Have you ever heard your doctor say, "I wonder why...
- You have acne
- You are depressed
- You are anxious
- You can't concentrate
- You have a donut around your stomach
- You can't lose weight
- You can't sleep
It's not that your doctor doesn't care about you.
Western medicine is, by definition, "a system in which doctors or other healthcare professionals treat symptoms and disease using drugs, radiation or surgery." (Western medicine is also called allopathic or conventional medicine.) So, although it is frustrating to get a prescription instead of "answers," we shouldn't be surprised by this.
To those of us who want answers, the rising movement of Functional medicine practitioners is exciting. Functional medicine doctors are trained in digging for, diagnosing and treating root causes. For example, if you have IBS and go to a Functional medicine doctor, you won't leave with a prescription for symptom management. The doctor will assess for what is causing the symptoms in the gut, whether it be candida overgrowth, SIBO, a food intolerance, a lack of good gut bacteria, or something else.
If you can't lose weight, Functional medicine looks at thyroid function, hormonal imbalance, unaddressed gut issues, blood sugar imbalance or why your cravings are so strong that you couldn't possibly not eat that donut/candy/bar/brownie mix (what's causing the cravings is the next question).
In addition to Functional medicine doctors, there are other healthcare professionals who adhere to this approach. I am included in this as a Functional Nutritionist. I specialize in mental health. In simpler terms, it means that I look for root causes of mental health symptoms (depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.).
"Isn't depression something you just have to medicate?" you may ask. Depression is a diagnosis of symptoms, and it is very possible to look for and rule out causes. For example, depression symptoms can be caused by inflammation, gene variations, blood sugar instability, nutrient deficiency, pyroluria, neurotransmitter imbalances, gut issues, and others. These are issues we can address from a nutritional perspective.
If you are a health coach, nutritionist, or mental health clinician and want to learn more about how to take a Functional approach with your clients, click for information on the FALL TRAINING www.nutritionistherapy.com/nutrition-course.
If you are not a clinician but have an interest in helping yourself or your family, take a look at my VIRTUAL COURSES for guidance. Start with A Primer For Everyone if this is brand new information to you. If you have already done some research on your own, start with the more advanced video.
To Your Best Self!