Functional Medicine Doctors are like traditional doctors, except they use targeted lifestyle changes, natural treatments, and medication to help you reverse your chronic condition.
Looking for a Functional Medicine Doctor?
About Functional Medicine:
At Wisdom, all our doctors practice some form of functional or lifestyle medicine. That means they can do everything a traditional doctor can do, but will also design you a health protocol that includes everything scientifically proven to aid in reversing your condition.
It surprises most people to learn chronic conditions are reversible or highly manageable. Most traditional doctors don’t tell patients this because it’s not a part of their training. They work in a system designed for rushed 15-minute appointments only to write prescriptions. In reality, most chronic conditions can be managed or reversed if you are willing to make changes to your health.
If you’d like to read more about this, we highly recommend reading Dr. Dean Ornish’s book Undo It.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a model of care that provides individualized care. In other words, it employs a patient-centered approach in diagnosing and addressing the root cause of an illness. It assesses every component of your health and their various interactions in identifying the root causes of illnesses. These include the individual’s genes, personal and family medical history, stress levels, nutritional status, sleep patterns, interpersonal relationships, microbiome, spirituality, environment, and lifestyle.
Functional Medicine doctors help you identify the root cause behind your disease and treat it at the source. This can encompass a variety of factors including imbalances, deficiencies, toxicity, and inflammation. Often at the core of these issues are diet and stress. When you genuinely address these issues with professional help, it gives you a real chance to reverse your condition.
But the goal of Functional Medicine is not simply to heal your disease. It’s to restore you to overall optimal health and wellbeing. The truth is, if you don’t learn what’s causing your condition in the first place and learn to change those habits, you’ll likely relapse or develop another disease.
All our doctors at Wisdom are educators and teachers as much as they are doctors. They will be a presence in your life to inspire you to live a healthier life. We are the antithesis of the 15-minute factory-style medical clinic. Our doctors and health coaches will work closely with you, even as far as doing house visits to help you in the kitchen or at the grocery store. As your symptoms reduce, you’ll likely feel significantly more in control of your overall health. This can be refreshing and open up a whole new avenue of wellbeing in your life.
Functional Medicine is also highly personalized. We put all patients through advanced tests so your doctor can give you highly specific diet guidance that immediately addresses your most serious health issues.
What conditions can functional medicine help to treat?
Functional medicine helps treat (and prevent) numerous health conditions, particularly people suffering from chronic conditions. Some of the conditions include:
- Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, stroke
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Allergies- environmental and food
- Autoimmune disorders
- Adrenal disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Digestive disorders like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Metabolic syndrome disorders such as insulin resistance and prediabetes
- Premenstrual syndrome and menopause
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
How effective is functional medicine in treating chronic conditions?
Several studies have been carried out to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of functional medicine in managing chronic illnesses.
According to a study, the management of diabetes in elderly patients required comprehensive evaluation and a holistic approach. After employing standard traditional interventions, the geriatric approach, and telemedicine, it was found out that functional medicine that involved nutrition, metabolism, sleep, stress, and inflammation was important for proper personalized treatment for people in this age group and living with diabetes.
Also, functional medicine has been proven to improve health-related quality of life. This was shown by a retrospective cohort study carried out in patients in a primary care setting and Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine.
A 28-week study carried out by a research team in conjunction with Mayo Clinic practitioners and Kalish institute reported positive results. Using an integrative approach to address fatigue, stress, and digestive disorders, patients reported an average 38% decrease in fatigue, 27% decrease in stress, 22% decrease in confusion, and reduction in H. pylori infections that could be linked to chronic inflammation and digestive symptoms. Results also showed a 39% increase in vitality in patients.
Working with a functional medicine doctor will likely include:
- Getting a detailed health analysis.
- Taking advanced tests to identify nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, stored toxicity, or food sensitivities.
- A health and lifestyle protocol that gives you everything scientifically proven to help manage or reverse your condition. This can include medication if your doctor feels it necessary.
Functional medicine is the medicine of the future and a real answer to conventional healthcare’s biggest issues. It combines the scientific backing of conventional medicine with the wisdom of natural health. It truly is the medicine of the future. Functional Medicine has proven extremely effective for heart disease, hormone imbalances, mental health conditions, and digestive disorders, but can help with almost every chronic condition.
Why you should see a functional medicine doctor?
Functional medicine has been proven to help with many conditions, especially chronic conditions that usually need multifaceted approaches in managing them. However, if you are wondering why you should see a functional medicine doctor, here are some valid reasons:
- You need longer and detailed appointments
Functional medicine doctors are specially trained to investigate the several factors that may cause a disease condition. Hence, they typically spend longer periods with you collecting full history and detailed information about the various aspects of your life and health. You get to fully explain and discuss your symptoms and what various factors can cause or influence them.
- You prefer or need an individualized approach
Once again, it is all about you. A functional medicine doctor works with you and uses different methods including the information collected from and about you, to draw out treatment plans that are just right for you.
- You have a chronic illness
Chronic illnesses usually have several interrelated causes. Also, their management usually involves lifestyle changes in different facets of your life. Hence, a branch of medicine that is particularly concerned with identifying root causes is the best option for you, as opposed to just treating symptoms.
- You may need alternative treatments
If you are open to alternative treatments, you should try functional medicine. Functional medicine uses various forms of treatments in managing illnesses. A functional medicine doctor may prescribe alternative treatments like acupuncture, massage, Chinese or oriental medicine, meditation, and music therapy, amongst others alongside medications.
- You prefer other treatments to medications
Functional medicine often uses medications as last resort, unlike conventional treatment that uses them as the first line of treatment. Functional medicine after looking holistically at your health may ask for the services of health professionals like chiropractors, nutritionists, amongst others.
Is functional medicine appropriate for anyone?
Functional medicine is ideal for anyone seeking a holistic, personalized approach to healthcare. Individuals and families seeking to improve their general wellness without only focusing on medications can benefit from functional medicine. Additionally, it is a perfect option for people living with chronic illnesses who haven’t benefitted maximally from the traditional approach of treatments.
Functional medicine is an excellent approach to preventing future health problems. Detailed personal and family history collected can inform you and the doctor’s decision to run tests and draw out healthy lifestyle plans that will ensure and maintain good health for your body and your family. Also, if you are interested in understanding your genes and their interaction with other environmental and lifestyle factors, functional medicine is the best fit for you.
However, if you are looking for quick answers to a health problem, you may not benefit from functional medicine. The reasons are functional medicine takes a long time and requires detailed history taking and input from other professionals.
Is functional medicine covered by insurance?
Yes, most of the time. Visits to functional medicine doctors are usually covered as they are grouped as medical care. However, the cost of some extensive tests and other lab work may not be paid by your insurer. This is because functional medicine may require some out-of-coverage tests for efficient diagnosis and treatment.
Additionally, since any health professional can specialize in functional medicine, the services of a chiropractor or nutritionist may not be covered by insurance.
Functional medicine is an extension of integrative medicine that employs a holistic approach in identifying and addressing root causes of illnesses, particularly chronic diseases. More so, care is patient-centered and looks at everything that makes you, you!
At Wisdom, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve. All our doctors continue to stay educated on the most up-to-date scientific studies and ground-breaking treatments. If you want more than what conventional medicine can or has so far offered you, Functional Medicine is for you.
If you feel inspired to explore Functional Medicine, schedule a free health consult with one of our health advisors here.
Questions About Membership?
One of our advisors can help with all of your membership questions.