Are you looking for a more holistic, but evidence-based approach to your difficult-to-solve illness? In this blog, you will get resources to help you find an integrative and functional medicine doctor in your area. You’ll learn the things that I look for when shopping for the best integrative and functional medicine practitioners out there. I also lay out the differences between conventional, holistic, integrative, and functional medicine as well as the wide range of practitioners who offer integrative and functional medicine services. Save money on integrative and functional medicine office visits, lab testing, and supplements with my tips near the end of this blog. Practitioners, share this blog with potential patients, friends, or family who need help finding an integrative and functional medicine clinician. Patients, whether you are near or far from resources, or if you have a tight budget, find out how to get the functional medicine team you need to help reverse your chronic illness.


Who Could Benefit from an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner?

Almost everyone can benefit from an integrative and functional medicine approach, especially patients with difficult-to-solve conditions. Integrative and functional medicine can be used together with mainstream medical care. I highly recommend integrative and functional medicine for children and the elderly because they can be more vulnerable or sensitive to certain treatments. Integrative and functional medicine is perfect for people trying to optimize their wellness, prevent disease, or if they simply want a more holistic perspective on their healthcare team.

I always want an integrative and functional medicine expert opinion on unexplained chronic illnesses or diseases that are believed to be incurable by mainstream medicine. When a doctor says there is no cure for a disease, that is a red flag to me. They have no more solutions and I need an integrative and functional medicine practitioner to help look for root causes. If you are having a lot of trouble changing your diet and lifestyle, a functional medicine health coach, nutritionist, and/or dietitian can be very helpful. Later in this article, I explain the different types of functional medicine practitioners out there.

These conditions can benefit from an integrative and functional medicine approach:

  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Bloating
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brain fog
  • Cancers
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Constipation
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Genetic or inherited diseases
  • Headache or migraines
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity/ADHD
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Incurable or poorly understood diseases
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Insomnia
  • Insulin resistance or prediabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Nutritional insufficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s
  • Poor mental focus or attention
  • Poor muscle mass
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Skin conditions
  • Toxicity or detoxification challenge
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Unexplained chronic illnesses of all kinds
  • Unexplained neurological symptoms, such as tremors
  • Unexplained disabilities
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss resistance


    How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor Near You

    These institutions work with integrative and functional medicine practitioners regularly and therefore have a database to draw on. There are many different types of integrative and functional medicine practitioners, from medical doctors to chiropractors, from acupuncturists to health coaches. Keep reading to find out more about each profession and which one is right for you.

    United States


    • Nordic Labs–  Contact their country representative to locate a practitioner for you.
    • Colab Services LTD– Ask for a list of clinicians in your country.


    Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

    Telemedicine: Find an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner Wherever You Live

    Integrative and functional medicine practitioners are not easy to find everywhere. If you live on the west coast of the United States, or in the northeastern United States, you should be able to find integrative and functional medicine practitioners near you. These areas are also rich in other complementary medicine practitioners. Big cities are more likely to have these types of clinicians. And as the interest in integrative and functional medicine grows, you can find more practitioners in all areas of the US, even in the southeastern United States.

    However, even if you are in a remote rural area, you can still consult with an integrative and functional medicine practitioner. One of the silver linings of the COVID pandemic is that telemedicine became much more popular and accessible. Find a functional medicine doctor on the web using my tips in the next section. See if they fit your criteria. Contact their office to see what their telemedicine policy is. Sometimes they need to see you once in person to initiate care via telemedicine. Sometimes they need to see you once in person each year. Some practitioners can conduct web consultations without seeing you in person, if they can work with your other medical team members.


    What Qualifications Should You Look for in an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner?

    I have been studying natural medicine, and teaching integrative and functional medicine for a total of 25 years, so my bar is high when I look for a practitioner. I am looking for the clinician’s knowledge level, years of experience, and areas of expertise. You might be looking for a doctor to help you throughout the years. Or you might want a coach to work with you for a short time. Other factors are cost, whether you like the person’s personality/style, and how close they are to where you live. However, if a practitioner is far away from you, it is still possible to consult with them thanks to telemedicine.

