Functional Medicine: Can I Trust It?

After a piece in which I explained my frustration with food restriction, a few folks suggested I give functional medicine a try. My hatred for unsolicited advice aside, I did look into functional medicine.

This further demonstrates why I dislike unsolicited advice.

I visited the website for a recommended functional medicine provider. The first thing I noticed was that said provider is an RN. That was a good sign. She wasn’t one of the scammy “health practitioners” I’ve encountered before. She actually had medical background.

After that, my review of her website revealed red flags.

One was that she provides infrared saunas as a service. Frens, infrared saunas show very little evidence of doing anything they claim to do. Moreover, people like a certain goopy celebrity and others claimed infrared saunas help with Long COVID. There is literally zero evidence of that. Not to mention those same folks claim infrared saunas can “detox” you, and I swear to Bob’s Uncle I will end this popular piffle. The only things that detoxify your body are your kidneys and your liver. Sure enough though, on this provider’s website, the first “benefit of sauna therapy” is “detoxification.”

Another red flag was that her services were prohibitively expensive. The first visit was $325. Follow-up visits ranged from $150 to $300 with the most expensive option being the only “allowed” booking. (They “pro-rated” it though! WTF.) Of course, they don’t accept insurance. Rather insurance won’t cover them. It’s not that insurance approval is an indicator of credibility. I get massages regularly and know they help my body, but insurance doesn’t cover those. It just seemed super sketch to be so expensive and have no way to help people access said expenses.

The last red flag was the expansiveness of what they offered. Have you ever been to a restaurant with a massive menu that includes tacos, sushi, pasta, burgers, pizza, seafood, breakfast, dessert, alcohol, salads, fried food, healthy food, etc. *glares at The Cheesecake Factory** To me, that’s a red flag because it tells me they’re trying to be everything to everyone instead of doing only a few things and doing them well. That’s what this functional medicine place was like. Here’s a screenshot of everything they offer:

You’re telling me you can do breast imaging, neurofeedback, mental health counseling, AND address all of these conditions too? Because my side-eye squint is so intense that my eyes are practically closed with the sweet resignation of death by NOPE.

Now, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to be harsh toward anyone who uses or believes in functional medicine. As always, if it works for you, for the love of all things human, keep doing it! I’m not here to tell you otherwise. I don’t know your body, and it ain’t my business to tell you to do anything different.

Plus, I’m not anti-alternative medicine. I regularly see an acupuncturist. Like I said, I often get massages. I also see a chiropractor every week. I’m actually a big fan of alternative medicine because traditional medicine is too rigid, corrupt, and discriminatory.

However, I’m picky about my alternative medicine providers because the slide into dangerous beliefs is way too easy. Thankfully, there are a subset of alternative medicine providers who don’t believe in bullshit. They aren’t selling crystals and peddling nonsense like “pureblood” products. When my acupuncturist nails (heh) it, she nails it, and I can tell a difference. Sometimes, it doesn’t work. This is also true of my chiropractor. Frankly, this is true of my primary care physician. And my last two ENTs did nothing but piss me off.

Unfortunately, what I’m finding about functional medicine so far is that their services aren’t founded enough in evidence-backed science. I don’t need that. Frankly, I’m tired of getting my hopes up only to have them dashed by misinformation. That’s the exact reason I’m frustrated with traditional medicine. Why would I seek out alternative medicine providers who repeat the same problem?

2 thoughts on “Functional Medicine: Can I Trust It?

Leave a Reply