Updated: Apr 7, 2020
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Hello and welcome everyone. My name is Dr. Alison DiBarto Goggin. I am your host for today's podcast and YouTube show and today we are going to be talking about my clients' biggest fears revealed because these are the biggest questions that I get.
I did a customer survey for all my clients and was wondering what they were thinking, what they were talking about, what they were worried about, and I wanted to share those things with you so you can get some peace of mind, some ideas about what to look for when you're working with the doctor and how to move forward. I would say the number one fear that people have is ‘are you going to listen to me?’ And that's really common.
I am actually meeting with a new doctor for myself today and I was worried all weekend because I started thinking about telling them about my symptoms and what's been going on with me and are they going to listen to me?
Are they going to take me seriously? Are they going to get really hung up on that one symptom that doesn't even matter because they think they can control it. Instead of seeing that big picture, how much work are they going to do for me and I feel so bad for the people who want to work with me but are afraid to call me because they were worried that I'm not going to listen or I'm going to get hung up on the wrong thing when it's not important to them.
That's why when we have your initial consultation, we go through your whole health history together. I have it all written up. We ask each other questions, we make sure we're on the same page and then at the end, at the report, I have a list of all of your main symptoms that you were worried about and the plan to address them because every single symptom is important.
You can't just say, well I know your hair is falling out, but who cares when your stomach isn't working? Like that's true, but it's also not true. We still have to address everything that you're concerned about because everything is a symptom. We can't ignore what's going on. Make sure that when you do go to your doc, and especially if it's a new one or a specialist, I like to type out my whole health history of that specific issue and hand it to them. Like, here's when it started, here's all the symptoms, here's what's helped, here's what hasn't helped. Here's what I'm eating. And the good ones will go, Oh great. This is awesome. Thank you.
Because it helps them understand where you're at. And then for me, for my practice, your whole health history and initial consultation, you fill all of those things out online before in a lot of people will email me even further stories and that's wonderful.
Bring it all with you because you want to make sure that you don't forget something either and that everybody's on the same page. Okay? So the number two fear, which is I think everybody has this, is how much will it cost? Because medicine is expensive. And so is getting help, right? Each office, each functional medicine office is a little different off of how they want to work with their patients. My pricing is upfront and not my website and you can go to that at littleblackbagmedicine.com.
Now I cannot prescribe medication and that's great because I have some people that I do work with that so you can get full care help and we do work with your primary and specialist so you can always get full circle integrative health care.
I don't require vaccines. I cannot give vaccines. That was another question that came up with pricing is how much is that going to cost? So don't worry about that here. You don't have to get any shots with me.
When it comes to testing though, that is pretty much the biggest pricing question as well. It depends. And I know that's a really frustrating answer because every lab is different. Every insurance is different and there are good insurance days and there are bad insurance days. I've had insurance companies say, yes, we're going to pay for that. And then they get back a $2,000 bill and that is scary.
I don't want to put anybody through that. So the labs that I use to be upfront until you can know what you look for they have a minimum copay with insurance and then they have a max copay with insurance, which is great because it's like, all right, your copay is $100 for the saliva test and the max copay is $300. So based on what your insurance pays, you're going to either end up owing $150 and you're good or a little bit added onto that $150. The stats and what my patients are saying is sometimes it's all covered and sometimes it's like another 2030 bucks. So it's not too scary at all.
With blood work, I do like to use a professional co-op. So it's a group of physicians that get highly discounted pricing so that way you're paying cash, you don't have to call your insurance company and go through 800 different codes. You don't get any surprise bills in the mail because that's really important as well. I would say that the main panel that I use is about $150 cash, but it's about a $2,500 cash for insurance. Now you can get the coats on each test and call your insurance and see if something's covered.
You can make sure that if you want to use your insurance and go that route as well, it might be completely covered for you. Get those codes and use a co-op if you don't want to take a risk co to be completely honest. And I understand, I had my gallbladder out last year and the yeah, yeah, yeah. Everything's fine. Everything's fine. And then, oops, $8,000 bill. That's, that was a big deal. It's big is really scary.
I understand when you want to be upfront with pricing. So with me, don't hesitate to ask and most I think most functional medicine doctors are going to as well in my practice. I do one to two tests at a time because I understand that it does get costly.
We try to pick the ones that make the most sense for you in your symptoms. Do we need a stool test? Do we need a hormone saliva test? We should always pretty much do blood work to get a really good baseline on everything.
But when it comes down to it, there are so many different tests, there are so many different options that we're going to figure out what's best for you. Some offices you walk in and they are going to do every single test that they want to do because that's their baseline for their practice. And I think that's fantastic. I also know that it can be very costly so you can have a lot of different options with testing and how much it's going to cost and what kind of practice you're walking into. So again, just ask questions. Call the front desk, shoot people emails, see what's going on for that practice.
Number three, what if the plan doesn't work for me? What if you sit through this 90 minute consultation with me and you give yourself some time and it's just not working? I think that is very, very scary, right? What do you do if you spend $1,000 on medication? It doesn't work. What if you get a surgery and it doesn't work right? Like we want this guarantee, but there are no guarantees, right?
Probably knew I was going to say that, but here's the thing. In my practice, if the plan isn't working, we change it. Okay? you should notice relief in two weeks or four weeks, if not sooner. Have some symptoms. Now, major, major, major, chronic, ongoing out of immune, difficult to treat things. We're not going to say in three days you'll be fixed. But when we have some simple symptoms we should be able to relieve them fairly easily.