    I Look for These Qualifications When Shopping for an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner:

    ♦ Experience. A clinician who has been practicing integrative and functional medicine for more than 10 years.

    ♦ Mention of “root cause” or “underlying cause” on their website or their marketing materials. This is a sign that the practitioner is an investigator; someone who can crack tough cases. They are not going to give you a treatment for your symptoms and send you on your way.

    ♦ Functional testing. A clinician who uses functional testing regularly with his/her patients and says so on the website. I would like to see that the practitioner is doing a variety of functional tests: stool microbiome testing, saliva or urine hormones, urine organic acids, blood minerals, toxic metals, vitamins, food sensitivities, and food allergies.

    ♦ A strategic plan with measurable outcomes. A statement on the website that testing, treating, and following up is part of the health program. They need to monitor how a person does and adjust treatment as needed.

    ♦ A comprehensive list of conditions they claim to treat. Most websites for integrative and functional medicine practitioners list a number of chronic illnesses that are otherwise difficult to treat: autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, hormonal imbalance, mold illness, toxicity, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, to name a few. You don’t see that on most primary care doctors’ sites. Clinicians practicing integrative and functional medicine often treat many unrelated illnesses because their technique targets the root causes, not the symptoms. A list of conditions like this is a clue that the practitioner is experienced with difficult-to-solve cases.

    ♦ Graduate education from a licensed, accredited medical program for doctors (ND, MD, DO, DC).

    ♦ Continuing education certifications from the Institute for Functional Medicine, Kresser Institute (ADAPT) training, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), American Academy of Environmental Medicine, other functional medicine universities, functional nutrition training, clinical nutrition training, holistic health training, Kalish Institute, or training in the Dale Bredesen ReCODE method. These are just a few examples that point to a passionate and educated functional medicine practitioner.

    ♦ Integrated teamwork. A practitioner that works with an integrative team of other health professionals is a huge bonus, though not always easy to find!


    Whole body health

    What System of Medicine Do You Use?

    There are many different systems of healthcare available in the United States and throughout the world. Some people may feel most comfortable using one type. Others may use another. Many people use a combination of medical systems to get their healthcare needs met. For example, they may have a primary care doctor, a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist. In case you are new to this, read on to learn what is holistic medicine, integrative medicine, complementary medicine, and more.


    What is Conventional or Mainstream Medicine?

    Most of us in the United States are familiar with the allopathic medicine model, which is widely available at hospitals and primary care clinics. It is also called “mainstream medicine,” “Western medicine,” or “conventional medicine.” The physician’s job is to investigate the symptoms and lab findings and put a label on the disease- a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, the treatment is clear-cut, usually a corresponding prescription medication, surgery, radiation, or other intervention. Dr. Sidney Baker, MD calls it “prescription pad medicine,” because it is a system of medicine that places emphasis on the diagnosis and prescription pad. Allopathic medicine is the very best model of care for emergency medicine. However, it is poorly suited for treating chronic, complex illness. After all, what do you do when you have the right diagnosis, but the medication doesn’t treat the illness? And if you treat the symptoms, but the disease is still progressing, can you really say the patient is getting better?


    What is Integrative Medicine?

    Integrative medicine is an approach to healthcare that combines conventional medicine with complementary therapies. It focuses on treating the whole person and creating personalized treatment plans. By integrating different approaches, it aims to support the body’s natural healing abilities and promote overall well-being. Integrative medicine combines the use of conventional treatments, such as medications and surgeries, with complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, and mind-body techniques. These complementary therapies are often used alongside conventional treatments to provide additional support and improve overall well-being.


    What is Functional Medicine?

    Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that focuses on finding and treating the root causes of health problems. Instead of just giving medication to temporarily relieve symptoms, functional medicine aims to find out why those symptoms are happening in the first place. Functional medicine considers the interconnectedness of different body systems and aims to create personalized treatment plans to support the body’s natural healing abilities. Doctors spend time talking to patients, asking questions about their lifestyle, diet, stress levels, environment, sleep patterns, and other factors that may contribute to their health concerns.

