Where did my passion go?

My husband, Dr. Nick Carruthers asked me, “Are you more or less passionate about functional medicine than you were a year ago?”  I found myself hesitant before responding.  I then replied, there is no clear answer because my passion has shifted.”  

The truth is, my passion has shifted from Functional Medicine to Integrative Medicine.  Some of you may be thinking “Aren’t they the same?” It can easily be confused, however there are key differences between the two styles of medicine.  

Functional Medicine has become a buzz word used by many physicians, nutritionists, and health coaches.  With its overuse, the true definition of Functional Medicine is becoming unclear to the public. In some cases, functional medicine is the use of bioidentical hormones.  In other cases, it can be classified as conventional medicine with the use of vitamins and supplements. This can be convoluted with health coaching and nutritional guidance.  

In its true form, functional medicine is using comprehensive testing to specifically diagnose a patient and then create a customized plan using dietary recommendations and supplementation.

Well that sounds neat, right?  It is easy to assume that I should be overly passionate about this more comprehensive style of medicine.

As a practicing physician, the question I started to ask myself is- “Is functional medicine enough?”  

We are living in a world that is dealing with an epidemic of inflammatory conditions, chronic fatigue, mental illness, and autoimmunity.  Our children and elderly are sick, and we have complex chronic illness affecting people at younger and younger ages. Can we tackle chronic illness with diet and supplementation?  

Over the past few years, the complexity of my patient cases has been significant.  I found voids in the functional medicine model of diet and supplementation. I had realized, as a physician, I needed more tools to guide my patients with proper detoxification, lymphatic drainage, immune system repair, managing their stress, resolving their emotional charges, and repairing their neurological dysfunction from both infections and inflammation.  

I found myself learning and searching for more tools and resources in order to continually help my patients. This has been the driving force behind the evolution of IWG.  We have changed our offerings dramatically over the past 5 years, not out of boredom, but out of demand. All age groups, races, ethnicities are suffering from an array of “mystery” symptoms while not receiving any answers from traditional medicine.  I believe this is the reason for the rise in diagnosed mental illness. The lack of holism and specificity in medicine, leads to the inability to correctly diagnose, which has resulted in a uproar of mental illness diagnoses.

“Well, your blood looks good so you must be depressed.”  is a phrase my “mystery” patients have heard far too often.

It is time for a change.

This perplexed epidemic, ‘to resolve complex illness’ will remain unresolved until we begin to understand the uniqueness of the WHOLE person. Once this approach was embedded in our practice, Integrative Wellness Group began to make groundbreaking milestones.  

For instance:  Every void that was found in a patient’s healing journey has led to continual learning which has resulted in the need to take on additional treatment modalities. Through the advancements at IWG, integrative medicine, physical medicine, brain health, detoxification and the other programs we offer- we are in this to make a difference.  IWG aims to set the standard of how healthcare is delivered. We can confidently say in 2018, IWG is at a place where we offer comprehensive holistic care with the most up to date modalities to treat our patients from the inside out.

I believe there is a cause for every effect, meaning there is always an answer to your symptoms.  Most importantly, there is a solution to the cause. We give our patients the tools to heal and the knowledge to prevent future occurrences.

First and foremost, I believe no matter what your health challenges are, you have the power to be the key player in your own health destiny. Know this, and you can change your life.