Frequently Asked Questions
Can you help me with my health problem?
If you suffer from a chronic medical condition, if you are frequently ill, tired or in chronic pain or if you simply seek to optimize your health, we may be able to help. If you feel you are taking too many prescription drugs, want a more natural approach or wonder which supplements are right for you, we can help.
Mainstream medical practice does not focus on finding the root cause of illness. The usual medical tests do not look for food sensitivities, hidden infections, environmental toxins, mold exposures, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic imbalances. New genetic testing can uncover underlying genetic risks that can be modified through diet, lifestyle, supplements or medications.
Dr. Firnbach is highly skilled in evaluating, assessing and treating chronic problems such as fibromyalgia, fatigue syndromes, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal illness, inflammatory disorders, mood disorders, memory problems, and other chronic, complex conditions. We also focus on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, diabetes, cognitive impairment, hormonal imbalances and digestive disorders.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss whether or not we can help with your particular health condition.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a science-based health care approach to assess, prevent and treat complex chronic disease. It is a new model of medicine that has evolved through the efforts of scientists and clinicians from the fields of clinical nutrition, molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, conventional medicine, and a wide array of scientific disciplines. Functional medicine evaluates the body as a whole with special attention to the relationship of one body system to another and the nutrient imbalances and toxic overload that may adversely affect these relationships.
The vast majority of modern-day illness is not from acute illness that can be easily diagnosed and treated. Most illness is chronic and almost always preceded by a lengthy period of declining function in one or more of the body's systems. Functional medicine is a new clinical model that replaces outdated and ineffective acute-care models of health care and attempts to return patients to wellness. Illness is addressed by identifying specific dysfunctions that have contributed to the disease state. Those dysfunctions are, for each of us, the result of lifelong interactions among our environment, our lifestyle and our genetic predispositions.
Is Dr. Firnbach a Primary Care Provider?
We do not provide primary care services. We will work with you closely as a consultant in preventive, nutritional and functional medicine to help you address the roots of chronic health problems. We will confer with your primary care doctor and specialist physicians if required.
Do our providers prescribe medicines?
We do not prescribe medications.We do, however, work with a Nurse Practitioner who is able to provide prescription medications for hormones, thyroid and antibiotics as needed.
What about laboratory testing?
Some testing can be done through conventional laboratories, and others are only available through specialty laboratories. During your consultation, your provider will determine which tests are needed and will review testing recommendations, instructions (for instance, fasting or non-fasting, etc.) and costs.
Your financial resources and how much testing you want to do are taken into account, and the plan for testing is reviewed with you. Testing is frequently done to assess nutritional status, including amino acids, fatty acids, oxidative stress, vitamin levels, mitochondrial function, food sensitivities, and heavy metals.
Many other tests are available for variety of conditions including hormone evaluations, bone health, gastrointestinal health, adrenal function and many others.
Some testing can be performed at home with test kits to collect urine, saliva or stool. Others may require a blood draw. In all cases, we will assist you in coordinating initial and follow-up testing.
Do I need to see the health coach at your office?
Yes, we request that all of our patients see one of our health coaches for the initial new patient visit and every follow-up visit. We believe that by removing harmful inputs and providing optimal nutrition, the body can often heal itself. The safest and most powerful medicine available today is food. We have found that considerable changes often need to be made to the diets and lifestyles of patients suffering from chronic illness in order to achieve optimal health. Our health coach is instrumental in helping patients manage and understand dietary and lifestyle changes that are prescribed by our providers.
Do you take health insurance?
Balanced Body Wellness Centre operates as a self-pay clinic. Our office does not bill your insurance directly, but we will provide you with a coded receipt for services, which you may submit for reimbursement to your insurance carrier.
Services provided by this office are considered preventative and are thus not covered by most insurance companies.The services associated with our clinic including office visits, counseling, supplements and laboratory testing can be submitted under your health savings account (HSA) or Healthcare Reimbursement Account (HRA).
We are out-of-network providers for all private insurance plans and do not participate with Medicare. The amount of reimbursement you receive depends on your insurance plan's reimbursement policy for out-of -network providers, your deductibles, copays and co-insurance. You may wish to check with your insurance plan regarding out-of-network coverage of services prior to your visit with us.
Do you sell nutritional supplements?
Yes, we recommend nutritional supplements to patients in conjunction with lifestyle and dietary modification. In some cases, nutritional supplements can be used in place of more toxic prescription medications. We rely on scientifically based studies to guide our therapeutic decisions regarding nutritional supplementation. We have researched high-quality nutritional products and carry only those products that undergo rigorous quality testing by nutritional research laboratories. These products are often of higher quality than those sold over the counter and are free of fillers, allergens and additives.