Category: Health

Medical Practice

download (25)Every clinician has their own personal practice style, and every medical office their unique drama. When seeing patients, Dr. Ted Pit Olee’gi preferred sitting more than standing, except on occasion when both feet felt like six-month-old chocolate cookies. Do not place any blame on Dr. Ted. For three decades, those pincers have carried a 158-pound weight in a 5 ft 7 inches frame.

To the left of a short corridor is the entrance door to Dr. Ted’s exam room. Upon entry, patients glimpse a black swivel chair located at the center of the office. In front of the black spinning chair is a brown desktop, which only has room for a mouse tucked behind a Lifebook tablet PC.

Diagonal to the laptop and resting on the back wall are two black chairs, with padded backrests. When he is seated, Dr. Ted’s extended right hand can reach for syringes, Band-Aids and tongue depressors from a six-door cabinet hung on the side wall. A motion-activated hand sanitizer dispenser is screwed to the mid section of the cabinet.

Patients who require abdominal palpation lie down on a brown examination table against the wall to the left of Dr. Ted when he sits on his black swivel chair. An apparatus for weight and height measurement occupies part of the space between the doorway and the exam couch.

‘Last patient, twenty-five today,’ said Ted with a sigh. His breath pumped and deflated a broad chest beneath a checkered shirt, buttoned to the top of his collarbone.

Each day at the practice, Dr. Ted Pit looked forward to going home. The time at the bottom of the laptop now showed 6.15 pm. Physicians’ fatigue in practice is proportional to the number of patients seen each day.

The last patient, a three-year-old girl, threw up once a week ago. Her mother brought her here to get a medical note to return the child to daycare. On entering the consulting room, the mother occupied the black chair against the wall while the three-year-old loitered in the maze between the exam table, a plastic trash can and the swiveling chair.

When Dr Olee’gi stood to shake off pain from the whorls of varicose veins hugging his left calf, the child took possession of the swivel chair, rolled it down, and climbed on top, spinning to the right and left.

Ted looked quizzically at the mother, his face an image of someone whose favorite soccer team is three-zero down.

After mother seized the ‘Return to daycare’ note, the girl vacated the swivel chair in exchange for a happy face sticker.

‘You could put the laptop to sleep and leave now,’ a maternal voice whispered into Pit’s left ear.

‘Complete patients charts,’ a male voice in the right ear commanded.

‘Go home,’ the motherly voice countered the male voice. ‘Twenty-five patients for a solo practitioner is enough drill.’

Unable to hear any more commotion below, a resident rodent behind the office ceiling crept towards the cabinet. A squirrel, maybe? Anything rodent kills Dr. Ted Pit, more so when they are hidden. ‘Flee,’ said the maternal voice. ‘Stand your ground,’ countered the male voice.

Conflicted, the doctor raked around in his hair with the spade attached to his left ring finger. ‘A scabbed wound, huh?’ he murmured.

‘From your recent trip to the barber,’ offered the combatant male voice.

The left third finger reinforced the left ring finger and in unison they chased and arrested the scab for proper examination.

Ringworm, giant wart, staphylococcal infection, cancer… which one had death thrown his way, he wondered?

If only he were able to look at his scalp, he could make the diagnosis without any doubt. Like hidden rodents, hidden ailments spook both patients and clinicians.

Packets of antibiotic cream lie in the bottom drawer of the medical cabinet. His dehydrated hands tore open a couple of sachets and squirted the contents onto the end of his right index finger to ferry to the scab site.

But each time the left finger located the scab, the right finger missed the target. The left fingers relocated the scab one more time, but again the right missed delivering the antidote cream on the target. Smears of cream ended up all over Ted’s head and face. For a few minutes he paused in reflection.

Indeed bad days occur in cascades. He who was whipped by a wasp melts at the site of a butterfly. Suddenly, across his shoulders, he could feel the weight of a massive snake. Where there are squirrels, snakes prosper. Two right fingers groped round his neck, located the body of the snake and tossed it high against the wall to his left.

