Have you ever left your doctor’s office and felt like he or she did not really hear what you were saying? Do you feel like you have gone through a series of symptoms instead of a single issue and would like to find a physician who has answers for the root cause instead of the one that treats for your latest concern?
If you have had those experiences, it is highly likely that your doctor takes the conventional medicine approach, which is a disease-based model, instead of a holistic / functional medicine approach that is a prevention-based model.
In theory, conventional medicine and holistic medicine (AKA functional medicine) are seeking the same outcome – patients want to feel their best and doctors are trained to diagnose and treat the conditions that are causing the problems; yet they are completely different medical approaches.
Doctors of functional medicine (also known as the integrative medicine) look at the body as a whole and integrated system, and work diligently to get to the root cause. While traditional medicine focuses mostly on symptoms, and on treating that specific problem, functional medicine takes a look at prevention and at ways to achieve optimal health so patients can feel and function at their best, no matter the patient’s age.
Conventional medicine relies heavily on lab testing for disease diagnosis as it intends to dissect symptoms into their smallest possible component, such as germs and viruses. Once there is a diagnosis and a prescription, the doctor’s job is done.
In holistic medicine, as the goal is the ultimate optimal health condition, there are many more in-depth and follow-up questions to dig deeper, such as: what is the root cause, how can it be prevented from happening again, and can it be reversed?
Functional medicine doctors often use natural means to treat and improve total body function, which also includes dietary recommendations and supplements as well as lifestyle changes that help enable a body to regain its full potential. Prescription medications and surgical options are used only when needed.
On the contrary, conventional medicine treats health conditions by providers that are often specialized in a specific area of expertise. Typical treatments rely on standard medication prescription and surgical options. Patients may not be encouraged to make lifestyle changes that may support their treatment or medication.
Another difference is the personalized approach holistic medicine physicians take with their patients by listening to their concerns and opinions and considering the big picture when coming up with the best treatment plan.
Traditional medicine doctors often do not have the time to allow for that and are seemingly anxious to get to a diagnosis and move on to the next patient.
Specializing in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (a specialty under functional medicine) Dr. Gruber helps patients feel their best as they age, knowing that with the right fuel, and activity level – there’s no reason not to remain vital and energetic at any age. For us that is always the goal and we will continue looking for the right solutions until our patient’s health is optimized.