Specialized medicine allows doctors to narrow their focus and become experts at one thing. In theory, that sounds like a good idea. But there are times when that kind of laser focus may do more harm than good.
When you have a chronic condition or are simply interested in optimal overall health and wellness, functional medicine’s unique approach may lead you to more effective answers and treatments than you may get from specialized medicine.
Our team at Alpha Care Medical considers your health care from a multidisciplinary perspective, and we look at all the possible contributors to your condition, from your personal and family history to your lifestyle to other health issues. Here are some of the main benefits of functional medicine.
Conventional medicine traditionally focuses on your symptoms and aims to reduce them. By definition of their specialty, specialists compartmentalize the body into regions or parts and divide the responsibilities: brain doctors (neurologists), heart doctors (cardiologists), foot doctors (podiatrists), etc.
But this mindset can cause medical tunnel vision and not take into account that the whole body is connected. Here at Alpha Care Medical in Seaford, Millsboro, Harrington, and Dover, Delaware, we’re keenly aware that a problem with one system in your body can affect others.
You may have a condition with multiple potential causes. For instance, if you’re depressed, rather than giving you antidepressants, we look for the reason for your depression. It could be a micronutrient deficiency, a thyroid problem, a medication issue, or even the onset of diabetes.
Likewise, one seemingly harmless symptom, such as inflammation, can manifest in multiple ways, such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, or depression. Understanding the interconnectedness of causes, symptoms, and conditions is critical to complete health care.
Another main difference between these two approaches is that functional medicine is patient-oriented, not symptom-oriented.
When we meet you and learn about your concerns, we think in terms of you as a person and how we can help you resolve your issues and achieve wellness. Traditional medicine identifies the disease and treats that. It may seem like a subtle shift, but when you experience holistic care firsthand, you’ll see that the difference can be huge.
It’s no secret that the medical community relies heavily on prescription drugs to relieve symptoms. In fact, the current opioid epidemic is evidence of what happens when doctors and patients depend on pharmaceuticals.
Medication certainly has its place and is often a good way to get you out of danger quickly. Functional medicine recognizes the value of medications, but it leans toward more natural solutions that address the root causes of diseases and conditions.
Proper nutrition, exercise, behavioral medicine, and lifestyle changes are the primary focus of functional medicine, because these measures do more than mask your symptoms. They help alleviate the problems at the source.
Most traditional medical practitioners consider you healthy as long as you’re not sick. But at Alpha Care Medical, we believe that being truly healthy is about more than just the absence of disease, it’s the presence of vitality.
We focus on disease prevention and whole-body wellness to help you thrive and live life to the fullest. We come alongside you and monitor your physical and mental health by giving you important health screenings, diagnostic tests, and personalized treatment plans. This holistic approach helps ensure that nothing gets missed and that all your body parts work well together.
If functional medicine sounds like the kind of health care you’d like for yourself and your family, book an appointment over the phone with Alpha Care Medical today.