The head slammed against the wall with a thump before the snake bounced off and fell on the brown examination table, which was draped with a white sheet paper roll.

‘Ewooh! The stethoscope,’ he grunted.

To Heal and to Be Healed

images (4)As a junior year medical student, I have realized that it’s not enough to learn everything by simply reading gigantic books or attending long lectures, rather, it is important to enhance yourself with the necessary skills by attending trainings and applying your knowledge into practice. A few months ago, I participated in a first aid training organized by my university, and just last month before my 6th semester, I was trained and certified in the first aid level 1 (including AED) course.

The break before the next semester at medical school is generally regarded as the last time of true freedom for med students. We are supposed to live it up and enjoy every second of this liberated time before we become sleep-deprived and buried in books. Although this break brings relaxation, excitement and enjoyment, a number of anxieties also accompany this transition time.

I am the typical paranoid student in med school, always worried about grades and studying. It’s like you’re in the middle of the fire and it’s hard to step out of it.

Considering how easy it is to get certified in first aid, there’s really no reason not to do this. First aid training comes in handy for a variety of different situations in life. When you know what to do in emergency situations, you can become a valuable asset wherever you go. Becoming a doctor is harder than you could possibly imagine. You will struggle, sacrifice and cry; and sometimes you will be faced with worse of human condition.

Occasionally, med school has shown me dramatic, blood pumping and cinema-worthy moments. When you think you can’t handle one second more, you will see something that will perfectly restore your faith in humanity and the belief that people really are innately good. I can’t wait to start my clinical rotations and get that beautiful feeling of helping someone, knowing that you are the only thing between the patient’s health and his grave.

Apart from medical students or physicians, I feel real life needs first aiders! The next time you’re at a restaurant and a fellow begins choking, or you’re walking on the streets and see someone collapse in front of you, for instance, you’ll just know what to do.

Most importantly, I want to be a resource for my community. I want to be somebody’s hero someday, and learn how to be cool, calm, collected and a lifesaver in an emergency. The ‘Good Samaritan’ in us prompts us to receive first aid training so that we can be of assistance to others in need!

Although there’s a lot of burn out, a lot of stress and a lot of wondering, “where did my life go?” Despite all that, the feeling of being in med school and getting into the field of medicine is truly a blessing.

I want to be an effective person, who can engage with patients. Considering the fact that my area of interest is Emergency Medicine, there’s always this fear, “what if I work this hard and I don’t get to be who I want to be?”

It’s amazing that you learn new stuff about the body everyday and you’re like “wow, that’s awesome, the way that works” and sometimes you’re like, “I can’t even believe I’m alive right now.”

“You consider yourself a small body, yet encapsulated within you is an entire universe.” – Ali Ibn Abi Talib

I used to be very innocent last year. I used to look at the third year students studying so hard, day in and day out and be like, “hey, I don’t have to do that” and boom, I’m already in third year!

Allopathy, Homeopathy and Ayurveda A Comparison

download (24)Though Ayurveda is the oldest system of medicine, originated and used in India since ages and homeopathy slowly making a mark amongst the different medicine systems available, but when it comes to the choice of medication preferred, allopathy still has taken the lion’s share of the market.

With the rising confusion and myths associated with these medications, it becomes important to compare all these medicine systems (allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda) to find out the major differences between them and to get an idea which one is ideal or best suited for different diseases at different times.

Allopathy

Allopathy is derived from the Greek word állos (other or different) + pathos (disease or suffering), which means “other than the disease.” Allopathy is essentially a piece of the western therapeutic framework and is spread everywhere throughout the world. It is received by the majority of the nations around the globe and commonly called as drug therapy. Allopathy is basically a drug oriented methodology and relies upon three things, hypothesis, experimentation, and the result of the experiment.

