Reprinted here with permission from Dr. Wahls:
I am aware that some individuals have posted concerns about the costs of functional medicine. I saw that people have been expressing concern, frustration and anger that functional medicine costs so much, or even anger that I charge so much for a consultations in my private practice. – hence I am writing this post.
Functional medicine is very time intensive. Yesterday I spent 6 hours on one person’s first visit with me. A conventional physician would have been able to spend 30 or 45 minutes and then 10 to 15 minutes per visit for the follow up. A detailed review of all of the environmental factors, diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that contributed to the health decline is very time intensive. This is why functional medicine practitioners are not able to take insurance. If they do, they cannot pay their staff (or their liability insurance) or themselves. Furthermore if they do take insurance, the health insurance company is likely to complete a practice audit and force the practitioner to refund to the health insurance company any payment for services – as functional medicine evaluations and treatments are not covered services.
I took care of people in the VA for years – and saw people using primary care labs that I described in my book – and used group encounters to teach people how to view the relationship between their diet, lifestyle and environmental exposures and their health – and then begin adopting the various diet plans we recommended.
Because I want to facilitate an epidemic of health – I have written several books, have a website and social media where my staff and I post information daily. You need a computer and an internet connection to see the information.
I receive requests daily from people around the globe who want more support and to consult with me. I have created products that provide more support to implement functional medicine principles with higher costs for higher levels of support. I am grateful for the people who choose to buy the additional support services because that allows me to pay staff and cover my costs for conducting webinars, and providing free content on social media. I am grateful that some people want to come for an intensive functional medicine evaluation in my private practice – which again allows me to support my staff so that I can provide as much free content as I do via social media.
There are many functional medicine books available in the library. There are many functional medicine podcasts, interviews and videos you can learn from. You can use my book and work with your primary care team to implement and monitor your progress.
Some of you may decide that your finances are such that you can only work with your primary care team and my book. For the vast majority of people implementing the dietary choices 100% is what restores their health. If you will commit to doing that .. likely you achieve a radical improvement in your health and will have no need for a functional medicine consult. The majority of people I have seen in my clinic at the VA additional testing was not required – people needed emotional help to do the work of changing their diet and lifestyle. They did not need more fancy testing.
Some of you may decide you have the financial resources and want to buy the additional support ( and I am grateful for those who do so I can pay staff to provide as much free content as we do) or consult with a functional medicine practitioner and understand that a functional medicine evaluation is very time intensive for the health professional and the patient.
There are many ways to find diet and lifestyle information and support for your journey. Stay positive. Do what you can. Use the library. Work with your primary care team. Do not obsess over whether you can afford functional medicine. Obsess over learning how to cook at home. Obsess over eating what is recommended and eliminating what is harmful.
Obsess over what you can do.
Let go of what you cannot do or access.
We saw remarkable success in patients who implemented the dietary recommendations – with zero fancy testing. The most critical is to understand that there is a very large difference between doing the diet most of the time (even 95%) and doing the diet all the time – 100%.
Keep working at it and keep working at doing the protocol a little better a little more effectively each week.
It took me 17 years to get my daily program to where I am today… and I am still improving my diet and lifestyle choices. You will also hopefully keep improving yours continually as well.
My gratitude is immeasurable for Dr. Wahls dedication to teaching everyone who seeks to recover via her reasonably books, webinars, website, online and documentary interviews, paid visits and her annual seminar.
Today was the first day I registered key tones on the keto urine strips. So excited, I feel like I’m back on the fast track. Yesterday and particularly last night was a painful detox. All good this morning. So I don’t scare you with the “painful” term, I’ll explain, very briefly. Gas, a lot of gas that became trapped under my left breast between my ribs, which created a stabbing pain that went on all night. Everyone will have some kind of detox, not everyone will have trapped gas pain like that. Wasn’t fun, but brewed bay leaf tea, took some Tylenol and finally went to sleep at 4:30 am. Right now, I feel like a million bucks! Today’s blog became about other important topics, most especially Dr. Wahls’ message above. Tomorrow, I’ll post more resources.