If you’re struggling to understand the difference between conventional and functional medicine, this article is for you. Here, we list 10 reasons why you should seek out a functional medicine doctor in Overland Park. Note: you may, also, hear functional medicine referred to as integrative medicine or functional health.
1.) Cost-effective option for healthcare
Preventative medicine is always going to be more cost-effective than dealing with the illness after it’s already taken hold. With functional medicine, we focus on disease prevention and health promotion. This proactive way of looking at health can save you thousands of dollars in future hospital and doctor visits, prescription medications, time lost from work, unproductivity, and sick days. The average cost of a serious heart attack can range over $1 million, cancer costs can be in the tens to hundreds of thousands, and stroke is the most debilitating disease today.
So why wait until you’re already sick to start sucking money out of your account? Spend less now and prevent the illness in the first place.
2.) Custom personal care program
At its core, functional medicine is patient-centered care. We all have different genetics, we all were raised in different environments, eat different foods, have differing amounts of stress, and so forth. So, it only makes sense that our treatment should be different too. That’s why functional medicine doctors in Overland Park take the time to get to know their patients, finding out their personal stories and what makes them unique. Only then can they provide the best possible care.
3.) Reach your full potential with Functional Medicine
Functional Medicine is about building the healthiest person possible. This can be true for someone who is struggling with a chronic condition like heart disease or cancer, or a soccer mom who wants a little more energy. We all want to reach for more coffee, soda, and other crutches, but deep down we know there’s a better option. This is where functional health care comes in. Because the care is so personalized and specific, steps can be taken at any stage to optimize cellular health, gut function, immune balance, brain power, slow aging, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones.
4.) Conventional Medicine vs Functional Medicine
The problem with conventional medicine is that most science-based research takes an average of 17 years to reach doctors! That means your doctor could be using old information to make decisions about your health. With recent revelations from the Human Microbiome Project, cardiovascular health markers and their effect on disease, genetic SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), the impact of diet on health, and stress and its effect on hormones, functional medicine practitioners have adopted and applied the latest research to get the best results. We know stress is at an all-time high. This approach looks directly at stress, the root cause, and an integrative approach (such as the inclusion of chiropractic or acupuncture) to eliminate its effects without conventional medicines.
5.) Systems-based medicine
Functional medicine is systems-based, meaning that the treatment is based on which systems of the body are out of balance. This becomes important because one disease can have many different causes, such as depression. Depression can be caused by a lack of omega-3s, a deficiency of Vitamin D, heavy metal toxicity, inflammation from a poor diet, immune activation from a hidden gut infection, a neurotransmitter imbalance due to past medication intake, or poor gut absorption. And one cause can lead to many diseases, such as inflammation. Research has shown that inflammation is the cornerstone of depression, heart disease, cancer, and many brain-based disorders. A thorough assessment from your functional medicine doctor will help uncover the root cause and create an effective plan.
6.) Proactive approach to Healthcare
Functional medicine is all about being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to your health. It’s the whole idea behind the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, it’s much easier to avoid health problems in the first place than it is to try and fix them after they’ve developed. This goes for things like autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disorders, and lots of other conditions. Wouldn’t it make more sense to monitor your blood sugar closely, so you could make necessary changes before you get diabetes? That’s the heart of functional medicine and natural healthcare.
7.) Educational, informed care program
People are often frustrated with the lack of information and traditional treatment methods from their doctors. I believe that everyone should leave my office feeling empowered and knowledgeable about their health. Functional medicine is not just about giving supplements and hoping for the best. It is about educating the patient so they can maintain their health long-term. This includes understanding their labs, diet, how to detoxify, etc.
8.) Time to find the root of the problem
If you got into your car and saw the check engine light on, you would probably take it to the mechanic, right? At the mechanic shop, would you want the mechanic to find and fix the reason why your check engine light is on? Or would you want the mechanic to break your check engine light so it can’t come on again? It sounds crazy, but this isn’t much different than going to a doctor and being prescribed drugs to cover up symptoms (statin for high cholesterol, antihypertensives for high blood pressure, antidepressants for depression). You see, every symptom or condition has a cause. Until you find and fix the cause, you are merely covering up symptoms. It is the equivalent of breaking your check engine light and driving 85 mph on the highway and hoping that you won’t break down. Through cutting-edge testing such as hormone panels, organic acid testing, food sensitivity testing, stool testing, and comprehensive blood analysis, functional medicine practitioners can finally identify the root cause of health problems.
9.) Thorough process from a doctor you’ve built a relationship with
A good doctor-patient relationship is key to maintaining your health. As a functional medicine doctor in Overland Park we prioritize this relationship, so they can get to the root of your health problems and help you avoid them in the future.
10.) Learning from yesterday and using an updated form of treatment
With the rise in chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancers, it’s more important than ever to find a healthcare practitioner who can address the underlying causes of these conditions. Functional medicine practitioners are trained to deal with the complex problems of today by diagnosing and treating the root cause of illness.
*Disclaimer: This is not to say that conventional medicine is incorrect or bad. It is to show another option and the reasons it might be a good fit for you.
Ready to give functional medicine a shot? Contact us today for more information and to set your first appointment.