Why You Should Consider a Functional Medicine Doctor

Why You Should Consider a Functional Medicine Doctor

Through the Fog

What exactly is a functional medicine doctor? How will that benefit me?

Functional medicine doctors are trained like any other doctor, but with added training in holistic medicine. One of their goals is to get to the root of the issue — what’s causing the disease — and not just treat the symptoms.

These doctors are patient-oriented and spend a good amount of time with their patients. They actually take the time to listen and gather information about a patient’s history, including genetic predispositions, environmental factors and lifestyle, all of which can influence long-term health. They take each person as an individual, not a disease.

I want to be seen as a whole person, not just a set of symptoms, don’t you?

Most doctors are just not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, and how to apply life-altering strategies like nutrition, supplementation and exercise to treat and improve these illnesses in their patients.

Unfortunately, mainstream doctors get very little training in medical school regarding nutrition. This is regrettable because what you eat really does matter. In my experience, they also don’t run enough of the right kinds of tests. For example, to determine thyroid health a doctor typically tests your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Functional medicine doctors will check that plus t3 and t4, and more. Their goal is to get a more complete picture so that they can determine the best course of treatment. We are not cookie-cutter patients. Our symptoms, history, etc., are very different.

My experience has been amazing and I know it will change things for me. I will always have fibromyalgia, but some of the suggested modalities and changes in my diet will improve my quality of life. My first visit to a functional medicine doctor was an hour long. She was thorough with my history and answered all my questions. She ordered about a dozen blood tests. She picked up on things that my previous doctor missed. You can do only so much in a 15-minute doctor visit, which is typical of mainstream doctors in my experience.

I am currently doing an elimination diet to find out what foods are triggers for me. No sugar, although I can have raw honey, pure maple syrup and agave. The only grains I can have are quinoa and rice. Lots of veggies, fruit and wild-caught fish. Clean meat, but no red meat. No eggs or soy and no dairy. I use almond milk. This is a 21-day diet, and then we will slowly add back in foods to see how my body reacts.

I’m so thankful for her! This is a directory of functional medicine doctors by state and country. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and delighted with your experience.

Your thoughts?

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

14 comments

  1. Grace from Australia says:

    I know what you’re saying Robin. That’s why I hardly ever visit a doctor as they just want to write a script and be done with it. This week my bowels just stopped moving. Nothing I did helped: magnesium; 7 movicols a day etc. etc. The doctor just gave some suppositories which also did not do anything. Finally a friend on FB suggested the prep product before colonoscopies. Here the name is Picolax. When I took that it finally emptied me out but…now there has been no movement again for two days despite (again) taking all sorts of things that would normally have me going to the toilet several times. The thing that normally keeps me regular is 4 magnesium capsules in the morning. Now nothing even seems to give a little cramp. I want to know why as this seems so unusual. Not just a script that treats the symptom but looking for the cause. Wish you had a list of functional doctors in Australia.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Grace, the hard thing about taking meds to help you go is that your body comes to depend on them and your bowel gets sluggish. Try increasing your veggies, decrease sugar and what products for awhile. Here’s a link to functional medicine prescribers in Australia

  2. Dianne Wilber says:

    Thanks for the info on functional medicine+ doctors , Robin .I`ve never heard of it before .I wonder if health insurance pays for it ?

  3. Grace from Australia says:

    Thanks for that! Actually, I eat lots of vegies, fruit and things like freshly ground up flaxseed etc. But…I do think that some things I had over the Xmas and New Year period could have caused problems. Learned my lesson!

  4. Max Jones says:

    I hadn’t ever heard of functional medicine until recently. I really like the idea of a doctor who is trained to treat the problem, not just the symptoms! I’ll have to see what the functional medicine doctor options are in my area next time I’m having issues!

Leave a Comment

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