What Is Functional Medicine? Carolina Center for Functional Medicine In Anderson

Functional Medicine

Caring for your health properly is so much more than just taking care of the individual areas of your body. We now know that the multiple systems within the body function as one unified whole. At Carolina Center for Functional Medicine, we follow a “functional medicine” approach that treats the unified system of your body, holistically.

Caring for your health properly is so much more than just the basics of eating right and exercise. With current medical research, we have discovered that the body is a complex collection of organs and systems and even bacterial colonies (the microbiome) that are intimately interwoven, each greatly impact the other.

While the standard of care hasn’t quite “caught up” yet with most of the current science, conventional doctors and “specialists” are still treating parts of the body separately without taking this interconnectedness into account.

When you are healthy, all systems work together like a symphony in perfect harmony – and you have vibrant health.

But when one of these systems is off balance, the whole symphony is out of tune! When you need a “tune-up” so to speak, you not only need to evaluate imbalances in the symptomatic areas… but also every other area.

Instead, most patients only receive medications to treat symptoms associated with a body part that “isn’t working” when often the cause of their symptoms is a systemic imbalance that needs to be treated in a completely different way.

In addition, the conventional medical approach also doesn’t consider that each person is born with unique health needs based on their genetic factors, the environment they were born into, what kinds of bacteria populate their gut, as well as what they were exposed to as they grew. Each person’s body has a very unique health profile which means they need an equally unique healing protocol.

It’s no wonder people go from doctor to doctor and never find the answers to their illness. Conventional medicine is missing the mark when it comes to effectively treating many chronic illnesses caused by aging, environment and diet, hormonal imbalances, and food sensitivities because their focus is on alleviating symptoms with medication. In fact, we find with our patients that while they may share the same symptoms, they frequently suffer from very different imbalances.

That’s why at Carolina Center for Functional Medicine, we follow a more modern “functional medicine” approach that incorporates advanced functional lab testing and relies on current nutritional science to help you rebalance and finally heal.

This in-depth approach is the only successful way of treating chronic disorders because most chronic illnesses have many causes:

Instead of simply addressing different symptoms in separate areas, functional medicine seeks to treat the underlying root cause – while looking at lifestyle factors such as diet, environment, emotional health, and mindset that commonly bring on the illness patients are seeking to heal.

Our Functional Medicine  and health coaching programs are a more comprehensive form of care that help patients learn how to upgrade their lifestyle so they don’t remain stuck in the “chronic illness hamster wheel”.

Here are just some of the things we focus on in our program:

  • We prioritize quality over quantity with our patients. We spend time with our patients, understand their histories, and study the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence the expression of health and disease. We incorporate the latest in genetic science. However, we maintain a strong focus on environmental and lifestyle factors including sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, and relationships, which are foundational to health.
  • Assessment, natural healing, and prevention are prioritized over wait-and-see treatment approaches.
  • The most modern and advanced medical equipment available is used along with natural forms of healing like upgrading your diet and healing herbs or supplementation with fewer or no side effects.
  • Patients are taught how to take a more active role in their own health and will learn up-to-date nutritional science & lifestyle modifications that can boost their health and overall wellness for a lifetime.
  • Instead of relying on being prescribed medications again and again for temporary relief, the team at the Carolina Center for Functional Medicine diagnose problems holistically and arm patients with the latest tools for healthy living.

Since the founding of his practice, Douglas Hanner and his team have helped patients heal from life-altering conditions such as:

  • Energy Issues, Stress & Chronic Pain (Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Issues, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and Tension Headaches, Osteoarthritis, etc)
  • Cognitive Issues (SCI/MCI, “Brain Fog”, Memory Issues, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc)
  • Digestive Disorders (GERD, heartburn, IBS, SIBO, Crohn’s, Colitis)
  • Autoimmune Conditions (IBD, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, etc)
  • Hormonal Imbalances (Feeling “tired & wired”, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, PCOS, PMS, Hot Flashes, Painful Periods, Mood Swings)
  • Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity & Dyslipidemia

How It Works

We provide a personalized treatment plan which will vary in length depending on the severity of your situation. Most of our patients begin to experience significant improvements in their health within a few weeks of starting to work with our team.

Free Discovery Consult

A short 20-minute discovery consult with our patient intake coordinator

In Depth Patient Intake

An extensive medical history and physical examination is performed. Cutting-edge laboratory testing is also available to assist in determining your underlying physiologic imbalances.

Case Review Visit

The Case Review is a 60-90 minute in-person appointment. In this appointment you will receive a summary of the underlying patterns that are creating your symptoms, your personalized treatment plan, and recommendations for any additional testing.

