Your health is one of the most important components of your life. You may take it for granted every day, but when you begin to feel sick or experience a chronic illness or disease, you realize just how much you value good health and good healthcare. Traditional medicine has seen a mind-boggling advancement in technology, care, and results over the past century, but its general approach to treating symptoms over possible underlying root issues may not be right for every patient. An alternative is functional medicine from Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY.
Functional medicine focuses on patients as individuals, taking personal health history, genetics, and lifestyle into account to help identify and treat the root cause of health problems. We are proud to practice this personalized approach to medicine, ensuring that treatment and prevention plans go hand-in-hand to secure your family’s future of good health.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Often referred to as an alternative medical approach, functional medicine makes use of the same medical advancements and knowledge as traditional medicine. It simply differs in its application of these resources.
Instead of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to medicine, it budgets the time to truly understand each patient, including their history, specific genetic and biochemical interactions with treatment options, lifestyle, and wellness goals.
The base principle of this approach to medicine is familiarity. Your healthcare provider will take the time to get to know you, not just as a person, but as a patient. This step is crucial to seeing success. Without knowing you, your body, and your history and predispositions to certain conditions, your doctor can’t easily identify the root causes of any health issues you may be experiencing. This approach treats the individual instead of the disease, which requires a much more well-rounded understanding of every patient under a doctor’s care.
Empowering Your Body
Our bodies are amazingly equipped to heal themselves when given the time, resources, and help they need. By unlocking your body’s potential for long-lasting healing, your doctor can minimize the supplementary medications and treatments needed to see improvement in your condition. This approach is inherently science-based. It simply seeks to balance the complex systems in your body to achieve healing instead of introducing potentially unnecessary treatments.
When applied correctly, functional medicine can empower your body to heal itself, slow everyday degeneration such as aging, and remain in good health through an intelligent combination of informed preventative care, lifestyle, and top-quality healthcare.
Your first visits will be dedicated to collecting the information your doctor needs. This often involves taking down a detailed health history, making note of any conditions you experience in the present, setting your goals for wellness, and testing for any conditions which may develop down the road.
Some of the most common tests are advanced lipid particle testing, detailed hormone assessment, micro and macronutrient evaluation, thyroid testing, diabetes risk evaluation, epigenetic factor evaluation, genetic analysis, and genomic expression testing. These tests give your doctor a picture of exactly where your body is on its health journey and alerts them to any potential issues.
An Approach for Everyone
If you’re seeing a doctor, you probably have some health concerns you’d like to improve. Maybe you live with a chronic disease and have exhausted every option for treating it in the realm of traditional medicine. Maybe you’d like to provide your whole family with a more personalized approach to health.
Maybe you recently started experiencing symptoms that couldn’t be adequately addressed by traditional medicine, or maybe you’ve learned something new about your health history and want to visit a doctor who can help you understand your predisposition to develop health issues in the future.
Whatever your reasons, you’ve sought out functional medicine to achieve healing, and it can help you address all of these concerns.
Thanks to its personalized structure, this approach can look vastly different from patient to patient. Once your doctor has gotten to know you and learned all about your past health and treatment history, it’s time to start improving your health by addressing the issues you experience on a daily basis. This can involve switching treatment plans.
Due to the nature of this approach, you’ll be heavily involved in the entire process. You’ll be able to ask questions and express concerns during your treatment, and your doctor will be able to suggest multiple treatment alternatives over time to target your issues.
Treatment Example: Thyroid
If you arrive in the office with a thyroid issue, your doctor will run labs to see how this issue presents itself in your body. Then the doctor will make recommendations depending on the results. Sometimes, you could be reacting to an external factor, such as gluten. You may need to cut certain foods or activities from your routine for a period of time to see how this change affects your condition/
Your doctor will assess your results, and, depending on the change in symptoms, recommend any further adjustments which could improve your condition.
Treatment Example: Sleep Issues
Another example could be an inability to sleep well at night. Your doctor can pinpoint any issues with your adrenal system and introduce a natural sedative like melatonin to encourage your body to sleep peacefully and reclaim that valuable regenerative time overnight. In the end, it’s the sleep itself that corrects this issue, not any medication. A surprising percentage of the time, your body is able to heal itself and correct certain issues with a little help from your doctor.
