Achieving optimal health shouldn’t be complicated. But with conflicting information achieving good health has become confusing, and to some it can feel near impossible. Conventional health care systems are still using outdated ways of thinking to solve modern health problems. Let’s dive into the difference between Conventional Medicine and Functional Medicine so you can see how a wholistic approach to your health care may be just what you need to restore your balance and achieve a lifetime of vitality.
What is Conventional Medicine?
We live in a world where everything is available at our fingertips. Want a new shirt? You can buy it immediately on your mobile device. Don’t feel like waiting in line at the grocery store? You can have food delivered right to your door. This same fast, “easy fix” mentality is something that is expected and accepted from today’s patients and is implemented by conventional medicine practices.
Swayed by media advertisements from pharmaceutical companies and healthcare plans pushing their products and procedures—we are finding that patients have little interest in lifestyle changes to treat their chronic disease. Instead, they are in search for a pill for their every ill. They seem hypnotized and plugged into the matrix of drug-driven disease management.
Physicians are generally trained to “cure illnesses” by just treating symptoms. Even top research institutions that are meant to inform doctors of the best new approaches to support wellness and treat chronic disease are pumping “evidenced-based” protocols that were disease, drug-centric, and biased by pharmaceutical sponsorship. Insurance companies and healthcare plans are also forcing conformity and compliance toward using certain drugs and treatment protocols in schemes called “pay for performance.”
Here’s how it works: The insurer pays less per visit and withholds a portion of the payment. They return that money as “reward” if we meet thresholds of performance for using the drugs and protocols, they deem appropriate.
The entire office process, then, becomes built around the doctor meeting and documenting these measures.
Equally bothersome, is that the number of people who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental illness, heart disease and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis has increased tremendously in our society and conventional medicine doesn’t focus on preventing it.
As a Functional Medicine doctor, my aim is to bring back personal care and help you figure out the root cause of your imbalances and chronic disease and treat your systems, not your symptoms. This means that I focus on treating all of you, not just the disease. This perspective towards medicine allows me to help your body do what it does best: Establish balance and restore vitality in your life.
What is Functional Medicine?
The framework of functional medicine is based on understanding that the body is a sum of systems that are interdependently connected and are constantly engaged in dynamic interactions to respond the world around us. That world is made up of food, toxins, microbes, stress and trauma. Any of these can disturb the balance, disorder communication and distort appropriate responses of our systems. The metabolic chaos that ensues leads to system imbalance and breakdown. We experience these conditions as symptoms that are typically categorized as a disease that is then treated. When symptoms of a disease are the focus of treatment the root cause of the system breakdown leading to the disease may never be addressed. Full health may never be achieved. As a functional medicine doctor, I can help you figure out the root cause of your imbalances and treat your systems, not your symptoms.
What does Functional Medicine Doctor do?
The first priority I want to emphasize is the partnership between doctor and patient that is fundamental to Functional Medicine. The patients are the experts on their bodies. I as the doctor am the expert in biological systems and serve as a consultant in patients’ personal decision-making process to maximize their own experience of life.
The second priority is that people understand that no condition is ever “just one thing.” Symptoms require a detective that can trace their underlying causes across overlapping bodily systems. As we work together to increase the vitality of all your systems simultaneously, you may see multiple symptoms improve.
The new understanding working with me will bring clients include frameworks such as:
1. Lifestyle as medicine
2. Food as medicine
3. Root cause medicine rather than symptom driven medicine
4. Acting on genetic information to enhance performance and prevent disease
5. Toxins, hidden viruses, and how to heal from them