How Does a Functional Medicine Practitioner Work?

Posted on: 22 November 2019

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Functional medicine is a more holistic way of approaching healthcare. Functional medicine practitioners know that everything you do affects your overall health, from your diet to the amount of sleep you get. Instead of simply using pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms you have, they dig deeper to get to the root of your problem. Here are four things a functional medicine practitioner can do to improve your health.

1. Find a diagnosis.

If you're suffering from any sort of health problem, a functional medicine practitioner can diagnose you. You'll need to tell them about the symptoms you're experiencing and provide your medical records for assessment. A functional medicine appointment will likely be longer than other doctors' appointments that you're used to. You will spend more time with your doctor and less time with support staff. This will allow your doctor to get to know you, which will allow them to figure out the best way to diagnose and help you.

2. Ask you about your lifestyle and habits.

Your functional medicine practitioner will ask you about your lifestyle. They'll ask what kinds of foods you typically eat, whether you drink or smoke, and how much exercise you get. They will also ask about the duration and quality of your sleep. Sleep is vital for good health, and many people don't get enough of it. Your doctor may also ask about your overall stress level. Your emotional and mental health has an impact on your physical health, and it should not be ignored.

3. Provide nutritional coaching.

Dietary changes can greatly improve your health. Eating the right foods can minimize or eradicate the symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain heart conditions. Many people don't know how to eat a balanced and nutritious diet because they have never learned. Your functional medicine practitioner can provide nutritional coaching to help you create better dietary habits. They can tell you which foods you could avoid based on your symptoms. In some cases, they may tell you to eat more of certain foods because you need the nutrients those foods can provide.

4. Prescribe medication.

Functional medicine practitioners focus on holistic wellness, but they are still medical doctors. Your doctor may decide that you would be best served by taking certain medications in addition to making lifestyle changes. They can prescribe the drugs you need to overcome unwanted symptoms so you can feel better and stay healthy.