In recent posts, I have criticized traditional medicine’s disease “management” and overuse of medications. I then reminded you of the many virtues of science-based modern medicine and criticized poorly trained and unscientific alternative practitioners. You may be wondering if I will ever justify the Trinity/VitalSigns version of functional medicine. How is it radically different from traditional medicine yet firmly grounded in science? That discussion is coming. I promise! But first I must discuss the issue of how we spend our money on healthcare. A sales pitch was recently given for the newest blood sugar lowering drug. It costs over $100 per month yet lowers blood sugar very little (A1C down ~ 1%) and hasn’t been around long enough to determine safety. In stark contrast, VitalSign’s diabetic reversal program frequently shows A1C’s reduced by 6% and more along with substantial weight loss, muscle gained, vigor restored and numerous other benefits of healthy diet and exercise. You get all of that for the cost of 1 drug for 6 months or less. (And don’t forget many folks are on 8 or more drugs)
The alternative practices are often worse. A family living on modest income recently asked if I would order a panel of labs recommended by an alternative clinic. They were desperate for an answer to their son’s emotional disturbance and learning disability and were willing to try anything. This particular lab panel went for well over a thousand dollars and had zero chance of revealing a treatable cause of his disability. For the cost of these bogus labs alone, the entire family could have benefited from our life affirming wellness program. Innocently placing someone on the latest drug because it fits the evidence based guidelines is often less than optimal care and that’s a shame. That problem can be fixed by demonstrating the effectiveness of a new functional approach which costs less and delivers more. On the other hand, peddling evaluations and cures which have no scientific basis or benefit for the patient yet fill the seller’s bank account is downright treacherous. The cure for that is a heart change or a legal hammer.