While conventional medicine is an excellent option in an emergency situation, and it can save your life, it may not be the best option for your regular health care. If you have an MD as your primary care physician, they may work with you on things like proper nutrition and exercise, but they really don't look at the whole picture. They look at things that are wrong within your body and do try to help you stay or get healthy, but there is still more to you as a person. If your primary care physician is a DO, you may find they are interested in you as a person—where you live, how you live, and how you think and feel about things. A functional medical doctor takes this even further. They want to understand you so they can get to the root of any physical or mental issues you may be having or may have in the future. Here are just a few reasons to visit a functional medicine clinic.
The first time you see a functional medicine practitioner, plan on spending at least an hour with them. Of course, you will discuss any health concerns you have, but you will also talk about your life, your past, your family, and even your hopes for the future. The doctor wants to know about you so they can tailor your health care to you. They do not feel health care is a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
After your first visit, the doctor will arrange for some lab work. This will include tests for things most conventional doctors don't look at. You may also be asked to have some allergy tests to determine if there is an allergy to something that is causing you trouble you do not even realize.
Once all the lab work comes back, you will have an appointment with a nutritionist in the clinic. Do not think of this as someone putting you on a diet but as someone helping you understand how the foods you eat affect your body. Not everyone has the exact same nutritional needs. Some foods may create trouble in your body that most people have no problem with.
While a functional medicine clinic works extremely well for people with chronic health conditions, they are also able to treat acute conditions or diseases. Often, the treatments are a bit different than just prescribing medications to help you get better, but you can be assured their treatments will work. Functional medical practitioners are still doctors and are trained as any other doctor is trained. They just specialize in treating you as an individual and not as a composite of symptoms.