In this methodology, allopathic doctors are restricted by what they can do on the grounds that they just have to concentrate on the symptoms of a disease and not on the causes of those symptoms. It appears that there is a pill for each evil and then, a pill for all their side effects. It is known that allopathy offers only partial cure, as the drugs are made to only cure the reaction and not the root cause. The effectiveness of allopathic medicines during an emergency is the fundamental reason why it is adopted by most of the people all around the world.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy, the name is derived from two Greek words (hómoios + pathos) meaning “like disease.” It means that a substance which causes the symptoms of a disease in a healthy person will cure the same disease in a sick person. (We bet you will read that again). According to this methodology, substances that produce symptoms of a disease will have a curative effect on a sick person exhibiting the same symptoms, when given in very dilute quantities.

Homeopathy is a holistic system of treatment that originated in the 18th century and has been proven to be safe, effective and curative. It has been in use since last 200 years, by hundreds of millions of people. It embraces the body’s natural response system by attacking the root cause of illness or by encouraging the symptoms of healing. This is why it is meant to completely cure a disease. The homeopathic medicines are non-toxic and do not have any side effects. It works by using very small doses of potential substances to stimulate the immune system which helps in healing the patient naturally.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which is formed from two words, “Ayus” meaning life and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science. So the term Ayurveda resembles, “The Knowledge of Life.”

Ayurveda is also known as the science of natural healing because it derives its medicines purely from nature. Ayurveda is originated in India and is 5000 years old medical knowledge system. According to Ayurveda, body, mind and spirit are connected with each other.

Which treatment should you follow?

All the medicine systems, allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda have their own merits and demerits and your choice should depend on the disease, cause of illness, possible ways of treatment etc. Homeopathy is really effective in treating both acute and chronic illness as it treats the root cause of the illness which is not in the case of allopathy. Allopathy has a good investigation, testing, and practicing system. It relies on many tests, techniques, scans, surgery etc. and has been widely used all over the world, but it alleviates the symptoms of the disease rather than going deeper into the cause. Apart from this, allopathy is also associated with side effects and allergies.

Ayurveda and homeopathy believe in individualistic approach and treat patients accordingly. Apart from the medicine, these types of treatments focus on the whole lifestyle such as diet, attitude, exercise etc. But these methodologies also have some loopholes. There is a shortage of practitioners, lack of proper scientific research & investigations and proper boards to manage practitioners or standardize the medications.

It is important to know that one form of medication system may be effective for a particular person or a particular disease at a particular time, but may not at another point.

Choosing the best treatment option for a particular disease has always remained a confusion for you, considering the merits and demerits of the available treatment methodologies, i.e. allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda.

 

The Lack of Narcotics In A Pain Management Center

images (3)Narcotic medications are somewhat of a double-edged sword it seems. They are great to kill the chronic pain, but they aren’t meant for long-term use. This could be why the past decade has seen a steep rise in addiction to them.

And as the medical society is becoming more keenly aware of this problem, more physicians are leery about prescribing them. As such, a person with chronic back pain suffers, unless, their doctor has the foresight to refer them to a pain management center.

Referrals to a pain management center can be made by any primary care provider or a specialist such as a rheumatologist. Is this your doctor passing the buck because they don’t want to deal with you?

Not at all! If your primary care or rheumatologist refers you to a pain management center, it is in your best interest. A facility that is set up as interdisciplinary center, usually associated with hospitals or have an affiliation with a medical university will be able to help manage your pain – with limited or no medication

Because they are usually associated with a hospital, there are medications such as pain narcotics available. But they will first try to find ways to manage your pain without them. What experts in these facilities have found is that too often, narcotics like pain killers can cause a host of other problems.

How Do These Facilities Help?

You will be assigned to a team of specialists. They will review the files your primary care or rheumatologist sends them and then they will do their own preliminary examinations and testing. This may include blood work up, MRIs, x-rays, etc.

After they have all this information gathered, the team will review it and talk to you about your medical history. What therapy or treatments you have had and how they worked or didn’t work. You should be completely honest and open with them about any part of your medical history and your lifestyle.

