Wondering What Treatment Is Like From A Functional Medicine Practitioner In Colorado Springs?
It’s only been in the past 5-10 years that the term “functional medicine” has become even slightly recognized in mainstream health awareness. So it’s no surprise that even if one has heard the term, there may be many questions surrounding the treatment. Below, we’ve attempted to paint a clear picture for you if you’re seeking treatment from a functional medicine practitioner in Colorado Springs.
The Institute for Functional Medicine states that functional medicine “requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.” Any Colorado Springs functional medicine practitioner that is worth his/her weight, wants to find out what is happening and why it is happening, and then provide you with individualized solutions that you can manage together. A functional doctor guides you on your personal health journey, walking alongside you to answer questions and encourage you. These doctors also spend much time educating you with the best scientific, medical, and holistic solutions.
What do treatments with a functional medicine practitioner look like?
1. Extended consultations
In order to address the underlying cause of the aches and pains, tiredness or sleeplessness, failed prescriptions, recurring illnesses, or symptoms you are experiencing, a functional doctor will begin by giving you undivided attention for extended consultations to understand what is truly happening. If you feel like your traditional doctor is not hearing what you are saying or has failed to ask enough questions to understand what might be wrong, chances are you’re right. Their high-paced model simply does not allow much time for each appointment. And as you undoubtedly know by now, a 20-minute doctor’s visit and running one or two tests will not bring the long-lasting solutions you seek for a healthy life.
A functional medicine practitioner makes it a habit to understand the full breadth of your current health situation. This includes in-depth consultations to collect and discover the following:
- Family medical history
- Past health issues and habits
- Medications and their positive results or negative effects
- Current symptoms or chronic illnesses
- Lifestyle factors (nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep)
- Future health goals
Gathering this complete picture of your health provides the basis for the beginning of your functional medicine treatment. MD.com says that the more you are able to open up to your functional medicine practitioner and have an open and honest dialog, the more they are able to provide “total medical care and treat the causal agents of disease and illness.”
2. Thorough testing & review of biochemistry
Functional medicine uses cutting-edge laboratory and diagnostic testing. This includes a standard biochemical profile, or full blood workup, which is a series of blood tests used to evaluate the functional capacity of several critical organs and systems, such as the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. The results of your biochemistry and genetic testing will allow your functional medicine clinician to then confirm the use of other diagnostic options as necessary to get a detailed understanding of the whole body.
Tests ordered may include:
- Blood panel
- Genetic profile
- Cortisol Test
- Hormone panel
- Stool test or GI test
- Food sensitivity test
- Organic acids test
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth test
Reviewing the results after thorough testing (not likely to be ordered by a conventional doctor) gives your functional physician the ability to see all of you and not just a set of isolated symptoms.
Diseases are complex. A functional medicine doctor is aware that your condition can have many different causes, and similarly, one cause may result in a variety of conditions. Your functional medicine practitioner in Colorado Springs will use the knowledge he gains from the consultations and testing to provide personalized treatment for the specific manifestations of a disease.
3. Tailored therapeutic plan
A functional medicine practitioner at True Life will treat you, not your sickness. We also understand the absolute importance of partnering on this journey, as you are the one who has the greatest ability to impact your own health. Realizing this, the best functional medicine doctors are those who foster excellent communication and a working therapeutic relationship. According to the Institute for Functional Medicine: “The doctor-patient relationship is a crucial part of the healing process that can significantly impact patient health outcomes and overall quality of life.” You are the biggest part of your treatment plan.
Using functional medicine to determine the root cause of an illness empowers practitioners and patients to treat the real issue. Methods used in functional healing can include traditional and alternative medicine.
A functional doctor will certainly prescribe pharmaceutical medication as necessary, but their goal is to eliminate (or at least reduce) the reliance on harsh medicines to alleviate symptoms. Randolph James, MD. of True Life Medicine says that his question is always “How can we get you off this medication?”. At True Life Medicine, we are proud to say that more patients are able to be weaned from their high-cholesterol medicine than those that are being prescribed. The body wants to be well, and when your body gets what it needs, medications can be removed.
Together, with your functional medical team, you may determine that you should make dietary changes, add hormones, or use supplements to support your body’s natural healing process. For example, patients on thyroid medication have found that when they gave their body what it needed (such as iodine, selenium, or zinc) the thyroid could then get back on track and return to its full function.
To gain complete health, your functional medicine practitioner in Colorado Springs may suggest that you change your exercise habits or lifestyle habits. Physical stress, poor mental health, and sleep habits will certainly not aid in your total wellness.
Similarly, the complexities in women’s health are rarely treated with a simple over-the-counter vitamin, added hormone, or elimination of a particular thing. While hormone levels, gut health, and the results of the above testing must absolutely be considered, a woman’s mental health and lifestyle habits including work-life balance, social life, and home life must also be reviewed. To treat your full health, the removal of damaging lifestyle habits is likely necessary.
The good news is that when working with a functional medicine practitioner on your health journey, these alterations in your lifestyle are done in an individualized manner with a team approach. You have the full support of a team of professionals ready to both coach and cheer you on.
If you are ready to experience the transformative health encounter of having a doctor by your side to truly listen to you and partner with you to find lasting solutions, connect with True Life Medicine today.