I Went to a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Here’s What Happened
I wasn’t feeling well. Not like I was sick, but just overall didn’t feel well. I was constantly tired, had a hard time concentrating, and I definitely knew that my digestion was not optimal.
The differences between traditional and integrative medicine
It would be a tough sell to convince a physician of traditional medicine that something was wrong based on those symptoms. After all, they’re symptoms that they likely hear from patients all day, every day. There’s also nothing too concrete that gives them a direction in which to go.
The experience, however, is extremely different when going to a functional or integrative practitioner. They actually want to know everything that is going on in your life. They believe (and I agree) that the greater picture of your overall health impacts the physical manifestation of symptoms.
They start with an in-depth questionnaire – think of the new patient forms in a traditional physician’s office and multiply that by about four. They want to know about your health history, family history, career, relationships, diet, and quality of sleep. They even want to know what activities bring you joy and what are your biggest stressors in life.
Considering all possibilities
So, for me, my practitioner took it very seriously that I had a family member who was at the end of a long battle with cancer. My practitioner saw that experience as having a tremendous impact on my health and not just in the way to say that any symptoms I may be experiencing are simply stress induced, no she saw that experience as an actual threat to my health, although she would have never phrased it that way to me.
While I connected with this physician after my diagnosis of endometriosis, I believe my experience with her is still extremely relevant. Because she did what most people would never imagine an “alternative” practitioner to do – she encouraged me to get a second opinion with another neurologist on MRI results I received. She wasn’t fully convinced that my first neurologist was giving me the best advice.
Because of her, I got a second opinion and because of that I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – significantly earlier than I would have been if I followed traditional medicine’s approach of waiting and watching.
Why do share this? Because although the details of each person’s health and life will be unique to them, the experience of encouraging me to get the proper tests and receive a proper diagnosis.
First, it’s important to recognize that integrative physicians will support you in leveraging all aspects of medicine and history as to offer us. We have a lot of options across to health the body when you take an integrative approach combining both traditional and holistic care plan.
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if it was endo related?