Alter Health Services

What is the difference in a Functional Medicine approach and treatment?

Example: Kate is in her mid-30's and suffers from migraine headaches. She is not sure what triggers the debilitating headache and has suffered from them for years. She also suffers from bouts of depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, fatigue and constipation.

Below are the 2 different approaches in treating Kate:

Need answers but don't live near our office?

  • With Functional Medicine we are able to treat people anywhere.
  • Questionnaires, history forms and most lab work are completed at home and then submitted via the mail.
  • Dr. Alter will complete the research then work with you over the phone.

Functional Medicine focuses on uncovering the real underlying causes of an illness. It moves beyond managing symptoms and conditions with prescriptions.

At Alter Health Services we listen intently, test appropriately, and invest time researching  to help you find answers and treat the underlying root-causes of your health issues.

Functional Medicine approach

Advancements in technology and cutting edge tests now allow us to investigate the genetic and epigenetic connections to health and wellness management.

A number of factors play an incredible role in creating hidden causes for symptoms:

  • your family history 
  • genetics
  • diet & nutrition
  • stress levels
  • environment factors

Medicine is now recognizing there is no longer a one-approach fits all. We are each unique. A great example of this is with diets: ever wonder why a Mediterranean or GAPS diet may work for a friend but not for you? Or have you ever listened to all of the prescription drug possible side-effect warnings that start out with "Some people may experience..."

  • You have a feeling that something is just not right

  • Or your concerns about your symptoms are dismissed as "you're just getting older"

  • Perhaps rather than receiving a diagnosis you've been prescribed a number of prescription pills to take....

Functional Medicine

Connecting the dots

It's not a coincidence that a large portion of our community suffer from several different sets of symptoms:

  • heartburn
  • high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • joint pain
  • digestive issues
  • autoimmune disorders
  • the list goes on 

Unfortunately the most common course of action for these people is a drug centered approach that manages symptoms but does not cure the underlying causes and creates their own prescription drug side effects.   

What to expect with your Functional Medicine experience

1. We do the detective work. We start by listening to your story. We collect a detailed and comprehensive health history and gather medical records.

2. A functional medicine exam is performed which usually leads to questions that we hope to answer through the appropriate lab testing.

3. Lab tests are analyzed, research is done.

4. A recovery program is custom crafted for the patient.  

5. We set goals and monitor progress via brief weekly phone calls.  Near the end of the recovery program we send out an update evaluation. 

6. This evaluation in combination with a progress consultation helps us determine if we have reached our goals or need additional work.

Don't be misguided by conventional tests: "My doctor has ran tests on me before and everything came back normal"

In the past 10-15 years the field of Functional Medicine has grown at a tremendous rate. Alter Health Services is currently affiliated with more than a dozen labs offering state of the art testing ranging from genetic profiles to metabolic evaluations and much more. The technology allowing us to investigate the genetic and epigenetic connections to health and wellness management are a real game changer.

Functional Medicine tests differ substantially from those offered at your doctor's office. They are:

  • Much more comprehensive
  • Focused on looking at different yet inter-related markers
  • Interpreted by practitioners who are looking for patterns among several distinct tests along with your family and personal health history

Read more about the types of tests utilized by Alter Health Services and Functional Medicine