You’ve probably heard the term ‘functional medicine’ and it either piqued your interest or went in one-ear-and-out the other.

The name is not exciting by any means and it’s easy for your eyes to gloss over since the name sounds like a technical sales pitch. I’ve written in other blogs about what it is and how it differs from Western or conventional medicine that most of us in the US are used to. 

But what is the process like?

Every FM (functional medicine) doc operates differently and because it is individualized medicine, every patient is treated differently depending on their condition and circumstances. 

However, I’ll explain my basic process to give you an overview of what the process of being a functional medicine patient is like.


Whether you book online or with one of our team members, you’ll automatically be sent a confirmation email that includes a teal ‘Manage My Appointment’ button where you’ll find all of your new patient paperwork.  

It’s important that you fill this out ASAP! It can take anywhere from 20-90 min to fill out depending on the complexity of your case. The more information you give the better we will be able to help you. It’s easy to forget to fill this out so it’s better to do it right away! (Check your junk if you don’t see it)

We also ask that you write out and email us the following:

1. A timeline that includes: 

    • the onset of your symptoms
    • any diagnoses given
    • the start/stop date of any medications (antibiotics, depression or pain meds, immunosuppressants, cortisol shots, etc)
    • surgeries
    • traumas (car accidents, loss of a loved one, abuse, etc)
    • major life events (moving, breakups, divorces, new jobs, etc). 

If it pops into your mind while you’re filling it out, include it on the timeline. 

2. Any lab work that has been done by other practitioners within the last 3-6 months. A LOT can change within this time period so most likely we will need to do updated labs but this can give us a history of what’s been happening in the recent past.

3. A picture of all the supplements you currently take lined up next to each other, so we can see the brand that makes it too.  

We require the paperwork to be filled out at LEAST 48 hours before your appointment so we have ample time to get familiar with your case and prepare for the appointment. If it’s not filled out ahead of time, we may have to cancel your appointment. These sessions are mostly done virtually but can be done in person upon special request.


The purpose of this appointment is to discuss your goals of working together and identify your top 3-4 health concerns. We will determine which lab tests to order and discuss any diet or lifestyle habits that should be changed ASAP. I MAY give some supplement recommendations right off the bat but I usually wait until we’ve seen the labs because they can alter your test results OR the test results will change which supplements we take. Even though 99% of people want to feel better yesterday, it’s important that we do things in a certain order to get the best, most conclusive testing results. 



The lab tests that we recommend as functional practitioners differ from your regular doctors in that they are more specific and comprehensive. 


We test for more markers (glucose, A1C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, MMA) than traditional medicine and use lab tests that use the latest, cutting-edge scientific research.  It takes years (if not a decade) for the newest scientific research to trickle down to become standard practice in mainstream medicine. That means your doctor may be basing their recommendations on what was big news 10-20 years ago! <cough cholesterol cough>


In Functional Medicine, we want your test results to be in OPTIMAL ranges, not just ‘within the normal range’ of the average person. 

Fun fact: did you know that many conventional lab ranges are based on the average American’s test score? It’s not even based on what is considered healthy. Does the average American getting bloodwork seem like the poster child of health to you?

This is the difference between living in survival mode with your conventional lab ranges or getting your body into it’s optimal thriving mode by making sure you’re within the functional lab ranges. We use tighter lab ranges and even when something is on the higher end of the range, we take that into consideration and take action to prevent it from getting worse.


Many of these tests are not covered by insurance (except for some tests by Genova Diagnostics) and can range anywhere from $60-$600 per test.  For the average functional medicine patient, we generally do 2-4 tests at the initial consultation which can be around $500-$1500 in testing.

Did that give you sticker shock? It certainly did for me the first time I worked with a functional medicine practitioner. When we are used to the idea of insurance paying for things, it can seem downright painful to have to pay out-of-pocket.

But this is the reality of our current medical model. And if you’ve found yourself reading this page I’m guessing that you:

A) Haven’t found the answers you’re looking for from your Western doctors or by following insurance/big pharma dictated treatments and tests. (aka “your labs are normal”)

B) Are looking for a more holistic and preventative approach to live a long, healthy life.

If either of the above is true, I think you may have already recognized that our current medical system doesn’t excel at preventative medicine or treating chronic health conditions.

The tools in their toolbelt are limited (pharmaceuticals, surgery, refer to PT, eating ‘heart healthy’) when it comes to preserving and enhancing health. It’s sick care, not health care.

The unfortunate truth is that most of us will have to play outside of the insurance and big pharma ballgame to get the answers that we are searching for — and with that comes investment and commitment to our health.

You can dink around going from doctor to doctor running tests that will tell you whether you’re on the verge of being seriously ill or not and leave you at a dead end but this doesn’t have to be the reality. If you choose to make the commitment to do the Functional Lab Tests and get down to the root of your health condition, we almost ALWAYS find something to work on. It’s incredibly rare that “everything comes back normal” when we do the tests that we do so there’s always something that we can fine-tune and work on. 


If we are doing multiple tests, we use a third party called Rupa Health to order our tests. They offer a very user-friendly platform where we can order lab tests from multiple companies and then they send you an email to review the tests and complete the payment.