They will then discuss this among themselves and create a plan that will be handled through the pain management center. You may assign to a chiropractor or physical therapist. You may have meetings with a physiologist or psychiatrist. The team may feel that you could benefit from a massage therapist.

The goal of a pain management center is to exhaust all other means of managing your pain without narcotics. In some cases, there will be some medications prescribed in very small doses for a limited time to work in conjunction with the other therapies or treatments.

Why The Hesitation Of Medications?

A pain management center is based on what research has found. And research studies have found that people actually will experience an increase in pain when they are on narcotics. Medication can change the way the human body’s endorphin system works. Endorphins are the natural pain killer. Granted, there are those who can and will benefit from narcotics, but to automatically assume that is the only way to manage pain is a mistake.

Narcotic analgesics and opioids are addictive to some patients. And there is also the concern of how their interaction with other medications. For an RA patient, opioids won’t treat their inflammation and for patients with fibromyalgia and the widespread pain that comes with, opioids only make it worse.

 

How Does A Pain Center Treat Patients With Opioid Dependence?

images (2)It’s all over the headlines about the misuse of opioids and the addiction epidemic we have in this country. As such, general primary care doctors are struggling how to treat their patients with chronic pain these days and not contribute to or start them down the path of addiction. Pain center specialists are quick to admit that they have a delicate balance with their patients who are dependent on these drugs and how they treat them.

One of the biggest challenges that all doctors have is the lack of being able to estimate of how common problematic opioid for chronic pain patients can develop. The biggest majority of those who have chronic pain don’t go on to develop such an addiction.

But because so many have, creating the current epidemic, the medical industry needs to get a better understanding on how to effectively manage the risk of drug abuse.

A pain center doctor should take precautions and look for any potential risks of substance abuse before prescribing any medication to any patient with chronic pain. This would include looking at the patient’s medical history, their family medical history including any type of psychiatric disorders or substance abuse.

If any of these are present in a patient’s past, it doesn’t mean they should be automatically denied medication. But they should be educated and informed about the risk of drug dependence and then monitored closely for potential abuse.

Medication Isn’t Always The Answer

What more doctors and patients need to realize is that medication doesn’t always have to be the answer for chronic pain. There are the false assumption and misunderstanding that medication makes the pain disappear. But when it comes to chronic pain situations, that isn’t necessarily so. For many people, it only will reduce their pain. And this is where referral to a pain center is important.

Treatment Without Opioids

For those patients that have a substance abuse history, or psychiatric disorders, a pain center can provide many other ways to get that pain relief without using opioids. A pain center that works with a multidisciplinary approach can treat patients with chronic pain regardless of their history.

And there are medications that can be prescribed that are non-opioid drugs to go along with the other methods as well. Like antidepressants, anti-arrhythmic drugs, and anti-epileptic drugs, all of which are effective to treat chronic pain.

A pain center also offers physical therapy, psychological therapies, as well as occupational therapy. There are so many people suffering from chronic pain that is not receiving the services of a multidisciplinary pain center because it usually requires academic medical center resources and not all doctors have these resources. They can, however, collaborate with doctors that do.

After a doctor has taken in all the information about a patient and considers all the possible options that are available and believes an opioid treatment is needed, but the patient is opioid-dependent, there are some other medical options. Both buprenorphine and methadone have the benefits of being a strong analgesic and may be just what the patient needs.

When a pain center treats patients with chronic pain and has a substance abuse disorder, they will also include psychological counseling in the treatment plan. It may be group therapy or individual therapy, but when substance abuse overlaps with treatment for chronic pain, the behavioral and psychological skills are the same.

For pain doctors that work independent or with a pain center, an opioid contract is a common thing to request patients sign before they begin treatment. It is an effort to establish a clear understanding between the medical team and the patient that opioids are only allowed that the doctor prescribes and can only come from the pain center’s pharmacy or a designated pharmacy.