Treatment Example: Exhaustion and Exercise
We all know that our bodies need regular exercise to remain healthy, but what if we feel too physically exhausted to even consider adding a workout routine to our busy lives? Your doctor will likely seek out the root of your exhaustion by checking your labs and your lifestyle. Could a thyroid issue be contributing to your low energy levels? Do your mitochondrial energy pathways need restoration?
By treating conditions like these, your doctor can help you feel more energized, which in turn allows you to complete the workouts your body needs to become more healthy. This chain reaction is part of almost every treatment approach and can change the way you feel in a surprising amount of time.
Adjusting to a New Approach to Healthcare
You’ll need some time to get used to the functional medicine approach It requires time, dedication, and engagement in order to deliver truly lasting results. Your doctor may have you try a series of small adjustments to your daily life in order to correct root cause conditions, which means that this is far from a “quick fix” approach to medicine. Because of this, it’s not ideal for treating emergency or acute medical conditions.
Once you’ve gotten used to the way this approach interacts with your body and its incredible ability to self-heal under the right circumstances, you’ll feel ready to put in the time and effort needed to see real results. Both the doctor and patient must be equally committed to the process and to helping your body reach a place of extended health and healing.
Does It Really Work?
Maybe this sounds like the detailed, natural approach to healthcare that you want but you’re hesitant to try something so different from traditional medicine. After all, modern medicines aren’t bad, are they? Not at all! The problem comes when these medicines become the go-to fix for every symptom, no matter the root cause. A simple headache, for example, can have dozens of different causes; but we’ve learned to treat it the same way without identifying that underlying issue.
Symptom-targeting treatments can provide some relief, but to heal completely, your body needs supportive treatment targeting the root cause. Functional medicine can improve your overall health by providing this support to allow your body to naturally resolve the root cause of your issues.
A Holistic Approach to Healthcare
In the past, medicine included prescriptions including physical activity, weekends away at the seashore to rest and get fresh air, and doctors making home visits to see not only the patient but the entire living situation, including diet and activity. While modern medical care looks very different, the principles of this approach to treatment are supported by functional medical care.
Sleep, diet, and a healthy activity level are three of the biggest ways to help our body reach its full potential, in addition to regular routines like prayer and meditation and positive quality time with family and friends. When our healthcare uses these practices as the primary treatments, supplemented with medication and other treatments only as necessary, our bodies are able to heal more naturally and effectively, giving you long-term results that leave you feeling your best.
The End Goal
The ultimate goal of a functional approach to healthcare is your excellent, enduring health. While the normal definition of health is the absence of disease, the health which functional medical care should help you achieve is a well-rounded vitality in every area of your life. As you identify and target your health concerns and implement preventative care to ensure that your body remains healthy in the future, you should feel the best you’ve ever felt.
By changing the definition of true health, functional medicine seeks to help every patient reach their full potential and lead a life which provides their body with every resource it needs to remain in excellent health on every level.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
This approach to modern medicine is ideal for anyone seeking a holistic, body-centric approach to healthcare. It’s the perfect option for families and individuals seeking to improve their general wellness without an excess of medication. It’s also a powerful tool for those living with chronic illnesses who have been unable to achieve sustainable results with traditional medicine.
Finally, this approach is an excellent way to identify and work on preventing future health issues; you can share your personal or family health history and, in addition, your doctor can run labs which can provide you with even more information and ensure that your day-to-day routine is the best possible lifestyle for your body and health.
Whether you need an alternative to traditional medicine or are seeking an approach to healthcare which depends on the intelligence and power of your own body instead of an excess of medications, functional medicine could be the door to a new understanding of your personal health. It’s an approach that can offer individualized care to members of a family as it determines each person’s unique circumstances and predispositions. In addition, it can transform your life on every level by helping you change the way you think about your health.
If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to the professionals at Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY to schedule an initial consultation today! We look forward to helping you achieve your wellness goals.