What to Expect from a Functional Medicine Visit
Functional Medicine providers are trained on how to uncover the underlying causes of your health problems through careful history taking, physical examination and laboratory testing.
In general, a visit with a Functional Medicine doctor, such as Dr. Johnson, is considerably more thorough than you may be used to with a conventionally trained doctor. You can expect to participate in a very detailed discussion about your health history, including but not limited to:
- Your personal and family history
- The circumstances around your first symptoms
- Physical and mental / emotional stressors that may be affecting your health
- A detailed physical examination (specific to your case) will be performed to see if there are any visible signs that provide clues to what is going on under the surface.
These areas help the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just in terms of your physical symptoms. You may also expect to discuss the experience and care you may have had, or are currently having, with other health care providers, so that we may build upon or improve what care you have previously undergone.
Laboratory testing is likely to be performed as well. While some of these tests are the same ones used by conventional doctors, other more specialized tests will be ordered to determine the causes of your illness. Generally, a conventional doctor has not been trained in how to use or interpret many of these specialized tests, which makes the Functional Medicine doctor's approach unique. Specialized testing includes testing for:
- Whole body hormone imbalances
- Vitamin deficiencies and sub-optimal nutrition status
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Food allergy and sensitivity / intolerance
- As well as specific inflammation and genetic markers unique to you
Functional Medicine Treatment Approach
In addition to lifestyle changes, Functional Medicine treatments may include combinations of:
- Botanical medicines
- Amino acids
- Therapeutic nutrition plans
- Bioidentical hormones
- Detoxification programs
If prescription medications are necessary, your case will be co-cared with a prescribing provider.
It is important that lab analysis and clinical testing findings reveal a nutritional deficiency, before being recommended or prescribed vitamins / supplements. Without this confirmation, a patient would be "guessing" what the best thing to take is, and this can yield unwanted results.
If you were found to have a nutritional deficiency, then specific pharmaceutical grade vitamins / supplements will be prescribed. These differ from cheap "chain store vitamins" in that they have been subjected to more thorough testing for purity and potency. Additionally, Functional Medicine doctors are trained to know which "form" of vitamin / supplement is most absorbable. Sadly, many chain store vitamins / supplements are made in the cheapest, and oftentimes, least absorbable form. If your body cannot use the supplement you are buying, then you are wasting your time and money, and potentially harming your health.
If you were found to have a food sensitivity / intolerance, then a specific meal plan / long term diet avoiding the offending food item will be prescribed. Food sensitivity is not the same as a food allergy.
- Food Sensitivity: provides many ill-defined symptoms such as:
- Joint / muscle pain
- Frequent infections / colds / flus
- Sleeping problems
- And / or many other possible symptoms
- Food Allergy: an immediate reaction involving:
- Difficulty breathing
If adrenal, thyroid, or male / female sex hormones are found to be imbalanced in relation to one another, then either one or a combination of some bioidentical hormones, botanical medicines, and lifestyle / diet changes may be advised. Your symptoms will be monitored and your lab values will be rechecked after a designated period of time.
Payment for Functional Medicine Visits with Dr Johnson
Functional Medicine visits are very in depth and are likely to be more involved than any type of health care visit you have had in the past. Functional Medicine is very cutting edge and focuses on wellness, prevention, and determining root causes. While our chiropractic services are in-network with most insurance carriers, we are NOT in-network for functional medicine services. Unfortunately, accepting insurance would prevent us from being able to provide the level of care that we feel our patients deserve. For this reason we do not submit functional medicine visits to insurance. If you would like to try submitting on your own, we will be happy to provide you with an itemized receipt after your visit has concluded.
We are able to offer deeply discounted lab rates through our doctor lab network membership. We utilize Quest Labs in Columbia. We also offer specialty labs through several different companies. These discounted rates only apply if the labs are paid for out-of-pocket by the patient. Nearly 100% of the time patients save more money utilizing our lab than by paying through insurance.
Functional Medicine Fee Schedule:
New Patient Nutritional Evaluation and Treatment: $100.00
Returning Patient Nutritional Evaluation and Treatment (20-30 min): $50.00 Tele-medicine Visits: Same rates as in-Office.
Lab Rates:Through our lab network membership we are able to get Wholesale Lab rates
Medicinary and Nutraceutical Cost: Varies based on product
Scheduling - Cancellations - Missed Appointments
New patient visits and returning patient visits can be scheduled online or by calling the office.
If you are a current chiropractic and / or acupuncture patient, you will need to schedule a separate "first time" visit to discuss your care via functional medicine.
Cancellations require 24 hour notice.
Missed phone consultations will be charged the respective fee expected at time of service.
We do require 50% of the visits cost be paid up front due to the large amount of time allotted for this service. This ensures that you are able to receive the highest level of care at your scheduled time of service.
Due to the time allotment involved, if a functional medicine visit is cancelled less than 24 hours, we reserve the right to bill the full visit's cost at our discretion.