We really need to always be open, always be flexible. My general rule in my practice is that you finish the bottle. So if we start with a list of supplements, I would like you to finish those bottles before we throw our hands up and say, Oh, this isn't working. I need more. I need something else.
I really want you to give it a good amount of time. And usually, that's about one month to six weeks, sometimes two months based on what you're taking and what you need to do in a lifestyle wise. Another issue is that sometimes we have to go by testing and we're really looking for that testing to clear up before we can get even deeper into symptoms. So one thing that I think of is like H pylori or parasite infections, you might not have a change in outward symptoms and skin and hair and nails and wait until we clean out the parasites, the protozoa, the infections, the biofilm, and really remove all of those things because otherwise your body can't heal.
It can't change. So if we have to wait for testing, be patients, so just know what the markers are. Are you waiting for symptoms to revolve? Are you waiting for a test to come back? We really have to know and of course plans only work if you do, right? Food, sleep, rest, self care, exercise, all of those things are gasoline to impact how fast you recover, how quickly the plan is going to work for you.
And honestly, I am committed to those are who are committed to themselves. I will be with you every single step of the way as long as you ask for help. Don't ignore problems. Don't take your plan for six months, take two weeks of supplements, throw your hands up and then call me in six months or a year and be like, well, it didn't work. Well like let's get on it.
Let's be working this together.
And then lastly, how long will it take me to feel better? And how much effort and consistency are you willing to put in? Right. So usually one of my general rules is if you've had an issue for a long time, it takes about a year or it takes a month for every year that you've had an issue. So if you say, Allison, I've been struggling with chronic fatigue for the past 10 years. Well, just heads up. We're going to be working on this one for a while. Like, give yourself 10 months. Just as a general rule, it might happen faster. It might happen slower. I've worked with people for three months and my three month program, they've seen massive, massive changes quickly and they're done and they move on with their life. They know how to take care of themselves.
They know their meal plan, they know what's going on, and then I've worked with people for over a year, but their bodies are really a slow to change because of work stress because of financial stress diet and many other outside influences. And I understand I don't have any judgment, but if you say Ellison, I don't feel any better. I'm doing everything you say, but you hold back on me and you don't tell me that.
Well, I didn't tell you that I was going to McDonald's for dinner every single night and we eat out every single night and all the meal plans and everything we talked about. I'm not eating real food. I'm just kind of taking supplements sometimes when I remember it. Well, we have the problem. We are, you're not going to feel better if you're not taking care of yourself. I know that you know that eating fast food every single day is not going to be helpful for your healing process.
Right? It's not going to get you there faster is going to slow down your process if you're not sleeping. If you're not willing to try new things, it's always going to mess that up. Now, if you sit down with me and we go through this plan, I can't tell you how many times we've just changed up people's eating patterns, the timing, I look at what they're eating. I'm like, what you're eating is perfect, but we have to do more. We have to eat more consistently. We can't skip meals or we need to figure out this blood sugar issue, and you might be thinking, well I'm, I'm great there, but I still don't know what's wrong. If we figured out those patterns, we fix it. That's what I'm saying. In two weeks you're going to notice that difference because your blood sugar is going to change.
Your cortisol is going to change, your hormones are going to start changing. Neurotransmitters are going to get what they need so your mood can improve and we just figure it out together. So don't give up hope. There's always something to try to change, to add in, to take away and there's never an end in functional medicine. There's so many roads and really what will get you there is first of all, doing the lifestyle things, sleeping, eating consistently, following the plan, exercising, eating, clean, drinking water, right? Well you already know this stuff. The next step is following the plan, being consistent, giving yourself time and being open to new opportunities, new changes, trying different things. And the last thing is getting testing done. So if we work a plan for 30 days, 90 days, and you're still feeling the same, please, please, please be open to testing because we're going to find out so many different things.
We're going to know maybe is there mold, is there a toxicity? Is there something else that wasn't caught because we didn't test for it and we needed to just keep digging. It's okay to keep digging and that's how we find these answers in the solutions so you don't give up so you aren't left wondering what else needs to be done. Okay, so I understand that it is scary and intimidating and frustrating to find a new doctor who will listen and support you. So I always offer a free 30 minute introductory consultation. Over the phone or video if you can do that as well. So we can talk about what your issues are, what's worked, what hasn't worked, what we can do to make a plan for testing. Or if you've recently had blood testing done and was told nothing's wrong with you, like move on with your life.
Don't be so stressed out. Let's figure that out so you don't have to have more testing than you can bring me the testing that you've had and that way you also know that you feel comfortable moving forward with our plan. And then you can get started on filling out your health history forms, symptom surveys, brain health and hormone forms. Schedule any testing, we schedule your initial consultation after I have everything so I can look through it and write up your plan and make sure we're doing the right thing for you.
Your initial consultation is about 90 minutes and we do that over the phone or video and we go through everything together. We go through your plan, we go through how you can feel better fast. So thank you so much for tuning in today. Today's message. I hope this answers quite a few questions for you. If not, you can find me on Facebook, a little black bag medicine. Check the comments and I'll send all the links in there so you can find me at schedule online and get started and changing your health.