At Restorative Health Solutions, we specialize in practicing a system of healthcare known as Functional Medicine.
So What Is Functional Medicine?
The term “functional medicine” is defined as personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and treatment of underlying causes (as opposed to the treatment of symptoms) of serious and chronic diseases. This means that we seek to know the underlying cause of illness as opposed to just looking at the signs that indicate the body is ill. Let me share two stories that illustrate the difference in functional medicine and the traditional approach.
I recently had a patient come to me after going to the Mayo Clinic. They were experiencing some gas and bloating, flushing, and some chronic pain. After testing, the patient was given an antacid, an antihistamine, and a pain killer. Do you see what happened? The patient was given one medication for each of their symptoms. Did anyone ever stop to ask if there was one primary issue that might be causing all the symptoms? I spoke with the treating doctor at Mayo about this, and he told me that even at Mayo, the approach is to first give out medications to eliminate symptoms, and only if that fails do they dig deeper to try and find a unifying cause of the symptoms. This is exactly the opposite of a functional medicine approach.
I also get patients from other alternative practitioners that have fallen into this symptom-based way of thinking. I had a patient come in with anxiety, difficulty sleeping, chronic fatigue, and constipation. They had already seen another natural practitioner prior to entering my office. They had been given valerian root for the anxiety, melatonin for the sleep, cortisol for the energy, and fiber for constipation. While this may be a more natural or drug-free approach, it is not a functional approach. They still received one vitamin for each symptom.
The Functional Approach
The approach of functional medicine is to first view the patient as a whole and assume all your symptoms are connected. By viewing the illness of the patient as a whole and not just as a combination of separate symptoms, the approach shifts healthcare to look at the underlying factors that trigger these symptoms. For example, in our patient that went to Mayo, we found they had a chronic infection causing all of their problems. Once this infection was eliminated, all of their symptoms subsided. In the case of the patient who had seen the natural practitioner, this person had very unstable blood sugar levels. When this was discovered and treated, their anxiety completely went away, their sleep patterns and digestion evened out, they had significantly more energy!
Functional medicine looks at illness, and rather than asking “How can we get rid ofthe symptoms?” we ask, “What is the cause of the disease and how can eliminate your symptoms by getting at that underlying cause?”
Want to get your health back?
If you would like to get to the root cause of your symptoms, call us to set up a free phone consult with one of our clinicians. During this phone consult, the doctor will review your symptoms and let you know how we can help.