Conventional medicine is the standard that most government guidelines and state run hospitals operate under. The system goes something like this. Check the vitals, do basic blood work, review the symptoms and diagnose a problem. The next step comes in a prescription of a medication along with a very general lifestyle guideline.
Something like take statins and eat foods low in cholesterol. They’ll usually give you a print out from the American Heart Association website of fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy and some soy products as a way to add healthy choices to your lifestyle.
Functional Medicine is a whole different approach. Conventional medicine focuses primarily on medication with a side dose of haphazard lifestyle intervention. Functional medicine focuses mostly on lifestyle changes.
Functional medicine practitioners are usually private practice doctors who focus on gut health, digestive health, inflammatory markers and physical strength.
There is very little emphasis on long term medication. In fact, any medication prescribed by a functional medicine practitioner is usually used for emergency situations only and for a short duration.
Avoid Conventional Medicine
Conventional medical practice is very effective for emergency situations. If you have an injury that needs immediate attention, your best bet is a conventional doctor. City hospitals are generally the best places to go for emergencies such as broken bones, stitches, drug overdose, etc.
These kinds of medical emergencies are best treated by institutions that have the most available tools and staff. However, for problems such as weight loss, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other metabolic conditions, it’s not so good. This is because conventional medicine revolves around quick fixes. That’s a positive for emergencies, but not so positive for situations that are by nature, long term.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are a good example. Conventional medicine will prescribe insulin for diabetics as a primary treatment and then give you some second rate, half-assed advice on improving your dietary choices. This approach is backwards. Diabetes (type-2) is a result of insulin sensitivity dropping and the body struggling to produce enough insulin to keep up with how much the blood sugar is spiking.
The most important and quickest way to address this is to reduce sugar consumption. Insulin is an important, temporary tool to help in emergencies, but is really inefficient at fixing the problem long term.
Why Function Medicine is more Effective
The functional medicine approach is rooted in lifestyle design as the main focus and medication as a short term application for stabilization. Medication if necessary, but the main focus is working primarily with the patient on implementing small lifestyle changes based on up to date scientific research. Peer reviewed research, independent from pharmaceutical influence.
This is very important because medication is a mask for the real issue. In reality, the patient’s current habits and lifestyle is what created these negative health conditions over a long period of time. Functional medicine practitioners are well aware of this. After a diagnosis, there is usually a comprehensive plan that’s put together on how to reverse these conditions and maintain stability along the course.
Both Conventional medicine and functional medicine have their places. Conventional medicine is great for quick fixes and emergencies since they have all the tools and framework. Functional medicine is a better long term solution for chronic illnesses!