If we are only doing 1-2 tests we may order directly from the labs for simplicity sake.

The tests will generally be shipped to you and you can complete them at a local phlebotomy center (like Labcorp or Quest)or in the convenience of your own home with a concierge phlebotomist. For the stool and saliva samples, you collect them yourself and mail them in.

This may include but is not limited to:


This is much more in-depth than what your average doctor normally tests for and is why most bloodwork done previously will be relatively unhelpful.

My testing includes a full thyroid panel, full iron panel, inflammation markers, comprehensive B12, and vitamin D testing as well as other important markers that are often left out of your run-of-the-mill doctor’s checkup.

If you have a good working relationship with your doctor we can see if they will order the tests for you to get it covered by insurance and will email you a letter to give to them. This can be more time and effort-consuming if they are unable or unwilling to perform all the tests requested. We will want to get as much information as possible in order to paint the clearest picture of your health possible. 

If you don’t have a normal doc that you work with or don’t feel like jumping through the sometimes necessary hoops in order to achieve this, we can order through my company which will be out-of-pocket and about ~$450 (at the time of writing this blog).

Read more about each individual test here.

The motto in functional medicine is “test, don’t guess” so we can create the most effective and efficient treatment plan for you. When we skimp on testing and just ‘guess’ you have SIBO for example, we may not be choosing the best probiotics or prebiotics that are best for your condition, which can create more discomfort and delay your healing process, draining both time and money in the long run.



It’s INCREDIBLY important to read the test instructions for all of your tests as soon as we request them for you! 

Some of these tests can be quite complex and you want to make sure that you have all the necessary equipment included in your test kit once it arrives and to make sure that you’re following all the diet, medication, and supplement restrictions. Some require you to stop taking certain supplements for 2-3 weeks prior while others may need you to do a certain diet prior to taking the test.


Some of these tests can take 3-4 weeks to get the results once YOU have sent in your samples so for us to get your healing journey jumpstarted, it’s important that you try to get the tests done as soon as possible. We ask that you send us a text or email once you have sent in your sample so we can be on alert for the results.

Consider this scenario — we have our initial consultation and afterward, you forget about the Rupa email and don’t pay the bill for 5 days. It takes another 4 days to receive the kit but you were still taking your digestive enzymes or charcoal pills so you have to wait another week for that to clear out of your system. Right when you’re ready to take the test, you get your period and aren’t supposed to collect the stool sample during your period. We’re now 3 weeks post-initial consult. You send in your test results and it takes another 3 weeks to get the results and another week for you to schedule your Case Review with us.

That’s almost 2 months from when we first met! A lot can change in two months in terms of symptoms, plus that’s also two more months of not getting the ball rolling on your treatment plan.

How do I know this? Because I did that. I was that person who didn’t read the directions right away and was missing pieces from my kit, and it took me forever to feel like I was being proactive about my health.

But now that you know the process, I know that this won’t happen to you, right?

During the initial consultation we will often recommend that you start the 30-day Paleo Reset or another diet that applies to your symptoms and conditions.



The moment you’ve been eagerly awaiting has arrived—the culmination of our comprehensive testing and the key to unlocking the big picture of your health. With all the puzzle pieces in hand, I’ve meticulously analyzed the data and generated a detailed report that provides valuable insights into your unique health profile.

Based on the test results, I create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs. This comprehensive plan encompasses various aspects of your life, including dietary adjustments, lifestyle modifications, targeted supplementation, and potentially further testing to confirm or rule out any findings from the initial assessment.

During the Case Review, I will walk you through the lab results and treatment plan, ensuring you have a thorough understanding of the findings and the rationale behind the recommended interventions. It’s essential for you to be well-informed and empowered to take an active role in your health journey.

Following our initial consultation, we will schedule a follow-up appointment based on your treatment plan and desired level of support. This may be set at 30, 60, or 90 days, allowing us to track your progress, make any necessary adjustments, and provide ongoing guidance and encouragement.

It’s important to remember that the process of regaining optimal health is not a quick fix. Just as it took time to develop the habits that contributed to your current state, it will also take time to reverse course and establish new, healthier patterns. 

True health is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and consistency. But rest assured, with our comprehensive approach and personalized support, we will navigate this journey together, setting you on the path to long-lasting vitality and well-being.

With a strong foundation of knowledge and effective treatment protocols, I am confident that by following the recommended treatment protocols, we can witness remarkable changes and improvements in your health.  If I don’t feel confident in your condition or feel like we need to refer you out, I’ll do that too! 

My goal is to get you feeling your best and if we need a team to do that, count me in coach! Remember, this is your body, you’re the captain of this ship and nobody knows it better than you do. 

Listening to yourself and what feels right for you is an important component of healing and finding your path on your healing journey. 

I’m here to provide guidance and education along the way but it’s up to you to do the work and find what works best for you and your body.  I am committed to working alongside you as a teammate, supporting you in finding the best path forward. Your healing adventure is unique, and I am honored to be a part of it.

Ready to start your healing journey?