Functional Medicine: Need to Find a New Provider in 2021?

functional medicine providers | Living Well Dallas
January 6, 2021 0 Comments

Let’s talk about functional medicine! For many Americans, the start of the New Year means two things:

  1. It’s time to start on your New Year’s resolutions.
  2. It’s time to find a provider.

The current state of healthcare means many Americans change health insurance plans each year. And, with a change of plan comes a change of network.

Unfortunately, a change of network usually means you need to find a new provider because your previous provider is not on your new plan. And, even if you have the luxury of keeping the same provider, you may be asking yourself the following.

  • Is this provider the right one for me?
  • Do I feel supported in my wellness goals?

So, if the answer is no, then it’s time to look for other options.

What Type of Provider Do I Need?

And, it can be confusing as to what kind of provider to look for. Usually, choosing a family medicine or general care provider is a good place to start. And, did you know if you are an adult, using an internal medicine provider as your primary is a viable option.

What Is An Internist?

An internal medicine provider, or internist, specializes in the internal organs, including the:

  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs

These providers are acutely aware of how these organs interact with one another and are vital in managing these and other organs’ diseases.

Organs don’t exist in separate compartments. They are all interconnected and interact with each other. This means certain conditions can impact more than one organ.

And it’s not just organs that interact. The conditions themselves can overlap, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Elevated cholesterol

What Do They Specialize In?

Internal medicine providers care primarily for adults, but some have dual training in internal medicine and pediatrics to treat children. General internists handle a broad and comprehensive spectrum of illnesses. They are not limited to one type of medical problem or organ system.

They are experts in:

  • Diagnosing and treating chronic illness
  • Advocating for health promotion
  • Preventing disease

When you visit a general internist, they can handle whatever problem you have—no matter how:

  • Common
  • Rare
  • Simple
  • Complex

Are They a Gatekeeper?

General internists love:

  • Solving puzzling diagnostic problems
  • Taking on severe chronic illnesses
  • Researching situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time

Some consider internists to be a gatekeeper. They keep a close watch on their patient’s body systems and helps manage chronic illnesses. If diseases advance, they consult other specialists as needed and may even coordinate care.

What Kind of Education Do They Have?

Internists complete a three-year residency before they begin practicing internal medicine. Some choose to take additional training in a subspecialty.

  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Geriatrics
  • Rheumatology

What Would You Go to an Internal Medicine Doctor For?

You could visit someone who practices internal medicine for any variety of problems. So, if you seek specialized care for health concerns or conditions, an internal medicine physician may be your perfect fit.

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Chronic lung disease

And, you could also consider them to be your primary care provider.

Combing Internal Medicine With the Functional Approach

Finding a provider who practices internal functional medicine will bring you powerful results and a lifelong partnership. Functional medicine providers:

  • Spend time with their patients
  • Listen to their histories
  • Look at long-term health influencers
    • Genetic
    • Diet
    • Environmental
    • Lifestyle factors

At the core, understanding that each patient is unique requires a personalized approach to reach their health and vitality peak. A patient-centered approach refers to health care that is respectful of and responsive to the individual patient.

  • Preferences
  • Needs
  • Values

And, it also ensures patient values guide all decisions.

Functional Medicine Core Principles

The functional medicine principles include the following.

Uniqueness

An understanding of each human being’s biochemical individuality is based on genetic and environmental uniqueness concepts.

Patient-Centered

Awareness of the evidence that supports a patient-centered rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment.

Balance

Search for a dynamic balance among your body, mind, and spirit.

Your Body Wants to Be Healthy

And, the power of the therapeutic partnership comes from the following idea.

Active participants in the development of their therapeutic plan feel more in control of their own well-being.

As such, they are more likely to make sustained lifestyle changes. Plainly put, your body naturally wants to be healthy. Things your body needs to function might be missing, or something might be standing in the way.

Functional Medicine Combines Nutrition and Lifestyle

When it comes to treatment, nutrition and lifestyle are the foundation.

Also, functional medicine providers educate you about your condition. This method empowers you to take charge! Taking charge leads to greater treatment success.

We’re Here to Help!

We know searching for a new provider can be confusing. And, we’re here to answer questions you may have in general. Feel free to contact us any time! Our team can help you manage your health! We’re ready to join your journey to optimal health!

Resources