Adventures In Medical Indifference
Apparently deciding to see an endocrinologist to help balance my hormones is easier than actually getting an appointment with one. Turns out the two hormone doctors my physician referred me to feel I’m not worthy of their time.
When I called to schedule an appointment, the receptionist pretty much blew me off before I could give specifics as to why I needed to see one of the two doctors I was referred to. She didn’t need to hear that I my very high estrogen (a hormone) levels caused my cancer or that I was insulin resistant (an other hormone problem). Once I said “menopause” I was told to “just go see your gynecologist” because “it’s just menopause.”
I ended up calling 3 other endocrinologists and pretty much got the same result. However, during one of these calls I was asked, in a somewhat hopeful tone, if I was a diabetic. When that didn’t pan out as hoped, the voice on the other end of the phone told me to see a gynecologist.
So I did contact couple of gynecologist offices. They were up for pelvic exams (I already get 4 of those a year via my oncologists!) or hormone treatments – a big no-no for me.
Enter Functional & Integrative Medicine
This week I visit a doctor with a functional and integrated (F&I) medical group that treats menopause. I’m curious about this visit. While the idea of integrated and functional medicine is appealing, I also know marketing speak when I see it (“we don’t just treat the disease, we treat the whole patient”).
So what is functional & integrative medicine? Well the best that I can figure is that both rely on conventional western medicine (testing, labs, medications, etc.) but integrative doctors include alternative treatments like vitamins, minerals, acupuncture, or stress reduction techniques. Functional medicine tends to stress nutritional therapy.
And I’ve read lots of articles online about the traditional medical community hating on F&I community. “Quackery” is the main word I see when talking about F&I.
Certainly when it comes to nutrition, western medicine has it’s own “quackery” to own up to.
Traditional doctors still embrace the standard American diet (high carb, low-fat) despite following its introduction the obesity and diabetes epidemic began. They believe exercise makes us thin, and many pretty much reject my embrace of the ketogenic diet to drop 150 pounds. Hmmm…
There are aspects of F&I that I’m very skeptical of, like HeartMath or detoxing (the kidney & liver do that just fine!). But unlike traditional medical practitioners, I’m not skeptical about essential oils, eliminating foods from the diet, herbal medicines, supplements or mindfulness. I never considered any of these things as alternatives to treat my cancer. But my own experience tells me they have a place in helping me become a healthier person.
The bottom line is that traditional medicine is driving me to integrated & functional medicine. But hey, “it’s just menopause.”