The cost of care, especially in the realm of functional medicine, can be an unknown for a suffering layperson. It may feel to weary patients like their only option is to sign away thousands of dollars. Julie’s story shows that this does not need to be the case. After her general practitioner was not able to treat her myriad symptoms—including brain fog, fatigue, female hormone issues, bloating, and loose stools—Julie turned to functional medicine. The first functional medicine doctor she turned to quoted her an unreasonably expensive and lengthy package. Fortunately, she looked for a second opinion and found that our clinic, and Dr. Ruscio, a functional medicine expert in gut health, was able to get to the root of her issues quickly and cost-effectively. She was symptom-free within five visits.
Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hey everyone, this is Dr. Ruscio. I am here with Julie. Man, your case… you’d almost think I’m paying you. Everything I harp about, your case so perfectly encapsulates. Essentially, when you first came in, you had a number of symptoms that we were able to help: sleep, brain fog, bloating, loose stools.
And all that’s fine and good. But there are a couple layers to this. You went to another functional medicine doctor who quoted you, I think, a six month package, eighteen thousand dollars. And it was couched in this very fear-mongering mentality.
Julie felt 100% better after 4-5 months of treatment
Note from Julie “It doesn’t have to be hard, you CAN get better”
She was told by a previous practitioner that in order to get her health back it would take 18 months and cost upwards of $18,000. That was not the case at all here. Second opinions are always a good idea.
I’m so glad that you decided to get a second opinion and come in to see me! We’re now about five visits in, and I don’t know what the financial tally is, but I’m very confident it’s way down from eighteen thousand dollars, without any fear. And I think everything we’ve done has been pretty reasonable. All your symptoms are gone in just a handful of visits. So it’s such a perfect case, I almost could have written this out myself! But please tell people about all of that, whatever you want to share. Again, it’s such a fantastic story.
Julie: Yeah, I’m blown away by the whole thing. Because I think that when I wasn’t feeling good and I had just symptom upon symptom, my GP wasn’t really able to do anything for me. So I started digging into functional medicine. After I had that initial consultation, I just felt like, “Oh my god, I don’t have that kind of money.” And I think it actually was going to be a minimum eighteen month commitment to try to figure out what was wrong. Not only did I not have that kind of money or that kind of time, I’m a small business owner. It was just so unachievable for me in so many ways.
So I felt like I just needed to, I don’t know, get on the dark net and look for supplements or something like that, in order to solve this thing in a way that made sense. I felt super defeated.
DrMR: Just for context, we’re at about, total working time together, about four to five months and you’re pretty much set. Eighteen months is outlandish.
Julie: Yeah. It’s such a great example for the layperson. How are we supposed to know? I’ve just been so freed up, not only financially but also in the simplicity of what you do, feeling like I have actually been in the driver’s seat this whole time…
DrMR: It’s a partnership.
Julie: Right. Exactly. It’s been such a partnership. And I can’t believe how good I feel now. I can’t believe how used to feeling bad that I was, and that I accepted that that was how my life was just going to be, with the low energy and mounting symptoms that I had. I’m so grateful. And I said, just a couple minutes ago, thank you so much for raising the bar for how I could live my life and how good I can feel. It’s amazing.
DrMR: And you said that really well. You said, it’s funny how quickly one can become accustomed to feeling like s*** as their normal. And like you said, you have a new bar now for what you expect your normal to be. And this is just such a huge concept, because I think everyone has things they want to do in their life. Whether it is to be a better mother, be a better boss, be a better employee, learn a new language, learn an instrument, just be a happier person in your day-to-day. And that is possible when you feel well. It’s so much harder when you don’t feel well.
Julie: Everything is harder.
DrMR: All of those things, exactly. There’s just so much that one brings to their life in a better way when they’re feeling well. So I’m obviously thrilled that you’re feeling that way.
