If you want to get answers about your health, you often turn to your primary care doctor. But what if that gets you nowhere? That was my experience for years and years and years. I spent many different times in the emergency room as a little kid in excruciating stomach pain, to be told they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I grew up with acne that only got worse as I aged and was told the only thing that would fix it was accutane. And as I got older and (slightly) wiser, this made less and less sense to me. Our bodies are made to thrive. They are made to heal themselves. But when they aren’t given the correct tools, this healing and thriving process may never take shape, leading us into even more struggles with our health. That’s why we turn to experts to help guide us in finding those tools. Are you getting my butchered analogy? Doctors are our experts to help us heal yet our country continues to get sicker and sicker. Is this their fault with the tools that THEY are given in our messy healthcare system? No. But it’s hard for us outsiders to understand where to turn to when we continue to get sick and no one seems to know how to help.

Well, that is where a functional medicine doctor can make ALL the difference. A functional medicine doctor is a person who wants to look at the whole picture of your health, like your stress, sleep, emotions, and all the other things that could mess with what’s going on inside. And then they take all that information into consideration while they run different tests such as bloodwork, stool tests, urine, and more. Instead of just looking at your symptoms, they try to uncover underlying causes of those symptoms. And instead of prescribing you medication that often simply covers up the issue instead of resolving it altogether, they look at different types of treatments and supplements that may end these issues completely. Pretty.freaking.rad.

So when I was sick of not getting answers and sick of hearing nothing was wrong with me by these different modern medicine experts, I finally turned to a functional medicine doctor and learned more about my body than I ever thought possible. I learned that I have a slow liver detox, most likely leading to acne issues, and how I could support that through food and supplements. I learned that I was MTHFR+ and that I needed to choose supplements that were activated or methylated instead of simply grabbing any supplement off the store shelf. I learned that my adrenals were depleted and that high intensity exercise was not the best type of workout for me. But then most of all through this experience with an FMD, I learned how to support my health when stepping into a challenging pregnancy and what to do postpartum to ensure I healed optimally. Through my functional medicine doctor, I was able to get multiple blood panels done throughout my pregnancy and after to help me see if I was getting adequate nutrition in for me and Avery. Since primary care doctors and/or obgyn’s don’t offer this as part of your pregnancy plan, I was able to advocate for myself, get my bloodwork tested, and supplement via food to balance out any discrepancies that showed up. And because of that, I’ve healed extremely well after giving birth to Avery. PLUS, after years of my husband dealing with different health issues that plagued him every single day (longterm work stress can really f*ck a person up), Brian saw my FMD and I’ve never seen him happier or healthier. It’s been incredible watching him become the best version of himself, both inside and out.

I have a full video below about working with a functional medicine doctor, what it’s like to get different tests done (such as a stool test, which won’t be your favorite experience of your life), the costs, and more. From my experience, none of this has been covered by health insurance, which is the real kick in the pants. But I’ve learned over and over throughout the years that if I want to get actual answers about how to support my body and thrive, insurance will not be part of that. It’s sick care and not health care, and I’m in the market of being healthy. This is only my experience and other people may have a better experience with their own health insurance, but everything I have had to do to get answers has been out of pocket. Not ideal in the slightest. But I hope this post and video help you advocate for yourself so you can wake up each day with energy and know that your body is thriving. We all deserve to experience that throughout our lives!

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  1. AMG says:

    Great article. I’ve been working with a functional doctor for 10 years now and I’ve never felt better. I’m pretty sure she saved my husband’s life by testing for things that no one else does. Life changing. Now I see my primary doctor once a year and go in armed with test results and information from my functional doctor. My primary doctor doesn’t really care so I’m glad I have a team behind me, regardless of their speciality. You have to take control of your own health!

  2. JOLIE says:

    Hi Juli! Thank you for sharing. Can you share the name of your functional medicine doctor? I am currently looking for one myself and would love to try yours. TIA!