Andrew Miller is an active member of his health care team. So it’s no surprise the field of integrative medicine appealed to him.
“I kind of read up on it and I was very intrigued about it,” says Miller.
It’s an emerging specialty that provides an alternative approach to health; wellness being a major feature.
“I want to set the stage now so I can live a healthier life down the road. And don’t have to worry about cardiovascular disease, or diabetes or whatever it might be,” says Miller.
People who are actively engaged in prevention are very often the same ones who are attracted to vitamins and supplements. But studies show they don’t really know what they’re getting or what they need. Integrative health takes it personally.
“Well, that’s true, that’s why actually I went into it because I had patients bringing me supplements, bags full, and asking me if it was okay and it’s usually not another doctor that’s telling them what to do, it’s the clerk at the health food store,” says Dr. Heather Auld, who is an integrative physician with Lee Memorial Health System.
A common mistake is thinking that because something is natural, it’s harmless.
“There are herb-drug interactions that are very important to know and there are also side effects of herbs that you need to know. Some that you cannot take for prolonged times. Because herbs are drugs,” says Dr. Auld.
Dr. Heather Auld is a medical doctor fellowship trained in integrative health. She uses detailed micronutrient testing to reveal deficiencies and areas where supplements might help.
“The whole idea is to keep people off medications and just give them herbs or supplements when they need them for as short a time as possible,” says Dr. Auld.
Some people want to manage existing health conditions like high blood pressure or symptoms of menopause. Others, like Andrew, use the information to their benefit.
“This is a new, added change to medicine where it’s adding the supplementation; it’s adding the different testing. On top of what you normally go to your physician for. So I think it’s a great idea,” says Miller.
Whatever the motivation, an integrative specialist can supplement your health care choices.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.