Functional Medicine Doctors vs Traditional Doctors

As the benefits of functional medicine wake forest north carolina become more widely recognized and more patients who are either working to manage or even prevent chronic disease become interested the ways in which functional medicine might work for them, there are growing questions about the differences between functional and traditional medicine providers. While there are indeed a number of key differences between these kinds of health practitioners, there are also a number of similarities, both of which will be outlined here.

Key Similarities Between Functional Medicine Doctors and Traditional Doctors

Functional medicine and traditional medicine doctors alike are invested in finding effective solutions to a wide range of health challenges. It is important to note that both kinds of doctors are in fact medical doctors, haven gone through the same rigorous training in medical school and subsequent residencies.

Given this shared background, it is perhaps unsurprising that both functional and traditional medicine doctors use similar means of gathering certain kinds of information, such as physical exams, various forms of testing and imaging, and gaining a thorough understanding of individual and family medical histories. Both also use these various kinds of information and input to create individual treatment plans to target the health challenges their patients may be facing. This includes but is not limited to certain kinds of medications.

Key Differences Between Functional Medicine Doctors and Traditional Doctors

There are important distinctions that can be made between functional and traditional doctors and the kinds of medicine they practice. In some ways, the differences that separate these practices are philosophical ones: while traditional medicine is largely focused on treating acute medical problems (i.e. problems that arise suddenly, such as a broken bone or a rash), functional medicine is much more interested in the management of chronic conditions and the promotion of lifestyles and behaviors that support overall health.

As such, functional medicine practitioners are extremely invested in figuring out the underlying causes behind disease. Rather than simply treating symptoms, as traditional medicine tends to do, functional medicine seeks to modify the cause so that disease is not triggered or allowed to flourish.

Hallmarks of Traditional Medicine

Because functional medicine practitioners are more interested in the causes that lead to symptoms, the practice of functional medicine is much more individualized, in-depth, and comprehensive in nature. As opposed to a visit with a traditional medicine doctor, with whom you will likely spend about 15 minutes discussing the specific symptoms you are currently experiencing before being prescribed an over-the-counter or prescription drug, a visit with a functional medicine doctor is much more involved.

A visit with a functional medicine doctor will likely include a great deal of conversation about environmental and lifestyle factors that may be affecting your health, such as environmental toxins or even the food you eat. There will also be attention paid to the ways in which stress and stress management may be operating in your life.

Only once all of these various components have been explored – physical, environmental, and psychological – will a custom treatment plan be created. While there are numerous benefits to traditional medicine systems and treatments and one should not forego this kind of care, the integrative approach of functional medicine can be an excellent addition to one’s health care, particularly as a means of managing chronic conditions and improving overall quality of life.

What does a Functional Medicine Doctor Do?