Integrative Medicine

What is Integrative Medicine?

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Integrative medicine Wellness Medicine, Clifton Hill

Integrative medicine (also known as Functional Medicine) at Wellness Medicine is directed at trying to treat the whole person rather than just a presenting symptom or disease. Doing this effectively requires that you, the patient, are a partner in the diagnostic and treatment process. The approach requires considering the likely most important underlying causes of whatever is troubling you and identifying those factors likely to help you to re-capture and maintain better health. It goes well beyond simply considering a selective and isolated set of symptoms. Using the best science, the challenge is to understand the root cause of the medical problem (or more usually, combination of problems) that are the source of your ill health, considering interactions between genetic, environmental, historical and current lifestyle factors.

Integrative Medicine is guided by five principles.

  1. We are all genetically and biochemically unique and we have all been exposed over our lives to different social, familial, and physical experiences.
  2. It is deeply science based. More and more we are learning that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network of relationships. Understanding these connections, within the limits of existing knowledge and realistic financial outlays allows us to see into the deep functioning of the body.
  3. Your body has its own ability to heal and if properly supported, can delay or manage many of the diseases associated with ageing.
  4. Health is not just the absence of disease but a state of vitality that contributes to a good quality of life.
  5. Occam’s razor”,  loosely translated as, all other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best solution and usually the lowest cost solution as well.

Dr Hickey strives first to ensure that, if the problem can be solved by the best standard of care reasonably expected of a good General Practitioner then she will encourage patients to start there.  (She sees Integrative Medicine as complementing General Practice, not replacing it). When it is necessary to go beyond the GP standard of care then she will proceed further, relying on the best evidence available and collaborating as thoroughly as possible with you the patient, and any other health professionals involved in your care while keeping what is often expensive testing to the minimum necessary.

AREAS OF MEDICINE COVERED

Recognising that she cannot cover everything, Dr Hickey has six main areas of medicine that are her primary focus, with the more specific fields within these identified as follows:

  1. MENTAL HEALTH

    • Depression
    • Bi-Polar disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Schizophrenia
    • Childhood behavioural and learning difficulties including ADD/ADHD
    • Mild cognitive decline

In general, Dr Hickey approaches the first five following the Walsh-Pfeiffer protocol, having studied for many years under Dr William Walsh, co-developer of the protocol.  In the developing field of treatment of cognitive decline, Dr Hickey is working with the Dale-Bredeson protocol

  1. CHRONIC FATIGUE

  2. HORMONE IMBALANCES

    • Menopause
    • PMT
    • PCOS
    • Thyroid diseases, e.g., Hashimoto’s, Adrenal dysfunction.
  1. CARDIO-METABOLIC CONDITIONS

    • Pre-Diabetes
    • Type II Diabetes
    • High Cholesterol
    • Insulin Resistance
    • Cardiac Risk Assessments
  1. GUT HEALTH

    • Irritable bowel
    • Inflammatory bowel diseases
    • Gastro-esophogeal reflux
    • Indigestion
  1. IMMUNE HEALTH

    • Auto-immune disorders
    • Recurrent infections

There is, of course, overlap between these and it is a feature of Dr Hickey’s Integrative Medicine approach that she both recognises and addresses this overlap when it is present.