Functional Medicine – Pharm To Table

Functional Medicine asks how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root cause of disease (IFM.org).

Functional medicine is a new way of providing healthcare by getting to the root cause of a disease.  People typically come to functional medicine providers after they’ve been told by their doctor that everything is normal.  

Functional Medicine is all about finding the cause of the cause.  Providers spend time listening to patient’s stories and try to dig deeper into what could be triggering an illness. 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE AND CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE?

(1)

One of the hallmark differences is the length of time with your provider is much longer 

Appointments range from 60-90 minutes, whereas the typical amount of time spent with your primary care physician is about 17 minutes (2). 

More time means more attention spent looking at the WHOLE person, not just individual symptoms. 

Questions you may be asked: 

  • How do you feel about your overall health?
  • What are your goals?
  • What does your exercise routine look like? 
  • Have you lived or worked in a damp or moldy environment? 
  • Have you ever had an unusual side effect from a medication or supplement?  
  • How many hours of sleep do you get each night?   
  • What does a typical day of eating look like for you? 
  • What resources do you have for emotional support?  
  • Do you feel that stress is currently reducing the quality of your life?  
  • When did you last feel well? 

HOW IT WORKS:

Typically, patients are given a “lengthy” intake form to fill out before appointments in order for the provider to get a full picture of current and past health. FM providers partner with you to help you achieve optimal wellness.  They listen to your story, take note of important events/stressors, and factor in environmental, social and personal habits that may be contributing to your illnesses. 

“Test don’t guess”

  • Workups typically include labs like blood panels to assess body systems and nutrient imbalances 
  • Stool or breath testing can be used to look at gut health 
  • Saliva testing can be used to assess hormones and cortisol levels 

Patients are treated with dietary and lifestyle modifications first, in addition to supplements and herbals. Then only if necessary, prescription medications can be recommended.

IMPROVEMENTS OFTEN SEEN (3)

IS IT COST EFFECTIVE?

Upfront cost may seem high but when compared to conventional medicine, it is much more cost effective. (3)

Medications on a monthly basis add up to a significant amount throughout a person’s lifetime.

Healthcare costs (hospital visits, surgeries, etc.) run into the thousands and still may not get to the root of the problem.

A 2019 study looking at the Cleveland Clinic showed significantly improved health related quality of life with functional medicine compared to traditional family medicine services.(3

(4)

WHY DO WE NEED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?

We are experiencing a chronic disease epidemic, where 60% of adults have at least one or more chronic conditions (5)

There is a time and a place for drugs, however….

  • Drugs rarely treat the underlying cause of chronic disease
  • They act as band-aids and mask symptoms
  • Drugs correct one problem but may cause another, or many others 

There is a time and a place for conventional medicine, especially in acute care (hospital) scenarios. Chronic conditions and symptoms are the focus of the PharmToTable Team. We want to help you thrive by getting to the root of your symptoms and helping you take back control of your life. Learn more at our orientation class or schedule an appointment with a PharmToTable provider today.

Sources

  1. https://chriskresser.com/what-is-functional-medicine/?fbclid=IwAR0cEN8HnuI27f1PvDEptVwrDyXgoLrnm0ayBNzJBuCkVm5UjnADNXrxSQ4
  2.  https://www.statista.com/statistics/250219/us-physicians-opinion-about-their-compensation/
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2753520
  4. https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/non-communical-disease-could-cost-47-trillion-2030
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/chronic-diseases.htm

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