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Functional Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine


Functional Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine
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Functional medicine encompasses treating the patient, not just the disease. At Elite Personalized Medicine in Peachtree Corners, we ensure that each and every patient gets the time and personalized attention necessary so we can help them from the inside out.

Before we get into the differences between functional medicine and conventional medicine, here is a quick definition.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness. Functional medicine providers use advanced diagnostic testing and look at more laboratory markers than conventional doctors do.

Top 4 Differences Between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine

1. Health History

Before meeting with a functional medicine provider you should have to fill out an extensive health history dating back to birth. We have many patients that have to contact their parents about how they were delivered as a baby, or what medications were taken as a child. All of this is important and can impact your gut health and microbiome health. We want to know as much as we can so we can find the root cause of your health care needs.

2. Time Spent With the Patient

Once you arrive for the first visit with a functional medicine provider, you can expect to spend at least 1 hour one-on-one with that person. When have you ever spent that amount of time with your primary care provider?

The average time with a conventional primary care doctor is 7–10 minutes. The average time for an initial visit with a functional medicine doctor is 1 hour. The average functional medicine follow-up visit is 30 minutes. This is time for you as the patient to be heard, to lay out all of the timelines of symptoms, and explain your story. Functional medicine providers are listeners first and detectives second!

3. Advanced Diagnostic Testing

Here is just one small example of the differences in diagnostic testing. A thyroid panel at a functional medicine office includes TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, RT3 and TPO antibodies. A thyroid panel at a conventional medicine office only includes TSH and T4.

These are additional diagnostic tests we provide that you won’t find at a conventional medical office.

  • Salivary adrenal stress tests
  • Stool analysis
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Full sex hormone panels
  • Extensive cardiovascular panels

4. Treating the Whole Patient vs Treating the Disease

Treatment options might be the biggest difference that functional medicine can offer. We have a variety of tools in our toolbox of treatment such as diet and lifestyle changes, stress management, health coaching, natural herbs and supplements, compounded bioidentical medications and traditional prescription medications.

Most conventional doctors have only traditional prescription medications they recommend based on symptoms. The focus on lifestyle change, reduction of stress, reduction of inflammation, and offerings of natural therapies are few and far between at a conventional medical office.

Take Charge of Your Health and Wellness Today

At Elite Personalized Medicine, we empower our patients to take control of their health and wellness. We work alongside patients to help them achieve their health goals. To learn more and to schedule an appointment contact our Peachtree Corners functional medicine center at (770) 416-1070 or request a consultation today.

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