All things considered, we’ve rather enjoyed our telemedicine interactions with patients. Doctoring this way also recently provided me with an Aha! moment. What I realized was that much of what we do as Functional Medicine specialists, both diagnosis and treatment, can be done online with you never leaving your home.
Such a consultation would include everything except, of course, a physical exam.
Otherwise, your cybervisit would be very much as if you were here with a practitioner at WholeHealth Chicago (minus the Chicago traffic). You might live in a part of the US where the local doctors are good but conventionally trained, having never having heard of candida or leaky gut and vaguely suspicious about diagnoses like mold toxicity or chronic Lyme disease because they never learned about them in medical school.
We’re often asked why we don’t open a branch in (fill in the blank), which might be Mobile, Topeka, or somewhere in Wyoming.
Rather than that, and instead of coming to Chicago for a consultation, the practitioners of WholeHealth Chicago can bring our expertise to you.
Who can we help?
There’s no typical WholeHealth Chicago patient, though most come to us because they’re concerned about their health and haven’t been getting answers from conventional doctors.
You might be a person with a longstanding, unexplained symptom or symptoms and you’ve seen more than one physician, undergone a slew of diagnostic tests, and heard only “We can’t find anything wrong with you. Your tests are normal.”
You exit yet another doctor’s office discouraged and feeling no better, returning to something you read online. “What I’ve got really sounds like candida or leaky gut or toxic bowel” you tell yet another local doctor. The physician responds by saying “I don’t know anything about that” or “Oh, yes, that’s just a fad diagnosis.”
Okay, it’s light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel time.
Where to start
We can assist whether you’re in Mexico City or Mount Prospect. Here’s how to set up a time to see us:
–Schedule a telemedicine appointment with a WholeHealth Chicago practitioner (MD, DC, ND, or nurse practitioner). We’re all trained in Functional Medicine. Call our scheduling department at 773-296-6700.
–You’ll receive several pdf forms that you’ll complete before your appointment.
–Send us by email attachment any pertinent previous lab tests and a chronological diary of your symptoms, how they’ve changed over time, and any previous treatments.
–Your first visit will take about an hour, using everything you’ve sent as a roadmap for discussion. If needed, your practitioner will recommend any functional diagnostic tests and may start you on a supplement. We might ask you to begin a nutritional detox to clear chemicals and junk from your body. Patients usually say they feel surprisingly good after a detox
–Any test kits required will be mailed to you directly from the lab (we use several different labs) and you’ll pay the lab directly.
–We’ll also schedule a follow-up appointment two or two-and-a-half weeks later, to check on your progress and answer the questions that you’ve likely been accumulating. This second appointment can also include discussion of anything else you’d forgotten.
–Your third appointment will be scheduled when your test results are back from the lab. You’ll have a copy of the results and you and your practitioner can review everything together.
During each of these appointments, we’ll discuss therapies, lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, and so forth, while you’ll relate progress and any changes (or lack of change). At this point, it might be useful for us to locate someone in your area with whom we can work to support you as you continue on your path to wellness.
If you have medical issues that have been unresolved by your local physician, think about this list.
Most commonly overlooked diagnoses
—Chronic Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
–Mold biotoxin illness (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).
–Subclinical hypothyroidism (Wilson’s syndrome).
–Vitamin B-12 and D deficiencies.
–Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
–Hormone imbalances (out-of-whack hormones).
–Multiple chemical sensitivities.
–Intestinal parasites (toxic bowel).
–Leaky gut (intestinal hyperpermeability).
–Hidden food sensitivities (including amino acids and organic acids).
–Toxic metal accumulation.
–Chronic Epstein-Barr infection.
Each of these can be diagnosed using a specimen collection kit mailed to your home. Most specimens (urine, saliva, stool, breath, finger-stick drop of blood) can also be collected at home. If a larger blood specimen is needed (as it is for Lyme, Epstein-Barr, and thyroid), you’ll take the kit to your family physician or to a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center.
You’ll learn the price of any tests before you receive your kit and you’re not obligated to pay for any test you don’t complete. By the way, tests are not available in New York state.
We’re in network with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois PPO. You might also be able to use your HSA/FSA benefits. Otherwise, WholeHealth Chicago is a fee-for-service practice.
We look forward to seeing you.
David Edelberg, MD