Follow a Guided Step-By-Step Protocol
Are there any specific symptoms or tidbits from the care plan that we’ve gone through that you want to share with people that you think are insightful or interesting?
Julie: I do. Before we started working together, I was really just trying everything, and everything seemed like it was what was wrong with me. So I would try all of the different diet protocols, all the different things at the same time. I think if you’re listening to this, and you are not waking up every single morning feeling like a million bucks, number one, you deserve to feel better about that. And number two, it does not have to be complicated. Number three, there’s not a magic bullet. It’s just comprehensive and empathetic care, like you’re offering. That’s what it is, across the board.
So if you’re feeling discouraged, just remember that we don’t know what we don’t know. Your approach is just so comprehensive that you can’t help but succeed with it.
DrMR: First of all, thank you. This is really, in my mind, the difference between wisdom and knowledge. People get all sorts of knowledge on the internet. This diet, that treatment. They go out and do the shotgun, haphazard, I’ll try this, I’ll try that, I’ll try the other thing. And they say, “Gosh, this seems so hard.” Well, sure. Of course it’s going to be hard if you haven’t spent time—in my case, almost ten years—studying all these things, figuring out what works, what doesn’t work, how to sequence them, the proper way to integrate all of these things.
DrMR: Hey everyone. Just wanted to quickly tell you about a CBD that I’m experimenting with currently. And some people on our team have had really good results with, and who also helped make this podcast possible. Ned makes a hemp-derived CBD, and as you’ve probably heard, CBD can have a wide range of benefits for gut, for anxiety, depression, other neurological conditions can be anti-inflammatory and provide the antioxidants.
I’ll include a few links to some of the interviews we’ve done in the past on cannabis [1,2], and we also have to be a little bit cautious. Mostly research has been done with full-spectrum cannabis, meaning THC also included, but the drawback to THC is it makes you high and so it’s hard to do stuff.
So I do think it’s worth a trial, and I’m having patients in the clinic start experimenting with CBD only to see if they can reap the same benefits many people are anecdotally reporting. Like Erin on our team who saw a massive reduction in her pre-menstrual cramps and Josh Trent‘s been on the podcast who remarked that NED CBD makes his gut feel happy.
We checked them out. They are a legit company, no isolates or synthetic ingredients. Lab-tested for pesticides, molds, and other contaminants. Non-GMO. And the base is MCT oil, and they are giving our audience 15 percent off plus free shipping when you go to helloned.com/ruscio. Use the code “RUSCIO”, at check out.
So for people listening, if you’re not able to come into the office, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, my book, offers pretty much the same process that we use. Which is just taking someone through a reasonable narrative, non-fear-based, not excessive. We go one step at a time and every inch forward we traverse, we figure out what works for you. We determine out of the validated, available therapies what will work for you. If you just take it one step at a time and you have a good process, it’s actually not that hard. It’s just getting off the jumping-from-protocol-to-protocol-of-stuff-I-see-on-the-internet, to a guided progression of steps that are built to your needs.
And in your case, it could have been eighteen months, eighteen thousand dollars. Instead it’s a lot less, and just a few months. So I think that’s great. Fantastic. Anything that you want to leave people with as we close?
Julie: The thing that I want to say, out of everything, is that it doesn’t have to be hard. Feeling awesome and living your best life does not have to be a hard process at all. And it’s completely worth it.
DrMR: That’s well said. I think for people who are struggling, that will be very welcomed news. Because I get it. When I go to look up things that I don’t know much about on the internet, it’s debilitating. There is just so much out there.
That’s why I put together Healthy Gut, Healthy You, to give people a lifeline. So if you’re out there and you’re struggling and suffering, there are some simple solutions.
You’re just a beautiful example of that. I’m so happy that you’re feeling better, and now we’ll let you loose upon the world to build your business more quickly and feel great. So again, thank you so much for sharing your story and taking the time to speak with us.
Julie: Thank you.
What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.
I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!
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