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Functional Medicine

Addressing Your Overall Health, Not Just Your Symptoms

Our providers at Mat-Su Midwifery and Family Health offer the functional medicine approach we take to family health care. Functional medicine is about how and why disease occurs. What are the underlying causes for your symptoms? Our providers Aubrey Spangler, ANP, CFMP and Sabrina Yoder, ANP, CNM, CFMP are certified functional medicine practitioners. They offer patients customized approaches to treatment, based on their unique health history, physical exam results, and lab work. In functional medicine, there are no rigid templates or protocols.

We work with you to determine a realistic, attainable plan that fits within your lifestyle.  Treatment methods can include any or all of the following:

  • Nutritional Therapy (food plans)
  • Stress & Lifestyle Management Techniques
  • Botanicals and/or Nutrients
  • Medication only when absolutely necessary

The goal of these treatments is to eliminate triggers that cause your symptoms, and to restore proper function and balance in the body. Functional medicine can be used to treat patients of all ages.



Our provider Aubrey Spangler, ANP, CFMP is trained in functional medicine. Take a look below at her answers to common questions about this unique approach to health care!

What is Functional Medicine and how is it different from conventional or mainstream medicine?

FM asks how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root cause of disease for each person. In conventional medicine, there’s a doctor for every part of your body: cardiologists for the heart, gastroenterologists for the digestive system, neurologists for the brain and nervous system, podiatrists for your feet, and ophthalmologists for your eyes. But in functional medicine, we see the body as an interconnected whole, within a larger environment. We recognize that in order to treat one part of the body, all of the other parts must also be considered.

Functional medicine is neither conventional or alternative medicine. It’s a combination of the best elements of both, and it represents the future of medicine. Deep and lasting healing are only possible when the root causes of illness are addressed. By understanding the core systems of the body, how they are related, and how their function can be restored, many chronic illnesses can be prevented and even reversed.

What type of training is required to become a functional medicine practitioner?

I received my training through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Their certification path requires completing a 5 day course, 5 advanced practice modules, a case study and an exam. This took me about 2.5 years.

What made you want to practice functional medicine?

I think the birth of my son was what really changed for me, as he had a lot of low-grade symptoms that were brushed off by the health care practitioners we saw. But I was always a person that asked “why?”, like “Why does that person have an autoimmune condition?”, or “Why does my son have a chronic runny nose?”, and I didn’t feel like I was getting the answers I wanted from a conventional perspective. A functional medicine practitioner is like a health detective, a professional that looks to answer the question, “why?”, and that resonated with me deeply.

What kind of person will get the most out of functional medicine?

People who are the best clients for functional medicine include those who don’t want to rely on unnecessary drugs and medical intervention for the rest of their lives and are interested in discovering the underlying cause of their problems, rather than just suppressing symptoms.
They are motivated to play an active role in their own healing process and are willing to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to support health and well-being.

What can patients expect when they come to see you?

Like all detectives, I use a variety of tools in my investigations, including, detailed questionnaires, a thorough medical history and examination, and comprehensive laboratory tests (blood, urine, stool and saliva testing). We then use nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, supplements, stress management, detoxification, lifestyle changes, and in some cases and only when necessary prescription medications to eliminate triggers and restore proper function and balance.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the relationships I develop with my patients and learning about their stories. I love witnessing the sense of empowerment they feel as they slowly start to take their own health. I think of it as the ultimate in personalized, one-on-one, therapeutic relationships. I’m just happy and deeply grateful that I have found my place in medicine.

For more information about functional medicine and how it can help you and your family achieve optimal health, contact us today at 907-373-3420!

Mat-Su Midwifery & Family Health

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