In my clinic, I work with many people struggling with chronic health issues, including gut issues such as IBS and bloating and they see great success following a Functional Medicine approach. However, I know that some people may have objections to Functional Medicine, which is a relatively new approach to healthcare. In this article, I want to address some common objections to Functional Medicine and explain why I truly believe this approach is one of our best options for treating the rising tide of chronic health conditions.
Objection 1: Lack of scientific evidence
One of the main objections people have to Functional Medicine is the apparent lack of scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. While it’s true that Functional Medicine is a relatively new approach to healthcare and may not have as much research compared to conventional medicine, there is still plenty of evidence to support its use.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Functional Medicine was effective in improving symptoms in patients with a variety of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and irritable bowel syndrome. Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that a functional medicine approach was effective in improving gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Furthermore, Functional Medicine practitioners use evidence-based treatments and interventions that are backed by scientific research. For example, a Functional Medicine practitioner may recommend specific dietary changes, such as eliminating gluten or dairy, based on the latest research on the gut microbiome and how it impacts overall health.
Objection 2: Cost
Another objection people may have to Functional Medicine is the cost. Functional Medicine can be more expensive than conventional treatments, which may deter some people from seeking this type of care.
However, it’s important to consider the long-term costs of chronic illness. When left untreated, chronic health conditions can lead to expensive medical treatments, hospitalizations, and lost income due to missed work. By addressing the root cause of these conditions through Functional Medicine, patients may be able to avoid these costs in the long run.
Furthermore, many Functional Medicine practitioners offer a range of payment options, including payment plans, to make their services more accessible to everyone.
Objection 3: Time commitment
Functional Medicine practitioners typically spend more time with patients than conventional doctors, which may not be feasible for individuals with busy schedules. However, this extra time can be incredibly beneficial for patients, as it allows practitioners to get a more complete picture of the patient’s health and create a personalized treatment plan.
Furthermore, many Functional Medicine practitioners offer telemedicine services, which can be more convenient for patients who can’t make it to an in-person appointment. These virtual appointments can be conducted from the comfort of the patient’s own home, making it easier to fit into their busy schedule.
Objection 4: Fear of alternative treatments
Some people may be hesitant to try alternative treatments or supplements recommended by Functional Medicine practitioners, especially if they are not familiar with them. However, it’s important to remember that Functional Medicine is based on evidence-based treatments and interventions.
For example, a Functional Medicine practitioner may recommend a specific supplement, such as probiotics or digestive enzymes, based on the latest research on gut health. These supplements have been studied extensively and have been shown to be safe and effective for improving gut health and overall health.
Furthermore, Functional Medicine practitioners often work in collaboration with other healthcare providers, such as primary care physicians, to ensure that patients are receiving the most comprehensive care possible.
Objection 5: Lack of insurance coverage
This is a problem in Australia for all Nutritionists, Functional Medicine Practitioners and Naturopaths with only some funds providing coverage with their Extras insurance. In the U.S., Functional Medicine may not be covered by health insurance plans, which can make it difficult for some people to access this type of care. However, many Functional Medicine practitioners offer payment plans and sliding-scale fees to make their services more accessible to everyone. Patients should check with their insurance provider to see what services may be covered.
Furthermore, it’s important to consider the potential long-term cost savings of Functional Medicine. By addressing the root cause of chronic health conditions, patients may be able to avoid expensive medical treatments and hospitalizations in the future.
Objection 6: Fear of abandoning conventional medicine
Another objection people may have to Functional Medicine is the fear of abandoning conventional medicine. It’s important to note that Functional Medicine is not intended to replace conventional medicine, but rather to work in tandem with it.
Functional Medicine practitioners often collaborate with primary care physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients are receiving the most comprehensive care possible. Additionally, Functional Medicine practitioners may refer to conventional medical practitioners as is needed.
However, Functional Medicine takes a more holistic approach to healthcare, addressing the root cause of chronic health conditions rather than simply treating the symptoms. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body, Functional Medicine can often help patients achieve better health outcomes than conventional medicine alone.
While there may be objections to Functional Medicine, I believe that this approach to healthcare can be incredibly effective for treating chronic health conditions and gut issues such as IBS and bloating. By addressing the root cause of these conditions and taking a more holistic approach to healthcare, Functional Medicine practitioners can help patients achieve better health outcomes and potentially avoid expensive medical treatments in the future.
Furthermore, many Functional Medicine practitioners offer a range of payment options, telemedicine services, and collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure that patients are receiving the most comprehensive care possible. If you’re struggling with a chronic health condition or gut issue, I encourage you to consider Functional Medicine as a potential treatment option.