Is Integrative/Functional Medicine Right For You?

That is a question you have to ask yourself before seeking out a clinic. I went with IM because my health was continuing to decline and I had multiple bad reactions to standard treatments used by conventional doctors. Many dysautonomia patients have blogged about their experiences with IM and how it their improved their quality of life. My previous medical provider also recommended it.

Integrative/Functional medicine uses a holistic method of medicine and many IM clinics have Osteopathic doctors on staff as well as massage therapists, nutritionists, and acupuncturists. They treat the whole body as one interconnected system and use a variety of evidence based methods to improve the quality of life of their patients. It requires a shift in thinking from the treating symptoms model of medicine to finding the underlying causes of illness, which may be genetic, cellular, hormonal, microbial, viral or any combination there of, and personalizing treatment to improve function. It’s not a cure for chronic systemic illnesses but it is a method to gain control over them. It’s also not an easy process – there are no taking pills and you feel better in a few weeks. It requires experimentation with supplements, medications, diet, exercise, and alternative therapies to find the best combination for you. You’re also not a passive participant in your care when it comes to Integrative/Functional Medicine. My MD encourages me to read about my health problems and bring the information to her. She believes that a good patient is a well-informed patient. No one is more invested in improving your health than yourself.

I’ve been criticized for advocating Integrative/Functional Medicine and sharing my journey with the world. Make no mistake, this is my journey and my experiences with Integrative/Functional Medicine and I am seeing improvement using their methods. My health still has lots of ups and downs but overall I am improving. I won’t stop advocating or writing about my experiences because if it helps one person improve their own symptoms that’s more than my detractors can say about their negativity. Hope is never a bad thing whereas negativity is toxic.

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