    Functional medicine practitioners look at illness from a completely different perspective than mainstream medical practitioners. Functional medicine doesn’t rely as heavily on the diagnosis or the symptoms because the same symptoms can be caused by many different illnesses (see Figure 1). It is also referred to as systems medicine, evidence-based medicine, or root cause medicine. Practitioners look for and try to fix the underlying causes of disease. They focus on the underlying biological, physiological, or emotional systems that are damaged and malfunctioning. The goal is to support the body’s natural ability to heal by removing obstacles and providing what the body needs for healthy function. Functional medicine practitioners try to use diet, lifestyle, and supplements as much as possible, relying on prescription medications and surgeries only when absolutely necessary.

    Figure 1. The Functional Medicine Tree illustrates how functional medicine practitioners visualize the root causes of disease, the physiological and emotional systems that are impacted, and the eventual expression as disease symptoms. Functional medicine doctors focus on the underlying causes and imbalanced systems (roots and the trunk of the tree) to reverse chronic illnesses, instead of the symptoms (the leaves).

    I often use the term, “integrative and functional medicine practitioners.” I suggested and advocated its use in the title of the book, “Laboratory Evaluations in Integrative and Functional Medicine,” because there is so much overlap between integrative and functional medicine practitioners. Integrative medicine is an inclusive word that bridges the gap between mainstream medicine, functional medicine, and complementary medicine.


    Book covers for “Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine,” and “Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine.” I advocated using the term when the Metametrix Institute and editors, Andy Bralley and Richard Lord, were determining the title for the 2nd edition of the book. I co-authored chapters in both books and helped with editing and getting the Laboratory Evaluations book publication-ready.


    In integrative and functional medicine, each person is unique. Each person’s symptoms and illness are unique. Therefore, a customized treatment has to be designed to address each person’s illness. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment in integrative and functional medicine.



    woman meditating

    What is Holistic Medicine?

    Holistic medicine is an approach to healthcare that considers the whole person—mind, body, emotions, and spirit—for optimal health. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of different aspects of life and uses a variety of therapies to support healing and well-being. It encourages active participation in self-care and healthy lifestyle choices.


    What is Alternative Medicine (or Complementary Medicine)?

    Alternative medicine refers to healthcare practices and treatments that are used instead of, or alongside, conventional medicine. These practices are not typically part of mainstream medical care but are used by some people to improve their health and well-being.

    Alternative medicine includes a wide range of therapies, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic care, naturopathy, and homeopathy, among others. These treatments often have roots in traditional or cultural practices from different parts of the world. In recent years, the term “complementary medicine” has become more commonly used. This refers to using alternative therapies alongside conventional medicine as a complementary approach to healthcare.


    What is Environmental Medicine?

    Environmental medicine looks for environmental causes of illness, which can come from air, food, water, and drugs, frequently found in the home, work, school, and play environments. Exposures to these agents may adversely affect one or more organ system and this effect is commonly not recognized by individuals or their physicians. Environmental medicine provides a sweeping reinterpretation of medical thinking, especially in its approach to many previously unexplained and ineffectively treated chronic diseases. The basic concept is there are causes for all illnesses, and the obvious but not well accepted fact, that what we eat or are exposed to in our environment, has a direct effect upon our health.


    doctor with picture of the gut

    Two Tales of Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    An integrative and functional medicine approach might be difficult to understand if you haven’t seen this type of medicine in action before or you aren’t in the medical field. Here is an example.

    Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. There is often pain, diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition, and rectal bleeding.

    Conventional medicine practitioners will look at symptoms and run tests to detect gut inflammation. If they find it, they will make the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. They will look for infections that might be contributing to it and treat those. However, the standard treatment for these conditions is a lifetime of medications to control intestinal inflammation.12 As inflammation keeps getting worse, medications keep getting stronger (as well as their side effects).3 And once you’re at the end of the line with medications, the next step is surgery, to remove the inflamed part of the gastrointestinal tract.

    Integrative and functional medicine practitioners look Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis from a WHOLE other perspective. They might ask: What is causing the inflammation? Why is the immune system so angry and aggressive? How can I turn off the inflammatory response? Using this approach, they look for underlying causes of the disease process.

