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Why functional medicine
If you are reading this, there is a chance you have already realized that the "standard of care" conventional medical system has very little to offer when it comes to improving your health and well being. Our current medical model is great for acute medical problems but when it comes to treating chronic medical issues and improving health, the conventional medical paradigm has been a complete failure. The incidence of chronic disease has skyrocketed within the last several decades. Between 40 and 50% of children in the United States now have at least one chronic disease. Life expectancy in the United Stated has been steadily decreasing every year for the last several years. Hospitals across the country are now performing surgical procedures on teenagers and pediatric patients that in the recent past were only necessary in the very elderly and infirm.
The conventional medical model assumes that every patient that experiences a specific symptom is suffering of the same entity and it's treated in exactly the same way. Let's use "migraines" for an example. In the vast majority of cases, a pharmaceutical is prescribed to try to suppress this symptom that we call "migraines." Rarely, if ever; does the conventional model investigates to find out why is the patient experiencing "migraines". Functional Medicine investigates further. Are your "migraines" caused by food sensitivities? Magnesium deficiency? Hormonal imbalances? All of the above? Mold exposure? Chronic Lyme's Disease? By investigating further and correcting the specific cause of your "migraines," the migraines will resolve.
We are not saying that conventional medicine isn't valuable. If you have been in a car accident, by all means, go to the hospital as quickly as you can. If you have pneumonia, you will need an antibiotic to treat it. If you are already having a heart attack or a stroke, call 911 immediately and seek conventional medical treatments at once because they may save your life.
However, if for example, you have autoimmune disease, invariably the "standard of care" conventional medical system will try to suppress your immune system using different pharmaceuticals in an attempt to reduce your symptoms. As you can imagine this is a problem. A working immune system is essential for health and vitality. The immune system is there to protect us from infections and to maintain cancer cells in check and prevent them from spreading and multiplying. The immune system is not there only to cause autoimmune conditions and therefore it is not without consequence when a physician shuts it off with immunosuppressive drugs. Using this example, Functional Medicine would investigate and tries to figure out why is your immune system attacking your organs and tissues. After all, that is not normal. Once the cause of this immune dysfunction is identified, you will be able to remove it or treat it and your immune system will return to a normal function.
If you are tired of taking a progressively longer medication list only to feel worse, look worse, and be in worse health every year, it is time to start your Functional Medicine journey. Nothing in this life will ever be more important and valuable than your health.
What do we treat
Here's a list of chronic diseases we help treat:
Gastrointestinal distress and other symptoms
Cognitive issues and brain health
Chronic Fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction
Heavy metal toxicity
Multiple chemical sensitivities
What should I expect
Once you schedule your initial appointment on our website we will ask that you fill out our Functional Medicine Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is comprehensive and will take some time to be completed so give yourself enough time to complete it before our appointment. This questionnaire is crucial and we cannot move forward unless it is accurately and completely filled out. After the questionnaire is filled out we will go ahead and have our initial consultation over the telephone or video call (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) to gather more information, clarify any questions or complete any parts of the questionnaire that were missed. At that time appropriate laboratory panels will be ordered. Once the laboratory results are available, you can make an appointmment for an in-person Case Review. This is a 60 - 90 minutes visit where we will discuss the laboratory results and prescribe the necessary treatments. After the Case Review will meet every 4-6 weeks for follow up, at which time we will reassess and evaluate your progress. At this time we may also modify the protocols or order additional laboratories as needed. If you have any problems or questions in the interim, you can always contact us via the patient portal.
What does it cost
The fee for the visits (via telephone, video or in person) is $200.00 per 30 minute unit. The fees only include the time spent with the practitioner. This fee does not include laboratory fees, supplements or herbal treatments or any other product or service. The fees only include the time spent with the practitioner. Payment of this fee expected immediately after our appointment. No medical insurance is accepted.
Functional Medicine is not about practicing "green pharmacy" or replacing pharmaceuticals with herbal or "natural" remedies although sometimes we will do just that. Functional Medicine is not about "cleanses", "crash diets", "miracle plants", "going vegan" or "adding miracle fibers to your smoothie".
The treatment protocols will include recommendations to improve your diet, sleep, exercise, stress management, social interactions and how to fill your life with meaning and purpose. Recommendations will also be provided to minimize contact with the thousands of bio-toxins and toxic chemicals that exist in our homes and workplace. The protocols mostly rely on herbal treatments, supplements to treat specific issues or nutrient deficiencies respectively as well as lifestyle modification strategies.
There is not one part of the protocol that is more important than others. All the recommendations are synergistic and complement each other. For example, if you insist on eating a nutrient depleted, highly processed diet that is full of pesticides and preservatives and other edible toxins that inflame your gut and in turn cause systemic inflammation, it really does not matter if you are taking the right herbal treatments or not. You are not going to improve. If you are doing "everything right", but you decide that you don't have time to exercise and you are sleeping only 3 hours a night, you probably won't reach your health goals even if you're eating a perfect diet and meditating daily to control your stress.
Think of your functional medicine practitioner as your "coach." The practitioner will analyze and review your medical history, lifestyle, social situation, laboratory results, your goals and your readiness to accomplish these goals among other factors. A set of strategies and protocols will be "prescribed" to address these factors. Consider this a starting point that will need to be fine tuned and "tweaked" as we move forward with the treatments. After 4-6 weeks we will reconvene to asses the results of the strategies and plan the next "move". Your practitioner will guide you, adjust the strategies or change them completely if needed. Additional laboratory testing may need to be ordered at that time. Even though your practitioner will plan the strategies, the Functional Medicine journey towards optimal health is personal and requires commitment, drive and discipline. It depends on you having the discipline and commitment to adhere to the prescribed strategies and protocols. It will require patience to change or even reverse strategies if the original strategy is not providing the results that you want. Every individual is different and in many cases will respond different to a specific intervention. For example, we all know someone that lost all the weight they wanted doing "Keto" and at the same time know others that didn't, with this exact same intervention. There are genetic and lifestyle factors for this differences. There is no "one size fits all" intervention that will solve everyone's health problems. We will investigate and explore to find which interventions are appropriate specifically for you in a particular moment.
Keep your primary care
Our service will not replace your primary care physician or any conventional medicine specialist or sub-specialist that take care of you. We will work with these health professionals in a collaborative fashion to optimize your health. As you progress along your Functional Medicine path, you will work with your prescribing physicians to decrease or wean off any medications as they feel is appropriate. You will never discontinue, modify or reduce your current medications without consulting with the prescribing physician. We will never "refill" or prescribe medications for your current medical issues as this must be done through your prescribing physician. Occasionally we will prescribe a pharmaceutical as appropriate for your Functional Medicine protocol (e.g. Mycostatin for yeast overgrowth or Xifaxan for SIBO).
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