What to Look for in a Functional Medicine Practitioner


The way you think about health problems is important. If you see a doctor for something like autoimmune disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or type 2 diabetes, you might get a symptom-centered diagnosis and an over the counter or prescription drug to treat the symptoms. But you need to be aware that the symptoms will likely return and the problem will probably continue to persist unless the root cause is addressed.

Is functional medicine a real thing?

In functional medicine, the goal is to dig up the root cause and weed out any issues that may be contributing to your health problem. Instead of just cutting the weed down at ground level with scissors, you need to dig it out with a shovel. And that’s exactly what functional medicine does.

Practitioners focus on identifying and addressing imbalances in the seven core physiologic systems. This includes the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive tract, immune system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, and renal and hepatic systems.

Another key difference is that a functional medicine practitioner takes the whole person into consideration, not just the current symptoms and conditions. For example, a traditional doctor might only prescribe more exercise to lower blood pressure but a functional medicine provider will take your whole history into account, including lifestyle habits, genetics and environment.

Another important thing to look for is a practice that offers support services like health coaches and dietitians. This is because many of the recommendations in a functional medicine treatment plan are going to be behavior-based and require a lot of dietary or lifestyle changes. It is best to work with a health coach who can help you navigate those challenges and be your advocate as you make these important changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *