By now, most of us have heard of functional or holistic medicine, but what is it exactly?
Functional medicine is an approach to health that focuses on the root causes of disease. In this type of medical practice, doctors and naturopaths will take a holistic approach, considering the complete picture of the patient beyond the symptoms they may have come in to discuss. Generally speaking, conventional medicine focuses on mitigating specific symptoms.
When we start seeing a functional medicine provider, there is typically a ton of intake forms, questionnaires, and initial lab work that they will have you do. Functional medicine believes that there can be many multifaceted causes of your symptoms or condition. The holistic approach is exceptionally bio-individual, meaning, it understands that each person is unique and should receive bio-individualized treatment.
Dr. Will Cole describes it best, exclaiming, “functional medicine is healthcare for the 21st century,” and this new healthcare approach may be the missing link to healing your symptoms. I would argue that functional medicine is the way to go if you are looking for a more collaborative and inclusive style of care.
When functional medicine practitioners run blood tests to check for diseases, imbalances, or abnormal values, they use a narrower scale to detect issues. This exemplary approach allows the practitioner to determine if a condition is present and to best prevent a full-blown disease from occurring. Since the normal value ranges are much broader in conventional medicine tests, they mostly appear abnormal when the patient has a severe deficiency or illness.
When your provider tells you everything looks “normal,” but nothing inside of you feels it, you can become highly disheartened. The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel. In almost every state, plenty of functional medicine doctors are trained to help you overcome any issues you may be experiencing. I have included a link below to the Institute for Functional Medicine’s page, where you can find a functional medicine practitioner in your area.
The most important thing we can do is advocate for our health. There is no reason to think you are ever being over-demanding or a burden when asking for help to feel your best.
Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/