Myths and Facts About Functional "Alternative" Medicine

Doctors who practice functional medicine are trained to see the human body not as a collection of independent systems, but as one connected system. They treat each patient as a person, not just as someone who has a presenting symptom.

Their preferred approach is not to just prescribe a pill that makes the symptom go away. Instead, functional medicine providers like Dr. Robert Watson at WellCentric Health in Reno investigate the underlying root causes of your symptoms, so they can keep the problem from occurring again and again.

Because functional medicine approaches medical issues from a different perspective than the conventional way of doing medicine in America, it is sometimes labeled an “alternative” approach, often with the intent to imply that it is not as effective as conventional medicine.

This idea has led to several myths about functional medicine. Here’s a look at a few myths and the facts that explain why the myths are wrong.

Myths and Facts About Functional Medicine

Myth: Functional medicine doctors just want to get you in and out of the office.

Fact: Although the average doctor visit in America lasts just a few minutes, most appointments with functional medicine doctors will last at least an hour. Doctors don’t rush you. They allow you to ask all your questions, and they evaluate your health issues in concert with all of your body systems. They take the time to ask the questions that might uncover an underlying problem that another doctor might have missed.

Myth: Functional medicine is not based on science.

Fact: This could not be further from the truth. Functional medicine takes a systems-oriented approach that works to identify the root cause of whatever symptom you’re displaying. Doctors don’t just take their best guess — they run a full battery of tests to correctly diagnose and treat you. Their lab tests are often more extensive than conventional doctors would order and include checks for vitamin and mineral deficiencies along with hormonal imbalances.

Myth: Functional medicine doctors don’t work with your diet.

Fact: In fact, functional medicine doctors know that a proper diet is the foundation upon which the rest of your health rests. A functional medicine doctor will almost always discuss dietary considerations that relate to your condition. If you are seeing the doctor for a chronic condition, chances are your body has a nutritional deficiency or imbalance that can at least partially be addressed by your diet.

Myth: Treatment with functional medicine takes longer than conventional medicine to get results.

Fact: It depends on what you mean by “results.” Conventional medicine may be able to quickly get rid of a presenting symptom with a prescription, but the root cause hasn’t been dealt with, so the condition is likely to return. If, on the other hand, the doctor takes the time to look at the patient’s entire system, they will determine the actual cause of the condition and can formulate a plan to fix the problem permanently. Sure, this approach may not give instant results, but you won’t have to be revisiting the problem again in a few months. It can be gone for good.

Functional health may indeed be an alternative to conventional medicine, but that doesn’t mean patients should believe all the myths they hear about it. When you’re ready to try a new approach that puts you at the center of your treatment, contact Dr. Robert Watson at WellCentric Health in Reno to set up an appointment. Call today; the rest of your life is waiting for you!

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