Functional Medicine

Traditionally, physicians’ approaches to treatment has been disease-based, not patient-based.  That means that tradition medicine is like a game of Whack-a-Mole: identify and treat a problem here, identify and treat an issue there.  What’s wrong with this approach is that there is no emphasis on stepping back and addressing the whole person – lifestyle/habit, genetic makeup, environmental factors and even personality elements.

That’s what functional medicine is all about.  Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just a set of symptoms or diseases.  Functional medicine practitioners believe that the best treatment comes from a thorough understanding of the patient, including all parts of their life.

Functional medicine is not a rejection of traditional western medical approaches, but an expansion of them.  Those who practice functional medicine believe in the importance of prevention, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, stress-management, and other wellness approaches to health treatment, in addition to standard treatment.  Functional medicine marries the most tested and validated parts of “alternative” or “integrative” medicine with up-to-the-minute research and diagnostic techniques.

Complex and chronic diseases are escalating rapidly in today’s world.  Almost always, these diseases have multiple causes, including environmental, diet, lifestyle, and even genetic triggers.  Until recently, physicians were simply not trained in the importance of these factors.

That’s where Functional Medicine comes in.  Based on science, research, and clinical analysis, Functional Medicine is a fully-integrated approach to care.  Our goal is not simply to treat you when you are sick.  It’s to keep you healthy and energetic; to help you avoid getting sick; to help you to live your best possible life.  Have you ever heard the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”  That’s how Functional Medicine works.

Give us a call, or stop by, and see if you’d like to add a Functional Medicine assessment to your next visit.

Functional Visit Details and Cost:

A single visit, 1 hour Functional Medicine Consultation is $500 plus the cost of labs.

The consultation includes a thorough review of history, physical exam, a detailed plan on recommended laboratory tests (some tests can be done through insurance). Consultation also includes follow-up with review of laboratory results, recommendations on diet, supplements and possible prescription medications.

We are now accepting new patients. 

Enroll now and enjoy the many benefits provided through Direct Primary Care.

Functional Medicine FAQ

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of a disease. 
Each symptom or diagnosis may be one of many contributions to an individual’s illness. For example, depression can be caused by one or more factors in an individual’s life. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on an individual’s lifestyle, genes, and environment, and only a treatment specific to that individual will address all of these drivers.

How does functional medicine differ from conventional medicine?

There are several ways that functional medicine differs from conventional medicine:
– Functional medicine is proactive, focusing on the prevention of diseases and is cost-effective in the long term. Conventional medicine is reactive, focusing on detecting diseases once you already have them. This can become very expensive in the long term. 
– Functional medicine focused on the biochemical uniqueness of an individual while conventional medicine often treats people based on algorithms.
– Functional medicine is holistic while conventional medicine is specialized.
– Functional medicine focuses on the root cause of a disease while conventional medicine treats the symptoms, not the disease.
– Functional medicine is patient-centric and health-oriented, whereas conventional medicine is physician-centered and disease-oriented.
– Functional medicine treats chronic illnesses while conventional medicine focuses on acute illnesses.

What are the benefits of functional medicine?

Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just a set of symptoms or diseases. Functional medicine practitioners use a holistic approach to understand who you are, knowing that every person is unique and should have a medical plan that is custom fit for their needs.
To put it simply, functional medicine helps you prevent ever getting a disease, rather than merely detecting and treating a disease after you develop one. 

Why doesn’t my Primary Care Physician practice functional medicine?

Functional medicine by nature is a very individualized and personalized approach to medicine. Between balancing large patient rosters, paperwork, and dealing with insurance premiums, primary care physicians simply don’t have the time to dig deeper into each patients’ medical history. Instead, their focus tends to be on symptoms, not causes. 

Are lab tests covered?

No. However, Boston Direct Health negotiates significantly lower costs for medications and lab tests.

What approach does Boston Direct Health use?

Boston Direct Health specializes in functional medicine and emboldens every patient to perform at their very best. 

What should I bring to my first visit?

To make best utilization of your time for your visit, you should have medical records and recent labs sent to our office prior to your Functional Medicine Evaluation. Our office staff can help facilitate getting records sent. We ask that patients fill out the “Medical Symptom Questionnaire” and the “Three Day Food Journal” on the patient portal: http://bostondirecthealth.md-hcom. Come with a list of questions and goals for the visit.

What happens during my first visit?

Your first visit will include a thorough review of your history, a physical exam, and a detailed plan on recommended laboratory tests (some tests can be done through insurance). Your consultation also includes a follow-up to review your lab results, recommendations on diet, supplements, and possible prescription medications. 

How much does it cost?

A single visit, 90 min functional medicine consultation is $500 plus the cost of labs.