Medicine: Traditional vs. Functional
Medicine:  Traditional vs. Functional
Medicine: Traditional vs. Functional

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We are living in a time when we are realizing that the way we have been medically treating people for decades isn’t working. I, like many, am a victim of the broken system.  Yes, a victim; personally and financially.  I suffered from misdiagnosis (or no diagnosis)  for years and then was subjected to the medical insurance “system” that wouldn’t pay for me to see doctors that I wanted to see or pay for me to have tests that I wanted done.  Instead, they force me to fall into line with THEIR regimen and requirements and still, remain ill and not get to the root cause of my problems.  I either play by THEIR rules or I don’t play at all.

It’s sort of like trying to cover a cut with a piece of bacon.  It just doesn’t work.

traditional vs. functional medicine


I’m Not Playing Their Game Anymore.  No Ma’am!

What I have seen over the course of the last decade as I have dived head first into a broader range of  alternative therapies is this…traditional medicine is brilliant when it comes to emergent care – car accident, fall off a ladder, fire victims, etc….all of it seriously brilliant.

When it comes to general care they get a big fat “F” from me and most of the folks I know.

The medical establishment is a business people.  B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S.  They are in it to win it — cash that is. I read stories every day….every day about people who were misdiagnosed and mistreated by the medical community.  I pity the poor soul who believes everything their doctor tells them.  Every profession has people who are better at what they do than their colleagues, yet for some reason we believe that all doctors know everything they need to.  I urge you to re-think that mentality.

Most traditional doctors aren’t trying to cure anything, they are trying to alleviate your symptoms. Click To Tweet

If you embrace anything from this article it is this…your doctor is human.  (S)he doe NOT know everything.  You must ask questions, read, do research and be your own advocate.  Do NOT assume because they have an MD after their name that they know what they are talking about.  It is your responsibility to make sure that the information they are providing you is accurate.

This is where the internet is your friend.  Google your brains out.  Learn what you can on your own.  Everything you need to know is at your fingertips.  Focus not on what WebMD is telling you but look for blogs/websites written by people who have had your experience, gotten results and have taken the time to share it with others.  They might be able to steer you in a direction that will benefit you.

I urge you to seek out doctors with a holistic or functional medicine background.  Holistic medicine looks at you as a whole person, not at your pieces and parts as if they are unrelated.  It looks at the body, mind and spirt as an interconnected being. Traditional medicine has specialties and sub-specialties.

Functional medicine is another popular term and one that I embrace easily.  Functional medicine has deep roots in science and focuses on how the systems of the body work together, not independently.

Functional medicine is about creating health as opposed to treating disease.

Functional medicine docs are on the cutting edge of some pretty exciting stuff right now.  Whether you choose the holistic/functional route be clear that there will be some work involved for you.  This isn’t your typical prescription writing group of professionals.  Exercise, food and supplements will likely play out heavily in your changes.

As far as autoimmune related illnesses like thyroid disease, IBD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic depression/anxiety…to name a few…traditional medicine is  totally missing the mark.  There are over 100 autoimmune diseases and traditional medicine is treating the symptoms of the disease, not the cause of the disease.  Once you have one autoimmune disease the likelihood that you’ll develop another is great.  Not getting to the root cause of the disease will leave you sicker later on.

Look at doctor’s websites.  Understand what kind of care they offer before you go in. Most holistic doctors will likely offer “non-traditional” therapies in their businesses (massage, acupuncture, etc). References to nutrition as part of your overall plan are important too.   Food, for many, is the root cause of their problems.  It is also the solution.  If your doctor (or potential doctor) is not focused on nutrition, lose ‘em and find one who is.

We have come to associate dietary issues mostly with weight, cholesterol and diabetes.  Nutrition has a much farther reaching arm in our bodies.  As one of my very thin friends says, “just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I’m healthy.”  What you do eat is a big deal.  If you want to get better, not just put a band aid on your symptoms, it will require that you get to the the root cause of your problem.  If you choose to just take a pill and make the symptoms go away, that’s your right.  Misunderstanding what is really happening at your doctor’s office is us to you.  I guarantee you once your body becomes used to the pill(s) it will mean higher doses and then a cascade of other pills that create side effects that will need other pills to fix, blah, blah, blah.

If your doctor gets upset they you have come in with a list of questions, or rolls his/her eyes when you tell them you’ve done some research on your own, stop wasting your time.  Nip it at the bud and find a new doctor.

Break the cycle.

Get to the Root Cause of Your Health Issues

Start FEELING better.

You deserve it.

I am including a couple of links below to help you on your quest to finding a good doctor.  I also suggest that you ask your friends.  They are the best source of info in your own community but understand this, too.

I have never met my doctor face to face.  We do everything on line. The laws vary from state to state, but depending on your condition, this maybe an option for you as well.  I’ve driven hundreds of miles to see doctors when really all I needed to do was pick up the phone.

I also highly recommend reading reviews on doctors OUTSIDE of what’s offered on their own website. Angie’s List might be a great resource for doctors near your home.

Share your good outcomes below.  We are all learning from each other.

Google away.


Please share this information with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.

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