Functional Medicine is patient focused instead of disease focused, and views the body as one integrated system that works in harmony when everything is in balance. Western medicine divides up organs and systems into individual specialties. FM relies heavily on diagnostic testing and biomarkers that can pinpoint the location and cause of inflammation which is the root of the problem. This is your earliest detection of disease that can help to prevent disease from forming with changes recommended by the Doctor or reversed if already present.
Most are western trained Doctors that became discouraged with not healing their patients or became sick themselves and found no relief from western medicine. They were lucky enough to find FM, healed themselves and went back to school to learn FM and are now happy Doctors with happy patients because the patients are healing.
What to expect at your first visit
First visit you can expect a 60-90 minute one on one with the doctor so they can get a complete history of you and your lifestyle. Don’t be surprised when they ask you questions you think might not be relevant, like “were you breastfed as a baby”, as it does matter a lot. From this interview they can determine which tests should be run such as blood, stool, urine, hair, saliva and breath. That’s it, they can tell everything about you with these non invasive tests better and faster than all the machines of western medicine.
Example: quote from Pam Killeen NC – the HTMA hair tissue mineral biopsy
“This test provides a blueprint of one’s biochemistry: metabolic rate, energy levels, sugar and carbohydrate tolerance, stage of stress, immune function, adrenal and thyroid activity, kidney and liver stress, trends for psychological and emotional conditions, levels of minerals and toxins and over 30 more health conditions.”
These tests go beyond genes and are based on epigenetics which are responsible for turning genes on and off.
But I’ve had blood, stool and urine tests. Not these, as FM runs different tests with your samples. With their additional schooling they learned that looking for the “average” numbers are not good enough and learned how to look for different markers and how to interpret them. A western medicine trained Doctor does not run the same tests or know how to read the results.
Money and Insurance
Some FM Doctors take some insurance. It depends on the insurance company if they will cover some of the testing. Pharma gives kickbacks to insurance companies which is why the better your insurance the more invasive and expensive your visits are with western medicine.
I have listened to many interviews with FM Doctors and many say they try to keep the costs down for things not covered. Most tests they run cost $30-$200 and will work with patients by running the most important one for you first. Everything is done on an individual basis. The Doctors cost can vary and is usually by the hour, I’ve seen up to $500 an hour but this length is usually just the first visit.
Many people with chronic illness go through dozens of Doctors and thousands of dollars trying to find what’s wrong with them. The correct diagnostic test with the correct interpretation can give patients the correct diagnosis and solution the first time. FM is well worth the cost and much cheaper in the long run.
Some FM Doctors will write prescriptions if necessary on a temporary basis but mostly they work to get patients off meds. They will customize a nutrition plan designed for you based on the results of your tests. If 10 patients all walked in with diabetes they would all get different plans to follow. It’s not the disease, it’s the imbalance you have that needs to be corrected. It’s not just nutrition either they have quite an armament of tools to get you better.
In today’s electronic age you don’t even have to go to your Doctor in person anymore. Many of these Doctors Skype their interviews and you go to your local clinic for blood draw and mail samples to labs. This way people can see specialists from across the country. FM does have specialists that still treat the whole person not just the organ or disease.
How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor
Each site may list different Doctors so check more than one for a Doctor in your area and remember most also do long distance.
For Functional Medicine – Institute for Functional Medicine
Functional Medicine – MD.com
Functional Medicine – FM Doctors
Functional Medicine – Clean
This page has 10 find a Doctor search links for various Integrated/FM/Holistic – Alliance for Natural Health
Huge list – American Association of Drugless Practitioners
Great site especially for support groups – The Annie Appleseed Project
Make sure the Doctor near you is FM or integrated on this list. The 2 short videos are good for learning where medicine is going –
American Academy of Private Physicians
Dieticians for Celiac Disease – Gluten Free Dietician
Dieticians – Food and Spirit
Medical Intuitive – International Association of Medical Intuitives
Integrative – Maximize Living Clinics
FM/Integrated – When you click on find a physician a small box will come up. Make the box full page and you can narrow down the huge list by state.
Gordon Research Institute
Integrative Oncology – Society for Integrative Oncology
Integrative Oncology –
International Organization of Integrative Cancer Physicians
Personalized Medicine – n1Health
Integrative for Thyroid – The Thyroid Book
Hormone Cure Coaches – click on “let me help you” then practitioners
Dr. Sara Gottfried
Weight Loss Specialists – Metabolic Research Center
Medical Marijuana Doctors – Marijuana Doctors
Neurofeedback for stress – International Society of Neurofeedback
Functional Medicine Chiropractors – Find a Great Chiro
Holistic Dentists – Holistic Dental Association
Ask a Doctor – Your Medical Detective
Group of Doctors that help wean you off medications International Coalition for Drug Awareness
Doctors healing Scoliosis without surgery – Scoliosis Systems
Now is a Great time to get well
Content and quote source: The book Diagnostic Testing and Functional Medicine by Ameer Rosic
How to find links
M. Scherker medical researcher
further research is always encouraged