Integrative medicine is an approach to medicine designed to combine the best available methods of conventional and what is commonly referred to as alternative, complementary or holistic medicine.
The conventional approach to health in the U.S. that we are taught in medical school has for years been one of finding the right diagnosis and then applying the accepted treatment for that diagnosis.
But as a physician it is clear that many people have symptoms and issues that are not easily addressed and resolved by the traditional medical model. They are often left frustrated, disempowered, and feeling there is something wrong with them because the prevailing medical model has failed to solve their health care puzzle.
Instead of looking at individual symptoms and body parts and organs, the Integrative Medicine model looks at each person as a whole, with a unique makeup. We take into account the person's family and medical history, diet, lifestyle, and environment. This approach allows us to look at what systems and issues are underlying the illness and apply the least toxic approach so the illness can resolve.
No technology is more important than listening to the patient and getting a careful history of their illness, as well as a detailed physical exam.
One patient has a list of about 15 problems. She complained of not feeling well, having barely any energy to make it through the day. She had chronic bowel issues, disrupted sleep, joint aches, and hair loss.
She had seen many physicians, from different specialties, but none of the usual testing turned up a diagnosis. She began to question her sanity and if she would ever get well.
It became clear that the multitude of issues arose from her gut. Approximately six years prior, she had a sinus infection that would not go away. She was on antibiotics for three months, and during that time began to develop bowel problems that she had never had before. After a year or so of poor sleep her joints began to ache, she developed fibromyalgia, and her adrenal and thyroid function began to deteriorate.
Once this was clear, what there was to do was fix her bowel issues with probiotics and anti-fungals, get her sleeping restored, support her nutritionally, and supply the thyroid and adrenal glands with proper support.
Within three months she had her health and well being back and was once again planning for the future.