"Dys"Functional Medicine

"Dys"Functional Medicine

6 months ago

There is a human tendency to replace some thing that might not be fully effective with another solution that is even worse than the previous one. Sometimes the names functional medicine, integrative medicine, and complementary medicine fall into this category.

It is quite frustrating when I see patients almost daily who’ve had consultations in various reputable medical centers and have been worked up with unproven disciplines involving thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket lab work and instructions to limit their dietary intake without good evidence-based medical reasons. One cannot blame the patient as they have been in search of root causes of their conditions, and to address their anxiety and or attention symptoms they avail themselves to such treatments. Most of the time there is one or two days of feeling euphoric, especially after paying all the bills and badly wanting positive results. Invariably these patients end up with bottles of unproven supplements that give them G.I. distress and other problems and are ultimately no more effective than sugar pills in treating their symptoms.

The bigger question is why do we always feel like something has to be taken by injection  or orally to have medicinal effect? Is this the materialistic tendency of our modern culture that we discount spiritual/mind body approaches to health and well-being? This approach is particularly important when it comes to mental conditions and processes as we still do not have a solid reductionistic materialistic explanation for most of the conditions we treat.  Thus for conditions such as anxiety or depression, serotonergic medications might be helpful, but they in no way treat the “root" causes of these illnesses. My suggestion to patients is always to keep their options open and seek out the least invasive treatments. I advise to start with re-examination of their lifestyle and listening to their own intuitive insights of what might be more helpful and effective.

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