Functional and Integrative Medicine is a form of health treatment, working toward finding the root cause of a symptom or disease. It is a form of medical treatment to treat the whole body and not just the symptom. Functional Medicine’s goal is to bring your body back to optimal state of health and not a temporary relief of discomfort.
Over the last decade, healthcare has been slowly changing. People are beginning to see how healthcare is being ruled by insurance and drug companies, and no longer the doctor. General Practitioners are even beginning to feel the frustration of a diagnosis cannot be made without following guidelines of insurance and corporations. We have eliminated a step of healthcare that has been going on for centuries which is, One-on-one conversations with the patient. I hear the frustration in patient’s voices, when they visit their doctor and you never get to talk to the doctor but a nurse or staff, and then a quick prescription is written. You are now on your way and waiting to see if you get better or not. Some people are even frustrated that no one even touches or looks at their condition with the physical eye.
Functional Medicine/Integrative Medicine goes back to how our forefather’s practiced. This form of Medicine allows the patient to have a voice and we listen. We look at the whole body and not just a sign or symptom. When my patient’s come and see me, I have them fill out a full health history. A history that goes all the way back into childhood. This information gives us clues to why you may be having your current condition. This full health history is followed by a one-on-one personal conversation, where the doctor can ask more questions concerning the patient’s health. From there, we can determine specific lab work that needs to be performed, instead of a general CBC (complete blood count) which can’t tell you everything.
Most chronic conditions did not just “pop up”. The reason they have become chronic is because some form of damage happened years ago and never got fixed, leading to multiple symptoms, damaging several glands and organs along the way, until now you have a condition that is never ending with constant doctor visits. I find that I can sometimes trace conditions all the way back to childhood. Some conditions may take years to resolve due to the mounting damage done on the body, and some treatments can take only a month. Every patient is a case by case situation and not just another number and the same diagnosis.
I love the idea of Functional Medicine. It is what healthcare was based on. I always tell my patients that Doctor in Latin means “teacher”. Physician in Latin means “natural science”. It is our job to teach a person how to stay well in a natural sense. It is your job to take ownership of your health to heal yourself.
There are several different types of Functional Medicine and Integrative practitioners. Some practitioners use drugs for treatment, limiting the amount and need for them. But in our Functional Medicine clinic, we want to use only natural treatments and supplements based on specific lab test and focus more on your diet and environment to help heal. Our society is exposed to so many chemicals, pollutants, and dangerous foods that lead to these current health issues. You can take pills all day long, but until you educate yourself on the things that are making you sick, you will be stuck in the “merry go round” treatment you are currently receiving.
Does your current doctor tell you what medication is depleting certain nutrients in your body? Did you know these certain nutrients are needed for cardiovascular health, pancreatic health, hormone health, digestive health? Have you ever noticed you have taken a medication and then later down the road your have another disease or condition that popped up, like diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol?
Our job as Functional Medicine Practitioner’s is also to tell you what medications can deplete nutrients in your body and how it affects your health. As I said before, we want to work with getting your body back to its optimal state, so you can lead a healthy life. We want to teach you the necessary information to live a healthier life. And help you prevent diseases and disorders through food, diet, environmental awareness, and chemical reduction. This is how I think a Functional Medicine and Integrative Practitioner is different then the general medical community. You will not just be a number, but you are a person looking for honest help, and we are there.