Corrective & Supportive Care

The Case Review provides you with your roadmap back to health.  That journey often requires some additional care and guidance along the way. The way in which we ensure your greatest success is through the use of treatments that address structural and Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) dysfunction, Bi-weekly Check in appointments with your Health Coach, and open communication through the Patient Portal with your clinician.

Group education is available on topics around gut health, detox, weight loss, chronic conditions, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity and more. These visits may be in-person or virtual.

Wonder If Carolina Center for Functional Medicine Is Right For You?

Do you have questions about our program and starting your path back to health? We are standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to see whether or not Carolina Center for Functional Medicine is right for you.

Functional -vs- Conventional Medicine

Conventional Medicine is disease-centered. It first looks at a patient’s signs and symptoms in order to identify a disease or syndrome, which then leads to a diagnosis. It then treats the symptoms by prescribing drug based therapies that are similar for all patients with that given diagnosis. The treatment will typically either involve suppressing symptoms (i.e. medications for migraine headaches) or suppressing a disease process (i.e. medication for hypertension, or immune suppressing drugs for Multiple Sclerosis).

Conventional Medicine has evolved over time, but its strength is fundamentally rooted in short term urgent care and symptom management. It is not designed to look for the cause of, or to support the prevention of complex chronic diseases, because it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual, external factors (i.e. exposure to environmental toxins), or the many facets of the modern lifestyle that have directly influenced the rise in chronic disease in the world today.

Functional Medicine is patient-centered. It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs. It treats each person as a whole, not just their symptoms, supporting the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. It understands that the biochemical individuality of each patient can lead to the underlying cause of disease, along with the prevention of additional health risks in the future.

Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, understand their histories, and study the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence the expression of health and disease. It incorporates the latest in genetic science. However, it maintains a strong focus on environmental and lifestyle factors including sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, and relationships, which are foundational to health. In fact, scientists have now shown that up to 90% of all chronic illnesses are caused by environmental factors OVER genetics. 

Functional Medicine is integrative. It combines the best of allopathic and alternative treatments. It doesn’t exclude drugs or surgery, but tends to focus more on diet, lifestyle, stress managements, detoxification, supplements, and herbs as the primary interventions.

Our Functional Medicine Approach

We at the Carolina Center for Functional Medicine utilize a system for approaching chronic illness called the ADAPT Framework. ADAPT stands for: Advanced Diagnostics And Personalized Treatment. We don’t treat diseases. We treat individuals, using the most advanced, evidence-based diagnostic methods to determine the true underlying cause of a health problem, and to create a personalized treatment plan focused on our patient’s goals.  There is no, “one size fits all” in this process.

We see and treat patients holistically. This means that we recognize that their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states, all contribute to their expression of, or lack of expression of health. We do not have “specialists” for different body parts. Instead, we have an evidence-based system that investigates deeply, any imbalances in physiological, nutritional, and emotional well-being. The tests we run are thorough, yet efficient, and provide us with an understanding of the patterns underlying our patient’s health problems.

At Carolina Center for Functional Medicine, you’ll be joined by a care team of functional medicine doctors, health coaches, and psychologists to ensure the fastest return back to health and the most complete system of care.

As such, our integrative medicine approach under the guidance of Dr. Douglas Hanner focuses on:

  • Using a variety of treatment modalities, including using food as medicine in tandem with state of the art testing
  • Focusing holistically on all the areas that impact your health… including mind, emotions, and mindset
  • Focusing on optimal health, based on your unique biological needs, not just the absence of symptoms or disease
  • Teaching patients how to take an active role in health creation, so that they can heal and/or keep chronic illness at bay
  • Acknowledging the multi-factorial nature of complex chronic illness, which requires an experienced clinician who can pinpoint the reasons you have the illness and craft the correct treatment plan
  • Using natural, non-toxic therapies, as much as possible, harnessing the body’s amazing ability to heal itself

How do I get started?

Getting started is easy. Just follow these steps.

Start Here

On our website's main menu, click on "Become A Patient'. Read and follow the instructions on that page.

My Appointments

After registering, go to 'My Appointments' in your Patient Portal and schedule for a Functional Medicine Initial Consultation.


Once your appointment time has been accepted, you will receive a few short forms about your health to complete. These must be completed prior to your appointment.


If you aren't sure where to begin, schedule a free discovery call. On this call, you will be able to talk to a clinician and figure out what best serves your needs.

Take The First Step Today On Your

Journey To

Do you have questions about our program and starting your path back to health? We are happy to answer any questions you have to determine if Carolina Center for Functional Medicine is right for you.

  • 864-900-4549
  • 864-900-4573
  • info@discoveridealhealth.com
  • 1115 Dunlap Road, Anderson, SC 29621
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