    Some of the absolute most important areas to investigate in IBD are: diet, food sensitivities and allergies, the gut microbiome, other infections, nutrition, and intestinal permeability (leaky gut). Then they try to alleviate or balance those areas so the body can return to a healthy balance. If they use immune-suppressing medications for IBD, it is only temporarily, until the root causes of the disease are revealed and dealt with. Diet, lifestyle, and supplements can make huge changes for people with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. The goal is to minimize or discontinue immune-suppressing medications, keep the gut intact, and live without symptoms (in remission).



    The Different Kinds of Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioners

    Whether a practitioner calls themself integrative, functional, holistic, environmental, or alternative, they are probably following many similar principals. They first agree to “do no harm.” They look at the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—when helping with health issues. They consider not only physical symptoms but also a person’s emotions, lifestyle, and environment. They consider factors like nutrition, genetics, stress, and lifestyle choices to create a personalized plan for better health. This helps them create a personalized, holistic approach to improving health. They work alongside other healthcare professionals to provide a comprehensive approach to health.

    The following healthcare professionals may practice integrative and functional medicine. Either they learned it in their original training for their degree or through continuing education programs.

    Medical Doctor (MD)

    Medical doctors are healthcare professionals who have studied and trained to take care of sick or injured people using the allopathic medicine model described earlier. They diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medicine, and sometimes perform surgeries. They do not have significant knowledge of diet, nutrition, supplements, or alternative therapies. Some medical doctors, nurses, and physician’s assistants start out with the mainstream medical model, but do further training or certification in functional medicine, integrative, or holistic medicine.

    Physician’s Assistants and Nurses

    Physician’s assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), like medical doctors, were trained in the allopathic medical model. However, if they identify themselves as practicing integrative or functional medicine, they may have changed the way they practice medicine through continuing education and experience.

    Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)

    Osteopathic doctors are similar to medical doctors (MDs) in many ways, as they both diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. However, osteopathic doctors have some additional training that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, which includes our bones, muscles, and joints. Osteopathic doctors can prescribe medication, recommend lifestyle changes, and perform surgeries, just like medical doctors. They are trained to approach healthcare with a focus on the whole person and the body’s natural healing abilities.

    Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)

    Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in treating problems with our bones, muscles, and joints, especially in the spine. They use techniques like spinal adjustments to help improve alignment and function, relieve pain, and support the body’s natural healing abilities. They also are educated about diet, nutrition, and environmental medicine. Some chiropractors are experts in nutrition, neurology, functional medicine, and/or integrative medicine.

    Naturopathic Doctor (ND)

    Naturopathic medicine is a form of healthcare that focuses on underlying causes of disease, natural therapies, prevention, and individualized care. It aims to support the body’s own healing abilities and promote overall well-being. It takes a holistic approach, which means it looks at the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—rather than just treating symptoms. NDs are primary care physicians who attend a four-year naturopathic medical school, are clinically trained, and work in all aspects of family health. NDs are licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in certain states. Unfortunately, some states do not allow NDs to be licensed. In those states, you will often find them working in clinics with other licensed medical professionals.

    Acupuncturist (LAc) and Chinese Medicine Practitioner

    An acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner is a healthcare professional who uses techniques like acupuncture and herbal medicine to help balance the energy flow in our bodies and promote healing. They aim to improve function, relieve pain, and support the body’s natural healing abilities to reverse illness. They consider the whole person and work to improve overall well-being. These practitioners may have additional training in functional medicine.

    Registered Dietitian (RD)

    Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts that help people with therapeutic diets. Some RDs specialize in functional medicine. An integrative and functional dietitian is a healthcare professional who uses food and nutrition to promote health and well-being. They consider the whole person and aim to address the root causes of health issues. They create personalized dietary plans and work as part of a team to provide holistic care. RDs are able to order certain functional medicine laboratory tests, such as stool microbiome tests.


    Healthy vegetables

    Clinical Nutritionist

    Clinical nutritionists use nutrition in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic diseases. Some clinical nutritionists have functional medicine training. They understand how different nutrients in food can affect our bodies and provide personalized dietary recommendations to improve overall well-being.

    Health Coach

    A health coach is like a personal cheerleader and mentor for your health journey. He/she is there to support and encourage you along the way. They can provide accountability, helping you stay on track with your goals. They may also offer resources, such as meal plans, exercise routines, or stress management techniques, to assist you in making positive changes.

