Functional Medicines' goal is to address the underlying causes of disease, using a detailed patient history and physical exam, and state of the art laboratory testing methods. It emphasizes patient and practitioner as being a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Interventions in Functional Medicine are not geared to control symptoms, but rather to solve the nutritional deficiency, infection, hormone imbalance or toxicity that is the cause of ill health. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health. Imbalances in gut health, hormones, detoxification, energy production, immune function and cardiovascular health are evaluated and corrected. Ultimately the goal is to optimize a patient's health. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.