As a Freelance Writer the past 8 years, Audrey has written on several different topics in a variety of industries. Her 30+ years in Customer Service and Sales has given her an insight into many areas, which has been helpful in her writing.

How Can A Pain Management Doctor Help The Epidemic Of Opioid Overdosing

download (23)Opiates or Opioids as they are more commonly known are and important prescription medication for any pain management doctor. However, in the last 10 years or so, they have become an abused, misused and overused medication that has sadly, been related to addiction and even death.

There Are Several Questions

When this epidemic is discussed among those in the medical industry, in particular, the pain management area, there are two questions that come to the surface: How is this happening? Who is letting it happen? What are can be done about it?

The biggest players in this epidemic are doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. So what responsibility should a pain management doctor take toward curbing and correcting this epidemic? What accountability should the pharmaceutical companies have? If there are any solutions, what are the best ones?

The CDC has recently issued the first set of guidelines for prescribing opioids. This guide is focused toward primary care physicians and has become the national standards for prescribing these painkillers. And while it is too late for millions, it is a positive step taken in the right direction.

What Are Opiates?

Derived from morphine, found as far back as the 3rd century B.C., they are a powerful painkiller. Common names for this drug are hydrocodone and oxycodone. It is believed that the Sumerians nurtured poppies and removed opium out of the seed capsules.

Opiates not only provide relief from pain, the sole intention of any pain management doctor, but they produce euphoria as well. It is that euphoric feeling that leads to abuse of the drug. Opioids are expensive and harder to acquire than the euphoric drug, heroin.

After years of using opioids, even months, a user will develop a tolerance to them. As such, they need a higher dosage in order to get the same level of relief. If their pain management doctor doesn’t approve a prescription for a higher dosage, they will resort to heroin. In fact, it is believed that 4 out of 5 opioid users have become heroin users.

The number of deaths from heroin overdose almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2013 in America. And when it comes to death from injury, opioids are the most common cause in this country.

Over 15,000 people die each year according to the CDC due to opioid medication overdoses. It is estimated that there are over 800 recreational users for each person that dies with over 30 ER visits due to opioids that result in 10 hospital admissions.

What Can Be Done?

One of the first steps is for every pain management doctor and other professions in the industry to question their patients thoroughly about any past or current alcohol or drug use. They should also check any prescription drug monitoring program that is available to them.

And the biggest step of all is to prescribe the lowest effective dose of any opioid to begin with and for only the amount that will most likely be needed. If a patient is complaining of pain after the prescription is finished, then a different type of pain management may be needed.

Every pain management doctor needs to be educated on opioids so that they can be better able to monitor their patient’s safety and recommend alternatives for pain management. The training of physicians should include the importance of developing a treatment plan in writing and create a medication agreement that the patient and them both sign, designating one physician as the sole prescribing doctor for pain medication.

Audrey has a broad range of interests and likes to be challenged to write on almost any topic in almost any industry. She finds a great interest in things that relate to her husband, their three grown children, five grandchildren, 4 dogs or 1 pet rabbit. As well as topics that relate to older homes and refurbishing them that would help with their 100-year-old house.

The Facts About Discount Medicine Services

download (22)The rising costs of prescription drugs can create huge obstacles for those who depend on their medications. Many major pharmaceutical companies are acknowledging this problem by offering assistance. However, these programs are restrictive and do not cover all patients. Discount medicine prescription cards and online services are often the only way to go for some consumers. Before signing up, there are some facts that you need to understand in order to gain all the benefits of these programs.

Is it Applicable to All?

Some pharmaceutical programs restrict access to those who have certain health plans or are in a certain income bracket. Others require customers to be over or under a certain age to qualify. A true discount medicine plan or site doesn’t have these restrictions. Some programs allow anyone to sign up or log in.

