Q & A: The Basics of Functional Medicine

Q & A: The Basics of Functional Medicine

What exactly is Functional Medicine?

In is simplest form, Functional Medicine seeks to find the root cause of disease. At Foundations Medical Center we take an extensive history and spend a great deal of time discussing lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, genetics, and stress. We order personalized lab testing that includes conventional labs like cholesterol panels, extensive thyroid testing, and hormones levels, as well as more complex functional testing such as stool analysis, adrenal profiles, and nutritional panels. Our goal is to find any excesses and remove them, and uncover any deficiencies and replace them.

How is this different than my regular family medicine clinic?

We use an innovative systems approach that to assess and treat your health concerns. Perhaps you have experienced having blood tests, x-rays or other diagnostic tests done, only for all of the results to come back normal. But you know that you are sick.  Many causes of illness cannot be found in the usual places.

We look for food allergies, hidden infections, environmental toxins, mold exposures, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic imbalances. New gene testing can uncover underlying genetic predispositions that can be modified through diet, lifestyle, supplements or medications.

We are skilled in evaluating, assessing and treating chronic problems such as fibromyalgia, fatigue syndromes, irritable bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders, mood and behavior disorders, memory problems, and other chronic, complex conditions. We also focus on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, hormonal imbalances and digestive disorders.

What can I expect at my first visit with you?

The first office visit typically lasts an hour and a half. We will discuss your symptoms, health concerns, medical, family, and social history, childhood, diet, exercise and sleep habits, among other information that will help create your treatment plan. We will also review any previous lab testing and/or medical records from your primary or specialty physicians. You will also have a physical exam as well as ample time to ask any questions you may have. At the end of the visit, I will determine which laboratory tests you should proceed with. I typically start with extensive conventional lab testing to assess your thyroid, blood chemistries, hormones, and cholesterol. Functional testing is also important. Stool analysis and nutritional testing are 2 of our most common tests, as they give use lots of useful information about what is going on, and how to move forward with treatment.

Why do you not accept insurance?

Accepting insurance means that a provider directly bills the health insurance company on behalf of the patient. To do that, the provider must enter into a contract with the insurance company—and these contracts limit our ability to provide the best possible service to our patients. Foundations Medical Center has chosen not to contract with insurance companies which allows us to maintain our principles and give our patients the time and care they deserve at every office visit. We are happy to provide you with the necessary paperwork to submit the claim to your insurance provider directly. Most patients with out-of-network benefits, who satisfy their deductible, are reimbursed.