Preventable chronic diseases and decreasing trust in medical professionals mark the modern world. Some of the decreasing trust in the medical system rightly falls on profit-driven motives.
In short, many people think doctors prescribe pills because it’s billable. What people want are treatments that serve their best interests.
Functional medicine looks for ways to avoid these problems in traditional medical practice. Yet, like any new approach, there are functional medicine pros and cons. Keep reading for a quick overview of functional medicine, as well as some pros and cons.
What is Functional Medicine?
At its core, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to healing. It looks for root causes in your overall lifestyle that can trigger a given health problem.
Using this information, the doctor then works on an individualized treatment approach. Treatment can include everything from dietary changes and exercise to PRP therapy.
Functional Medicine Pros
One significant pro of functional medicine is that it’s individualized. A treatment program tailored to your specific situation can often yield better results.
It limits medication use unless absolutely necessary. Many prescription drugs cause significant side effects. In some cases, the side effects prove so severe that it takes other drugs to control them.
The focus on adjusting lifestyle factors helps set you up for better long-term health.
For example, a prescription may help control your cholesterol level. Dietary changes can:
- reduce cholesterol
- help you reduce weight
- boost energy levels
All of these things help you lead a healthier, active life.
Functional Medicine Cons
It’s not right for every situation. Functional medicine doesn’t tackle medical emergencies. In an emergency, fast treatment often matters more than anything else.
Many insurance programs don’t recognize functional medicine and won’t cover it. Although, a functional medicine doctor can often bill for standard labs, X-rays, and other routine medicals costs. The bill for the office visit itself often falls on the patient to cover entirely.
Functional medicine is a relatively new entrant on the medical scene. That often makes it hard for patients to find a doctor or office that offers functional medicine.
The treatment plans often mean big lifestyle changes. Making successful lifestyle changes takes a lot of commitment. The demands can leave some people uninterested in the process.
Parting Thoughts on Functional Medicine Pros and Cons
Functional medicine offers an alternative for the one-pill-fits-all approach that some doctors prefer. That said, you must still account for the functional medicine pros and cons.
You will get a treatment plan that favors lifestyle changes based on your specific situation, rather than a prescription. On the flip side, you may struggle with finding a local functional medicine doctor. You also can’t rely on insurance to cover the costs of office visits.
You must also decide if you can realistically commit to major lifestyle changes.
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