If there’s one question we at Larimar Med in St. Charles, IL, get asked all of the time it’s this one… what is functional medicine?
The best possible way I could think to explain this concept was to tell you exactly how I discovered it myself!
Watch this video to hear my story or continue reading below!
A Love of Health & Fitness
About five years ago, I was teaching four fitness classes per week in addition to my full-time anesthesiology job.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an interest in health and fitness. I’ve actually been a fitness instructor since I was 16.
I would read anything health and fitness related that I could get my hands on.
I followed all the medical advice given to me.
In medical school, I followed the nutritional guidelines we were given
(although it’s not much more than what you read in a magazine).
Struggling with My Health
Even with all that education and real-life experience, I found myself at 35 years old doing everything I thought was right.
I was eating properly.
Hitting it hard-core at the gym.
But somehow, I was still having unexplained weight gain.
It was the weight gain that brought me to go see a functional medicine doctor.
Now, if I had gone to a conventional medical doctor, they would have tested two things:
1. My fasting glucose
2. My hemoglobin A1C
These two tests are also the most common labs that are drawn when a doctor is thinking that their patient could be diabetic.
If I had gone to a conventional medicine doctor, I would have had a completely normal fasting blood glucose and a completely normal hemoglobin A1C.
The doctor would have told me to eat less and exercise more.
Fortunately, I didn’t do that!
My First Functional Medicine Experience
Instead, I went to a functional medicine doctor. She was the one who identified the fact that I was already showing signs of insulin resistance.
Now, this is not a topic we are taught in conventional medical schools.
In fact, we’re not really taught that the road to becoming a type 2 diabetic is completely reversible.
I’m here to tell you that I have seen plenty of patients reverse their type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or their insulin resistance. Wherever they are on the road to becoming a type 2 diabetic, there is a way to reverse the process.
Functional & Conventional Medicine
With that being said, if someone came to me with underlying insulin resistance
that hadn’t officially been diagnosed, they were struggling to lose weight, their doctor had put them on Metformin, and they didn’t want to be on drugs the rest of their life, I would recommend a functional medicine approach first.
I work with so many different kinds of patients who fall into this category… they don’t want to be doomed to a life taking prescription drugs.
Here’s the kicker… because I’m a medical doctor, I have the ability to treat a patient with a functional medicine approach as well as a conventional medicine approach. So, if at the end of their journey trying to reverse an underlying condition, they still need prescription drugs, I’m able to prescribe those.
Whether it’s type 2 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, or chronic diseases, we can first start with a natural holistic approach to reverse whatever is going on. But, even with the best attempts, some people need assistance from prescription drugs.
I believe that functional medicine is the best starting point and the best way to heal the patient at the root cause instead of putting a band-aid over the issue.
Functional medicine might be the thing that you’ve been looking for a long time. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us to find out how we can help!