It seems that we are seeing more and more people making repeat medical appointments without finding any answers to their health issues. That’s frustrating and can also be overwhelming when you’re sick and don’t know how to fix the problem. If you’re wondering why this is happening, there are many reasons, but one is because traditional healthcare is focused on treating the symptoms, rather than getting to the root cause. But there’s a better way, one that works to pinpoint the exact problem so that you can get healthy without pharmaceuticals.
The difference between functional medicine and traditional medicine begins with the approach. If you want to transform your health, you won’t do it with a handful of prescription pills every day. Our society has people suffering from chronic conditions, taking medicines that simply don’t fix the reason they are sick, AKA the root cause. Think about the problems you’ve seen in your friends and family members. Some of them likely have weight issues, chronic fatigue, blood pressure problems, and all kinds of other health conditions. The traditional treatments don’t work to prevent health issues, they treat the symptoms after you’re sick. (2)
Many people think of holistic healthcare as something that isn’t based on science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Functional practitioners address the root cause of diseases, not only the symptoms of those problems. The end goal is to optimize your health, not to make it where you barely exist day by day. Once you know what is causing you to be sick, you can gain wellness by reversing the problem, and work to prevent disease later.
One of the medications constantly pushed on patients is cholesterol medicine. It seems many doctors are all too happy to prescribe these, but studies are beginning to show that these medications don’t always work. Even worse, they come with a host of side effects. Cholesterol medications have been linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes and may cause sleep issues and headaches, to name a few. (3) Statin drugs are the most prescribed in the country. More than 40 million Americans are taking statins. (4)
All prescription medicines come with risks and side effects. If you’ve ever taken one, you’ve likely seen the foldout leaflet that comes with the drug, describing all the horrible problems that may occur from taking it. Why would you take something that could cause you more problems? If you want another staggering statistic, according to the CDC, in 2016 27% of adolescents between 12 and 19 take a prescription medicine. (5)
You are not a number. Each person is unique, and that means you need an individualized approach. To heal your body from the inside out, you need specialized treatment that focuses on reversing your health concerns. Since your genetics and biology are different from someone else’s, you need lab testing and a complete health history. Your bloodwork and health history will help to formulate a more personalized plan to fix underlying health problems. (6)
Knowing your labs is crucial to getting well. If you’ve had labs previously, you may have seen your doctor and been told that all is well because your numbers are fine. The problem is that most people don’t know what those numbers mean. If you’re on the low end of what the “normal” number is, your doctor may still tell you that you’re healthy. You see, there’s a difference between what is “normal” and what is “optimal”. A functional nutrition doctor will work to get you in optimal ranges, so you not just survive, but thrive.
In addition to thorough labs, functional medicine is about listening to your concerns and then addressing them. In our modern healthcare dynamic, you’re lucky to get ten minutes with your doctor. Often, you’re given a prescription and scheduled for a follow up. Many doctors don’t go over the side effects of these drugs, even though there are around 81 million adverse reactions per year. Functional medicine providers want to find out every aspect of your life that may contribute to personalized, effective treatment for your health issues. Many holistic practitioners have also experienced health problems that were hard to treat. Some health concerns are so unique that they take more time and investigation than traditional healthcare can give. (7)
Our modern healthcare system would sometimes have you think that functional medicine is not based on science, and therefore, cannot make you better. When you select functional treatment, your doctor will evaluate you and pull all the data necessary to get a clear picture of your overall health. That includes the combination of labs, a complete health history, and your specific physiology. Internal factors are also considered, like stress level and mental fatigue, which could add to physical issues. Some patients have complex health problems that may require different treatment modalities.
Once you get to the root cause of your health concern, you’ll be able to address it, which alleviates those nasty symptoms. Some people have been sick for so long that they don’t think they can have a true health transformation because conventional medicine has failed them. Functional medicine gives you a convenient way to get high-level healthcare anywhere. You can do the testing in the comfort of your home without waiting endless hours in a doctor’s office.
Another aspect of functional healthcare is that it concentrates on the whole person, rather than one or two symptoms. There may be pharmaceutical-grade supplements that cost less and work better than some of the drugs you’ve taken in the past. They also come with far fewer side effects.
Optimized nutrition is a part of functional medicine as well. After all, we believe food truly is medicine. Optimal nutrition focuses on making sure you get the nutrients you need for your body to perform at its best. We want you to thrive, not just survive. A healthy diet that contains the proper energy sources will help lower your risk for chronic health conditions. (8)
Movement is also prioritized for patients, as tolerated. Your body was not designed to be sedentary. Too many people have joint pain and fatigue because they don’t move enough. In a survey, 18% of the people between 50 and 80 reported using prescription pain relievers. (9) What if being mobile could improve their pain without the drugs?
Holistic care involves the treatment of the whole person, not a few individual concerns here and there. It’s about disease prevention and reversal, which is not what most traditional healthcare models offer today.
Before you trust your health concerns to another pharmaceutical drug, you might consider a natural approach. It’s not about taking a ton of supplements that you find at your local grocery store. Functional medicine offers cutting-edge solutions to many problems that traditional healthcare cannot fix. More and more, we are seeing research that confirms the science of natural methods to address health issues.
When you’re ready for a customized treatment plan that pinpoints the exact cause of your illness, we are here to help every step of the way. We partner with you to prioritize and optimize your health. Get started today with a complimentary consultation to learn more about the holistic healthcare difference. If you’re tired of the current healthcare model, your natural transformation is only a step away!