    Some health coaches are specifically trained in functional medicine concepts. A functional medicine health coach is a healthcare professional who works with individuals to help them improve their health and well-being using a functional medicine approach. Functional medicine health coaches are trained in understanding the root causes of health problems and how different factors, such as diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and emotions, can impact our well-being. They provide guidance and support to make positive lifestyle changes.

    Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner

    A functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner is a healthcare professional who uses a holistic approach to assess and address health concerns. They focus on identifying the root causes of health issues and use natural methods like nutrition and lifestyle changes to support the body’s healing processes. Their goal is to educate and empower individuals to make informed choices for their health.


    Doctor talking to patient

    How to Save Money with Integrative and Functional Medicine Care- Is it Possible?!

    There’s no getting around it- integrative and functional medicine is expensive. It is not usually covered by insurance (at least not in my part of the United States). Many of these clinics are cash-based practices, meaning you pay for your healthcare out of pocket. Clinicians spend time with you- real time– talking about your problems, your symptoms, and how it all started, and their time needs to be compensated. Functional laboratory testing is expensive, between $200-$450 per test. When you get your results back, your clinician will prescribe supplements, which are expensive.

    But getting integrative and functional medicine care is worth your hard-earned cash! Why?

    • Get a careful and time-intensive analysis of your problem
    • Work closely with your practitioner to get you well
    • Make changes to your diet and lifestyle that give lasting results
    • Use supplements and herbs with few or no side effects
    • Get long-term resolution of symptoms
    • Discontinue medications and their side effects
    • Resolve chronic illnesses that were believed to be incurable by all your other medical practitioners
    • Live a better quality of life
    • Take control of your health

    Save on testing and doctor fees

    When budget is holding you back from finding a functional medicine doctor, I suggest using your funds in the following way. Save your money for testing and supplements. You will need at least six months of supplements.

    Bring all lab tests that were previously run- in your hand- to your first functional medicine appointment. Basic lab tests can be ordered through standard laboratories and will be covered by insurance. Working with functionally minded MDs, PAs, NPs, or DOs (mentioned earlier) increase the chances that you will get at least some of your testing covered by insurance. Integrative and functional tests are not usually covered by insurance. Ask your provider to only order the top one to three functional tests that you absolutely need. It is not a bad strategy to order one test, find out the results, and then order another one if there are still remaining questions.

    When trying to find a functional medicine practitioner, remember that you have options. You may want one as your primary care provider, or as an additional expert on your medical team, or a one-time consultant to give a second opinion. If money is a limiting factor, I would look into experienced practitioners who are not primary care physicians. Certain functional dietitians are highly capable functional medicine practitioners and they do not charge the same high prices as a primary care doctor.

    For a focused health problem, plan for three consultations with your practitioner. Office visits are very expensive, so you can keep these costs down if you make sure to only meet with your practitioner when absolutely necessary. Pay for your initial consultation, at which time you will be given some testing orders and a tentative treatment plan. Meet for a second consultation a month or two later to review your tests and start your treatment protocol. Start on your protocol and follow it carefully for at least six months, touching base with your practitioner during that time. If you have not had any improvements after two to three months, make sure your practitioner knows about it. Lastly, plan for a final visit at which time they may tweak your protocol and you’ll continue on it. By then you should have enough improvement in your symptoms to be motivated to continue your health journey. If you need additional hand-holding during this time, seek out a functional medicine health coach, who charges lower hourly prices.

    Do all dietary changes that your practitioner recommends for the first few months. They are free! I know, they aren’t fun. They require serious self-discipline, but they don’t cost a penny and they can take the place of potentially expensive diagnostic tests.

    If the cost is too much, then you are back at square one- the standard of care from your primary care doctor, specialist, and whatever your insurance will cover. It’s not good enough and it won’t fix your long-term illnesses.


    person shopping for supplements

    Save on supplements

    Supplements can be very expensive if you buy them from your functional medicine practitioner at market price. Here are some cost-saving ideas taken from my blog, “High-Quality Supplements and Third Party Testing.”

