What is Functional Medicine and Can it help me?
Updated: Oct 24
We often get the question, “why doesn’t my doctor do__________?”
Why can’t I just have this done at my doctor’s office?
I think that this is a good time to outline some main differences between traditional (allopathic) medicine and Functional Medicine.
A traditional medical doctor is trained in something called allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine is a system in which medical doctors treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.
Allopathic doctors are not trained in the use of diet or lifestyle as interventions for health problems.
Allopathic medicine utilizes a reductionistic approach to healthcare. In other words, if you complain of stomach pain, they will give you medicine to make your stomach pain go away.
If they find that you have high blood pressure, they will give you medicine to make your blood pressure go down, usually by making your heart beat more weakly.
And if you have symptoms of a low thyroid function they will give you synthetic thyroid hormone.
Perhaps you are on a synthetic hormone like Levothyroxine or Synthroid.
They do not tend to consider how one body system, like for instance, the gut can affect another system, like for instance the brain and cause something like depression. Which, by the way it does.
I don’t say this to bash traditional medicine doctors. There are some things that they do extraordinarily well. For instance, if you severely cut yourself, get stabbed or get shot, you want to go to a traditional hospital and be cared for by an allopathically trained medical doctor.
If I have a heart attack . . . bring to an Emergency Room Staffed with an allopathically trained heart specialist STAT.
But to be sure, that allopathic heart specialist is all but useless at preventing the heart attack to begin with. They become a Hero only AFTER the fact.
When it comes to chronic disease, which is most of what we see these days, the philosophy and the mindset of an allopathic medical doctor is just simply the wrong tool for the job.
Functional medicine, on the other hand, looks at how an imbalance in one system of your body could be causing a negative effect in other parts of your body.
For instance, if you are having thyroid symptoms are those symptoms being caused by a thyroid gland that isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, a gut that isn’t converting T4 into T3 or an immune system that is attacking the thyroid gland.
Then . . . instead of giving a drug that will suppress a symptom or cut out an organ or in the case of Synthroid, just replace a substance that your body should be making on it's own, A Functional Medicine doctor is going to ask the question, “what natural substance can I give to help support the function of that system or organ?”
What lifestyle change can we make that will regulate that bodily function? Do they need to stop eating something or start eating something else? Are they chronically exposed to toxic chemicals like personal care items or cleaning supplies? If so is there anything that we can do about it?
Lots of questions.
And these questions are important for getting to the root cause of what ails you because giving a drug to suppress the symptoms of a chronic disease process is like removing the check engine light sensor from your car because looking at it on your dashboard is irritating you.
Think of it like this. If your house is on fire, should you call a fireman or a contractor?
A fireman. Right?
But . . . if you’re teenage daughter threw a big party while you were out of town and trashed the place . . . you don’t call the Fire Department. Right?
You call someone that can clean up the mess and fix things that were broken and patch up the holes in the wall.
And you make your daughter help with the clean up!
A traditional medical doctor is a FIREMAN. A Functional Health Doctor is a Repairman.
If you want to clean up your health, who do you think you should call?
If you are ready to start repairing your health, click the button below and let's get on a FREE Discovery call to see how we might be able to help you get your life back.