Hi Dr. Barbie. Can you tell us about yourself & how you go into functional medicine?
– Hi, I am Dr. Barbie Allegretti. I’m a chiropractic physician and I specialize in functional and integrative medicine. So I got into functional medicine as a chiropractor because I started to see the benefits of it when I incorporated it in with my physical treatment plan, as well as with the acupuncture. It really allowed the patient to be able to get better, faster, and to address other areas of their life that they were experiencing pain or discomfort or unresolved symptoms with, in addition to that.
Why would someone go to a functional medicine practitioner versus their primary care physician?
The difference between functional medicine, and seeing your primary care physician, is that I’m looking at what the root causes of what you’re experiencing. When you go to your primary care physician, you might be going for a sore throat or to check out your knee or for your annual exam. People come to me to address, what’s the root cause of their fatigue? What’s the root cause of the pain that they’re experiencing? The insomnia, their hormonal issues, their digestive complaints. And I am afforded a good amount of time to be able to get to know you and figure out what those causes are that are contributing to those symptoms that you’re experiencing. So the first visit takes about an hour, and even before that first visit, we have access to your labs, your history, and I have a good idea of what you might have been through and are experiencing. And then we have that whole hour , to be able to talk with each other in more depth of what’s going on. So that really, I can help you to figure out what’s at the root of what you’re experiencing and by addressing that, we’re able to provide a solution that’s longterm.
Can you give me some more specifics on how functional medicine works?
In addition to the amount of time that is spent to get to know the patient and really address what’s going on at the root of what they’re experiencing, functional medicine uses a lot of specialty labs. So I test for things with hormones, through saliva. I do a very thorough and comprehensive blood workup. And even if everything within the blood in the lab report is quote, unquote, normal there are certain patterns within those normal ranges that give me indicators of something else that could be going on. So if you think of labs that might be at the higher end of normal, or at the lower end of normal, I can pick up different patterns from otherwise normal blood work. So that’s a common report that patients will tell me, is that they are told that everything is normal, but they don’t feel that way. And that’s where I come in, to be able to explain to them what it is, that’s presenting that explains what they’re feeling.
Why is it that my PCP says all my tests look normal, but I still don’t feel good?
It’s very common for patients to come to me, having been told for years that everything is normal for them. And that’s because it’s being based off of, just maybe, a small set of blood work that’s being done, that happens to be within the normal range. And with the testing that I do for blood work, I do more than just the standard battery of tests to get a full picture of what somebody is going through. And I also interpret it very thoroughly. So, even if all of that is within normal, there are certain patterns within the normal ranges that give me indicators of something else going on. So it might explain the fatigue. It might explain the insomnia, the digestive issues. And if it doesn’t give us that answer that we need, then it at least points us in a direction of what next steps to take with additional testing or approaches.
Why couldn’t my PCP figure out what was wrong with me?
So a PCP is trained to look for the outright issues, something that’s pathological, something that’s in the red that needs to be addressed immediately. It’s the case now in our culture, and what many people are experiencing that those things don’t show up for years or decades. So I’m looking at the blood work in more detail, just with a different lens, to be able to see these patterns before it gets to the point of, okay, now we’ve got a red flag. Now there’s actually a diagnosis, or an issue of diabetes, hormone imbalances, severe inflammation, autoimmune disease. So I address that and I support people when they are at that point. And the goal is to be able to identify those patterns before it even gets there, and then implement the interventions and lifestyle and tools to be able to prevent it from occurring.
How can I get more information on functional medicine?
So I’m very excited to be able to partner with Dr. Ben and Cornerstone Clinics in incorporating functional medicine and holistic medicine, and we are offering 15-minute complimentary consultations. So you can schedule at the front desk. You can call in and we’ll be able to set that up. We’ll meet in person either in the office or we’ll meet via video conference as well. And during that time, I’ll answer any questions that you have if you need to learn a little bit more about functional medicine and see if it’s for you. And also just to get to know each other a little bit and see if we’re a good fit for each other moving forward.
Monday – 7AM–5:30PM
Tuesday – 7AM–7PM
Wednesday – 7AM–5:30PM
Thursday – 7AM–5PM
Friday – 7AM–3PM
Saturday – By Appt. Only
Sunday – Closed
1030 Davis St. Suite 100
Evanston, IL 60201
(Intersection of Davis & Oak)