FDA Approved Medications

For the most part, you are not going to get name brand medications from these services. However, you will get FDA approved alternatives. Some consumers worry that the pills received from discount medicine stores online will not work as effectively or are manufactured in countries that do not comply with FDA standards. Yes, some online pharmacies are offering cheaper prescriptions and cut corners. Make sure your provider is FDA approved.

Savings

The savings do vary from service to service. A discount medicine card that you receive from a doctor’s office or pharmacy tends to have a 40 percent cost reduction. Some online services guarantee up to 80 percent savings over traditional pharmacy prices. Most cards do not require a fee to enroll. Online services may have an additional usage fee or shipping fee; it all depends on the option you choose.

Does Require a Prescription

Even if you use an online vendor, you are going to have to provide a prescription signed by your physician for the request to be filled. It can be a faxed or scanned copy. The pharmacist then verifies the prescription with your doctor’s office before filling the order.

Delivery Time Varies

It will take approximately ten to 15 days to receive your medication after the company receives your prescription. For that reason, these types of programs are best used for maintenance medications such as those used to treat blood pressure or heart conditions.

If you have a savings card, you can use it at your local pharmacy. This allows you to obtain your prescription the same day as long as it is in stock.

Discount medicine is an important market for many people. Without these money saving discount, millions of people would not be able to access lifesaving drugs.

 

How Long Does It Take To Cure Fingernail Fungus?

images (1)One of the most pressing issues these days would be the impact of our health on our lifestyle. So it hardly comes as a surprise that you need to figure out some home remedies for things that could in fact be minor, however having said that this all depends on the person.

For example how long does it take to cure fingernail fungus is a question that is asked by so many people, especially since this is somewhat of a common problem which faces a lot of people.

Yet it should be stated that figuring out how long it takes to get rid of fingernail fungus is a question has been asked lots of time. There is in fact probably more questions than answer to this problem. However there are solutions and it is not rocket science!

Finding a Cure for Finger and Toe Nail Fungus

When you ask yourself about finding a cure for fingernail fungus, remember that this is something that depends from person to person. So you can never really tell when exactly your issue with fingernail fungus will end.

All of it depends on how healthy you presently are and what type of medication you are taking. As most of you probably know, there are many types of medication that are available. For instance did you know that while many people would prefer to go to their family doctor and get medicine to sort this issue out, the more adventurous type of people would actually try some home remedies which are past down from generation to generation.

If you really want to know the approximate time for curing fingernail fungus, the best resource is to get information from your doctor or ask friends who had this problem.

The Progress Could be Slow in Finding a Cure

Don’t worry too much about knowing the answer for erasing fingernail fungus since what is most important is to see if the medicine that you are using is actually effective. While the progress per se may be slow, the factor in finding out how long it will takes depends on part on the medication being taken and your state of health currently.

Finally just remember that it would be good advice at this point to find a few other individuals who have had the same issue. This way you could find out at least an approximate time as to when exactly you would be relieved of fingernail fungus.

 

Predicting Drug Response

imagesAccording to the CDC Adverse drug events are a serious public health problem, an estimated 82% of American adults take at least one medication and 29% take five or more; 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations are due to adverse drug events annually.

Three and a half billion dollars is spent on extra medical costs of adverse drug events annually, at least 40% of costs associated with adverse drug events occurring outside hospitals can be prevented.

Often, an effective drug response is found in a few patients treated, while most benefit little or not at all. Much could be gained if we could select the optimal drug for the individual patient before treatment begins.

Researchers are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body’s response to medications. These genetic differences will be used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.

Just as a patient’s age, lifestyle, existing co-morbidities, and other medications affect the selection of a drug, genetic predisposition to do well or poorly on that drug is a crucial clinical factor that health care providers can now consider.

Case study

There are four main isoforms, or families of mixed-function oxidases known as cytochrome p 450 (CYP450) involved in xenobiotic, or drug metabolism. Cytochrome CYP2C19 is an enzyme that metabolizes some commonly prescribed drugs

Metabolism by CYP2C19 can either activate or alter activity of a drug

– Clopidogrel ( platelet inhibitor) is activated by CYP2C19

– Amitriptyline ( has many psychiatric indications ) is metabolized by CYP2C19 to a less active form

Genetic variations in the CYP2C19 gene may lead to changes in metabolic activity of the CYP2C19 enzyme (increased or reduced function).