    • Clinicians, set up accounts with professional-only supplement companies
    • Consumers, find a friend who is a clinician who can sell you professional-only supplements at a discount
    • Select grocery store supplements that are 3rd party tested with the USP-certified mark
    • Shop sales at your doctor’s office pharmacy
    • Buy in bulk to keep shipping costs low
    • Identify your trusted supplement manufacturer on Amazon and buy from them
    • Get an account with ConsumerLabs and based on their reports, select supplements that are high quality and low cost.

    It may be tempting to try out a more affordable short-lived integrative and functional medicine program sold as a promotional package. If you are just optimizing your wellness, it is a good choice. But if you have an unexplained chronic illness, or multiple autoimmune diseases, you need to find a practitioner to work with you one on one. If you or someone you love has a chronic illness that no one has been able to figure out, there is no substitute for one-on-one in-depth analysis of root causes by an experienced and qualified practitioner.


    How I First Discovered Integrative and Functional Medicine

    My parents raised me on natural medicine and taught me to always question my doctor’s advice. My grandfather was very mistrusting of the medical profession. We often joked that my grandfather would have to be “hog-tied” in order to go see the doctor. Even though he avoided doctors and dentists, he lived to 91 years old.

    I first learned about naturopathic medicine when I was taking an “Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants,” class at the University of Georgia in 1998. I had never heard of a naturopathic doctor and when I learned about their education, training, and their philosophy, I knew that I wanted to be one. I did an internship with Dr. Rick Marinelli, ND in Portland, Oregon. I spent a lot of time preparing for that medical education, but after interviewing and being accepted, I realized I wasn’t ready to study for many more years (or go into debt)! Instead, I was ready to enter the workforce.

    My background in plant medicine and pharmacy (and a friendship with the owners’ daughter) led me to Metametrix Clinical Laboratory, where I consulted with physicians about their patients’ laboratory tests. These cutting-edge assessments could tell if a person had healthy levels of vitamins, minerals, and hormones; whether they had food sensitivities; or if their gut microbiome was out of balance. With these tests, we could identify root causes of disease that, once corrected, could change lives forever. I met physicians who were curing the incurable. They looked for systems in the body that were broken, removed the bad stuff, replaced the good stuff, and turned around serious health conditions. I was in the midst of naturopathic doctors, nutritionists, functional medicine doctors, and other smart health professionals. And I’ve been loving it, living it, and sharing it ever since.


    Integrative and Functional Medicine is Worth the Investment

    Many people have unexplained chronic illnesses and are looking for answers. They may have tried everything mainstream medicine had to offer them and still come up empty-handed. No satisfying explanations, no treatments that worked, and no lab results that get to the root cause of why they are sick. The treatments they tried may carry side effects they don’t want to live with: immune-suppressing medications, or medications that alter their appetite, their sleep, or their sex drive. Some people are simply at the end of their rope, feeling sick and hopeless (sometimes for decades), with nowhere to turn.

    With the resources in this article, you can find a good functional medicine doctor. Learn what is functional medicine, why it is something you need to add to your healthcare team, and the different types of healthcare professionals you can choose from.  Integrative and functional medicine isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Save money on integrative and functional medicine office visits, lab testing, and supplements with the tips in this blog. Having an integrative and functional medicine expert on your team is a worthwhile -and necessary- investment in your health, your quality of life, and your happiness.


    Have I missed anything? If you have a comment, a type of practitioner to add, or another cost-cutting idea, please comment below!

    Cass Nelson-Dooley, M.S.

    Cass Nelson-Dooley, M.S.

    Cass Nelson-Dooley, MS, is a researcher, author, educator, and laboratory consultant. She studied medicinal plants in the rain forests of Panama as a Fulbright Scholar and then launched a career in science and natural medicine. Early on, she studied ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, and drug discovery at the University of Georgia and AptoTec, Inc. She joined innovators at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory as a medical education consultant helping clinicians use integrative and functional laboratory results in clinical practice. She owns Health First Consulting, LLC, a medical communications company with the mission to improve human health using the written word. Ms. Nelson-Dooley is an oral microbiome expert and author of Heal Your Oral Microbiome. She was a contributing author in Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine. She has published case studies, book chapters, and journal articles about the oral microbiome, natural medicine, nutrition, laboratory testing, obesity, and osteoporosis.