Is Functional Medicine Right for Me? Let’s Address 3 Common Misconceptions
Most of us associate visits to the doctor with boring waiting rooms, short appointments, and doctors who don’t have time to answer our questions. Traditional doctors are quick to prescribe medication to address outward symptoms but don’t have time or energy to dig deeper.
There’s always a root cause behind any health problem, and functional medicine is all about finding—and treating—that root cause. Functional medicine doctors also address the other aspects of health: mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
While some prescriptions are necessary and prescribed, we also use “lifestyle medicine” to maximize the health benefits of a good diet, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction. We also take into consideration the enormous impact that emotional and social stress has on your overall health. We work with a group of providers that includes doctors, dieticians, health coaches, and acupuncturists.
Maybe you’ve been considering functional medicine but still aren’t sure it’s a good fit. Or maybe you’ve heard traditional doctors criticize functional medicine for one reason or another. Let’s discuss three reasons you may be second-guessing functional medicine and why these hesitations don’t hold much weight. The short answer is, “Yes, functional medicine is right for almost everyone!”
Problem 1: Functional Medicine is “Quackery”
If you’ve been researching functional medicine, you may have run into “real” physicians who say the field is all a bunch of quackery and that functional medicine doctors follow pseudo-science.
Yes, functional medicine does not follow all mainstream conventions, but that’s because mainstream medicine has serious blind spots. If you’ve been researching if functional medicine is right for you, chances are you’ve stumbled across an article with a disclaimer about how functional medicine isn’t proven or accepted by the health community at large, and this may be one of the biggest reasons why people don’t want to pursue functional medicine. Unfortunately, these posts focus on a few people on the fringes of functional medicine. They don’t address the majority of healthcare practitioners who achieve great results for patients using functional approaches.
The truth is, most functional medicine doctors have the exact same credentials as primary care doctors. If you find a functional medicine doctor who doesn’t have proper training, you’ve found the wrong one.
For example, Being Functional’s Dr. Basima Williams has multiple credentials, and she’s a “normal” primary care doctor who also practices functional medicine. Her goal is to bridge the gap between traditional and functional medicine to serve members in the best way possible.
Problem 2: Functional Medicine is Expensive
You may be wondering, “Can I even afford to pay for functional medicine? Is functional medicine right for me?” Budget is another major factor in deciding if functional medicine is the best option.
At a traditional doctor’s office, most patients rely on insurance to cover their fees. However, most people have experienced a time when an extra fee or random, out-of-pocket expense popped up out of nowhere.
Most of us don’t walk away from a doctor’s appointment feeling like we got the care we needed. We’ve likely been prescribed some kind of medication that alleviates symptoms but doesn’t really heal us. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to spend more money to truly recover.
Functional medicine doctors normally don’t accept insurance, but this isn’t always the case. As you research functional medicine, find out if your potential doctors accept insurance.
Telemedicine is a fantastic way to make functional medicine more affordable. Being Functional offers 100% virtual medicine, so that we can offer our services at lower costs.
Functional Medicine doctors may order routine labs and at Being Functional, these labs are done through Labcorp or Quest labs and generally covered through insurance. However, what makes a functional doctor stand out is the additional training they have received in understanding “specialty” labs that are often used to find the root cause of medical illness. These labs are generally not covered by insurance. At Being Functional, all specialty labs are done with significant discounts.
Finally, many members can use their Health Spending Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FBA) to pay for functional medicine. They can also submit a superbill for “Out of Network” expenses to their insurance company in hopes of retrieving some costs. Thankfully, there are many ways to make functional medicine more affordable.
Problem 3: Where Do I Even Start?
Confusion and option overload may leave you unsure if functional medicine is the right fit for you. The truth is, functional medicine is for everyone because medicine should personalized and not be a one-size-fits-all treatment.. Functional medicine is all about helping all types of patients with a variety of health goals. You’re just unsure where to begin.
Start by assessing your own life and health. What areas are lacking? Maybe you want to have more energy, or maybe you’re dealing with some serious health issues. Write down your health goals and let them guide your research.
A Google search is a quick way to find functional medicine doctors, but ask around and gauge your local options. A quality functional medicine doctor will have a clear website with proper credentials, testimonials, and a free consultation call. Take advantage of the resources available to you.
You may find after all that virtual medicine is the right fit for you. At Being Functional, we care for patients on both sides of the United States. If you’re a California, Florida, or Missouri resident, see if we would be a good fit for you.
Is Functional Medicine Right for Me?
If you’re wondering, “is functional medicine right for me?” consider that functional medicine doctors are reliable, affordable, and convenient. As a member of our practice, you’ll receive quality time and treatment based on your unique situation.
Being Functional offers virtual functional medicine for patients in Florida, California, and Missouri. You can schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about our practice, share some of your health goals, and see if we’d be a perfect fit for you.