Hi, I’m Dr. Emily Parke with your Functional Health Minute for today. Today I’d like to talk about the subject of functional medicine.
Is functional medicine right for you?
As you know, functional medicine is all about finding and treating the root causes of whatever signs and symptoms are going on. It’s that deep detective work of getting to the bottom of usually the multiple reasons why you’re feeling the way you are today. So functional medicine is also very personalized, it’s predictive, it’s proactive; I like to say it’s a team sport because it really does involve a team effort on the behalf of the doctor and the patient. So what that means is the doctor, us as functional medicine practitioners, we are going to provide you with the road map to health via a functional medicine plan, and then you as the patient, it will be your job to follow through on the plan.
Of course, if you need help following through on the plan, we do have resources for that and we will of course provide you with a huge visit summary and all kinds of resources and even we have a health coach here in the practice too if you need extra help with going through your functional medicine plan and implementing it in your life. Definitely you’re going to want to make sure that you’re ready and willing to make lifestyle changes. There will be recommendations for nutrition, sleep, exercise and movement, stress management and toxin reduction. That is for sure going to happen with seeing us here at Arizona Wellness Medicine, but with any functional medicine providers also. So you just have to be ready for that. It’s very different than traditional medicine where you go in and tell the doctor how you’re feeling and then they say, “Okay, basically here’s this pill or procedure we have for you.”
This is very much an interactive and proactive type of medicine. There are going to be lots of actions that you as the patient are going to be asked to follow through on to create the success for your plan. The other thing I want to make sure to convey is that there will be quite a bit of laboratory testing and that’s one thing that makes functional medicine what it is. We have a saying: test don’t guess. And so really diving into the multiple reasons why those root causes that we just talked about, a lot of times we do have to get into some advanced functional medicine testing.
So we are going to be doing, most likely be doing a good panel of blood work on you that’s going to be more comprehensive usually than what your traditional doctor is ordering. But on top of that, we may be looking at some advanced functional medicine tests, like stool studies or a breath test or an organic acids test or a heavy metals test or environmental toxins tests and so on and so forth, food sensitivity testing. There are lots of different advanced testing avenues that we can go down, but those will be chosen based on you and your personal situation. There’s not a cookie cutter answer to prescribe those tests.
Be ready to participate and do the advanced functional medicine laboratory testing. Some of those tests may or may not be covered by insurance. So the insurance coverage of the functional medicine tests is variable. We do have a lot of patients that are able to get some money back from their insurance company when they submit for reimbursement. But just be prepared and know that there may be some out of pocket expenses for the laboratory tests.
I hope this helps you decide if functional medicine is for you or not. And of course, I wish you well on your journey and love functional medicine. This is Dr. Emily Parke with your functional health minute for today.