluation and management.

Introducing Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is an innovative and patient-centered approach to healthcare that seeks to identify and address the root causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. It is based on the belief that each individual is unique, and their health is influenced by a combination of factors, including lifestyle, genetics, environment, and emotional well-being.

Functional Medicine in Action

Functional medicine practitioners, also known as functional MDs, take the time to listen to their patients and thoroughly understand their health history, lifestyle, and goals. They use advanced diagnostic tests to assess various aspects of health, such as nutrient levels, hormone balance, gut health, and genetic markers. This comprehensive evaluation allows them to create personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's specific needs.

Key Differences of Internal Medicine vs. Functional Medicine

Now that we have an overview of both internal medicine and functional medicine, let's delve into the key differences that set them apart:

1. Approach to Health

In the realm of internal medicine, the primary focus revolves around symptom management and disease treatment using medications and traditional therapies. The approach is effective for addressing acute and chronic conditions, but it may not delve into the underlying factors contributing to these issues. 

On the other hand, functional medicine takes a more in-depth approach, aiming to uncover the root causes of health problems. This involves analyzing lifestyle choices, genetics, environmental factors, and emotional well-being. By addressing these underlying factors, functional medicine seeks to provide more comprehensive and long-lasting solutions to health concerns.

2. Patient-Centered Care

In internal medicine, patient care is often based on standardized guidelines and treatment protocols. While this approach can be efficient and beneficial for certain conditions, it may not consider the uniqueness of each individual's health journey. 

In contrast, functional medicine places the patient at the center of the care model. Functional MDs take the time to listen and understand the patient's complete health history, lifestyle choices, and personal goals. This patient-centric approach allows functional medicine practitioners to craft personalized treatment plans that address the individual's specific needs and circumstances.

3. Preventive vs. Reactive

Traditional internal medicine typically adopts a reactive approach, primarily focusing on managing acute and chronic conditions as they arise. While this reactive approach can effectively address immediate health concerns, it may not prioritize preventive measures to avert potential health problems in the future. 

Functional medicine, in contrast, emphasizes preventive care and wellness promotion. By identifying potential health risks and imbalances through advanced diagnostic testing, functional medicine empowers patients to make lifestyle changes and take proactive measures to improve their overall health and well-being.

Our Comprehensive Approach to Health and IV Therapy

At Advanced IV Health, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, integrating functional medicine principles with personalized treatment plans and advanced IV therapy. Our mission is to empower our patients to achieve optimal well-being through individualized care and cutting-edge treatments. Let's delve into how we apply functional medicine and IV therapy to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes.

Patient-Centered Functional Medicine

Central to our approach is functional medicine, a patient-centered model that seeks to uncover the root causes of health issues rather than merely treating symptoms. Our experienced functional MDs take the time to actively listen to each patient, building a comprehensive understanding of their health history, lifestyle choices, and specific health goals. This personalized approach allows us to create tailored treatment plans that address the individual's unique needs and circumstances.

To support our functional medicine approach, we utilize advanced diagnostic tests that go beyond conventional assessments. These tests provide valuable insights into various aspects of health, including nutrient levels, hormone balance, gut health, and genetic markers. Armed with this comprehensive data, we gain a deeper understanding of the factors contributing to health concerns, enabling us to develop targeted and effective treatment strategies.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Our functional MDs take great care in designing personalized treatment plans that align with each patient's specific health objectives. No two individuals are the same, and we recognize that each health journey is distinct. Whether our patients seek to address chronic conditions, optimize their health, or enhance athletic performance, we tailor our treatment plans to their unique requirements.

Lifestyle modifications, nutrition guidance, and appropriate supplements are integral components of our personalized treatment plans. We believe that empowering our patients to make positive changes in their daily lives plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable health improvements.

Harnessing the Power of IV Therapy

As part of our comprehensive approach, we embrace the cutting-edge techniques of IV therapy and Extracorporeal Blood Oxygenation and Ozonation (EBOO) to optimize health outcomes. Intravenous therapy allows us to deliver essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and hydration directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. This ensures maximum absorption and immediate impact on the body, making IV therapy an effective and efficient treatment option.

Our functional MDs carefully design customized IV formulas, including EBOO treatments, to address our patients' specific needs. IV therapy and EBOO can be tailored for dehydration, immune system support, athletic performance enhancement, anti-aging, and general health optimization. By combining the power of IV therapy and EBOO, we can accelerate the healing process, boost the immune system, and promote long-lasting well-being.


In the ongoing debate of internal medicine vs. functional medicine, it is evident that functional health holds numerous advantages that cater to the diverse and evolving health needs of individuals. With its focus on uncovering root causes, personalized care, and proactive health strategies, functional health offers a holistic approach that can lead to lasting improvements in well-being.

At Advanced IV Health, we are committed to harnessing the power of functional health to provide our clients with the highest level of care and personalized treatment plans. Whether you seek IV therapy for dehydration, immune system support, athletic performance enhancement, or other health goals, our experienced functional MDs are ready to guide you on your journey to optimal well-being.

Don't wait to take control of your health and experience the benefits of functional health. Contact us today at (520) 400-0819 to schedule a consultation and discover how our holistic approach can transform your health and elevate your quality of life. Let us partner with you in achieving the best version of yourself through functional health.