What are a person’s odds of having a reduced function of CYP2C19?

Approximately 40% of the population, the exact percentage varies by ethnicity

What can we expect with a low CYP2C19 activity?

Low CYP2C19 activity is associated with diminished antiplatelet response to clopidogrel leading to a higher risk for another heart attack or stroke.

Action: alternate therapy.

Amitriptyline would be associated with a higher incidence of adverse events and toxicity.

Action: start with a lower dose or alternate therapy

Understanding various genes activities will lead to predictable patient outcomes when evaluated with regards to environmental exposures, medical history, family background, and other factors.

There are many community resources available to assist with medication therapy, for no or a small fee you can consult with a qualified healthcare professional to enable you and your healthcare team choose the right medication and the right dose that increases the likelihood of achieving the desired therapeutic effect and reducing the risk of unintended adverse drug reactions.

“If you’ve enjoyed this article please be sure to forward to a friend”

What Is Functional Medicine

download (20)Functional medicine is an evolutionary practice that addresses the unique healthcare needs of those in the 21st century.

Rather than treating just the symptoms of any disease, functional medicine focuses on the underlying cause of disease by using an approach that focuses on the body’s systems and their primary functions. Practitioners work to engage the patient in a partnership that will lead to overall better health and wellness.

Functional medicine practitioners focus on the whole person, rather than just the isolated constellation of symptoms. This shifts medicine from traditional sick care to a more patient-centered approach. These practitioners spend a great deal of time with their patients and listen to histories, while also evaluating the environment, lifestyle, and genetic factors that may play a role in long-term health and the development of chronic disease. By doing it this way, practitioners offer their patients a unique experience in healthcare, which will lead to higher engagement and vitality for each individual.

Why is Functional Medicine Needed?

There are several reasons why functional medicine has become more and more popular in our culture. Some of these reasons include the following:

Current medical practice is aimed toward acute care (or sick care), the diagnosis and treatment of disease or trauma, and conditions that need urgent attention such as broken bones or appendicitis. Medicine is not focused on the wellness of a human body, but in the curing of an already sick one.

There is a drastic increase in the number of chronic disease diagnoses among those in our society. These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, cancer, and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Acute care medical approaches do not allow the ability to treat or prevent complex chronic diseases. This is generally because it does not account for the unique make-up of the individual or outside factors that could be playing a role, especially in the environment, which exposes us all to toxins. Lifestyle choices also play a primary role in overall health and may have a direct influence on the rise of chronic illness in our Western culture

There is a gaping chasm between the way doctors practice and the research in their selected fields. This gap is enormous, as much as 50 years, especially in the field of chronic disease.

Sadly, most modern day physicians are not trained to look for underlying causes of disease. They are not taught to look at treatment strategies such as diet, nutrition, and exercise that could improve illnesses in their patients.

Functional Medicine Differentiation

The origins, prevention, and treatment of chronic disease, especially, is of primary concern to a functional medicine practitioner. The principles of functional medicine that differentiate them from conservative approaches include the following:

Patient-centered healthcare: The whole patient is the primary focus. This practice promotes positive vitality beyond the absence of disease and promotes overall good health. By truly listening to patients’ stories and background, the functional medicine practitioner is able to guide the patient into self-discovery and then further tailor treatment to fit their individual needs.

Scientific and integrative healthcare approach: This is unique in itself. Doctors look for causes of illness by evaluating the web of interactions in the patient’s history, lifestyle, and physiology. Alone, the genetic makeup of a person can cause illness, so it is of primary concern to a functional medicine practitioner. Additionally, both external (social and physical environments) and internal (body, mind, and spirit) factors affect the body’s overall health as well.