4 Mistakes to Avoid

When Choosing an Integrative-Functional Medicine Provider

1) Choosing an integrative-functional medicine provider that does not do functional lab testing

When selecting a provider to help guide you on your journey to wellness, it’s important to find a practitioner who is focused on identifying ROOT CAUSES. Many providers will use alternative medications or supplements to treat symptoms; this type of “green medicine” does not address the underlying cause of a patient’s health challenge. This leads to the continued need for expensive on-going supplementation. It is important to note there is a cost of failing to identify the underlying causes: further deterioration of a person’s health and need for an ever-increasing list of supplements to take. A skilled physician will attempt to identify the underlying cause of health issues with functional lab testing, prior to suggesting high quality supplementations. Advanced lab testing allows the practitioner to identify clinical blind spots and monitor each patient’s progress. It is undeniable that high quality supplementation can provide outstanding outcomes in a patient’s journey to optimal health, but even the best tools fail in the wrong hands. Make sure you choose a provider who is skilled in interpreting functional lab tests and is qualified to determine which supplements to recommend.

2) Choosing an integrative- functional medicine provider that offers the lowest price or the one that is covered by your insurance

To some degree, we are all attracted to a low price because we want to work within a budget. Many people feel that because they have insurance coverage they should choose a provider that is in network or bills insurance. Choosing an integrative-functional medicine provider based on this criteria can actually cost you MORE in the long run. Some integrative-functional medicine practitioners lure potential patients into their offices by offering cheap or FREE initial consultations, then once you are in their office you are pressured into purchasing a costly, one-size-fits-all package. Many practices will add hidden costs and large upcharges to lab testing in order to recover the cost of these free consultations. This makes testing more expensive for the patient and may influence a provider’s choice in testing.

Integrative-Functional medicine is not as cheap as some would like you to believe. A good practitioner has spent a good amount of time and money on continuing education. Low pricing typically indicates the level of value a practitioner places on their time, training and services. Integrative-Functional medicine is a highly personalized approach to your health. Although it may seem more expensive initially, it is unmatched in value. In the long run a proactive approach to addressing your health concerns will not only save you money spent on healthcare, but will add to your quality of life.

3) Choosing an integrative-functional medicine provider who claims their method is best

You may think that one method of integrative-functional medicine is as good as another. This is not true. Virtually every practitioner you meet has access to the same lab testing and supplements. Merely having the availability of functional lab testing does not guarantee an optimal result. Integrative-functional medicine is extremely personalized, a good practitioner knows that the method that is best for you, is the method that achieves your health goals. Skilled integrative-functional medicine providers require many years of training and continuous, ongoing education. You may find that the same lab result may be interpreted more comprehensively by an experienced practitioner.

Symptoms are typically one of the last things to present in the progression of a chronic health condition; this means that your body has fought for a long time to allow you to function normally and symptom-free. A practitioner who addresses symptoms without attempting to identify the root cause is only adding to the burden on your body’s systems which can cause more damage over time. Finding a practitioner who is focused on identifying the underlying causes of your health concerns while they provide some immediate symptom relief is important. A skilled practitioner is not only concerned with eliminating your symptoms, but also addressing the root cause of your health challenge.

4) Choosing an integrative-functional medicine provider who has a onesize-fits-all approach

Functional medicine is about finding the root cause of illness. Each individual is unique and they each require a unique approach. Avoid choosing a practitioner who already has a program in place before they determine your needs. A one-size fits-all approach is designed to benefit the greatest number of people, the most common issues, it’s not designed for you.

Remember this: the method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your goal. So before you choose a functional medicine practice, identify your objectives. Then select the practice that you feel helps you reach those objectives.

There are many different methods available to identify illness and address the underlying cause. Choose a qualified integrative-functional medicine practitioner that will recognize your individual needs and design a personalized program based on your symptoms and lab results. An exceptional integrative-functional medicine provider will go far beyond interpreting labs and supplement recommendations. They will become a valued partner in your health working beside you to improve all aspects of your physical and mental health. Make sure you choose a practitioner who’s methods meet your needs.

This guide was written to help you better understand functional medicine. I hope you have found it helpful. If you have any questions about functional medicine, you are invited to call us at our office.

We’ve dedicated our business to empower patients with the information needed to achieve optimal health for life. We’ll be happy to help you in any way.