Functional Medicine Consultation with Victoria Albina, FNP-C, MPH
All intake sessions for medical care take place at our clinic in Manhattan, with follow-up available via online video session or in-person.
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Feeling like your clinicians are not getting to the root cause of your fatigue, bloating, depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), thyroid or hormone concerns?
As a functional and holistic medicine trained, nationally board certified and licensed Family Nurse Practitioner and herbalist, I help find the biological, nutritional, lifestyle and emotional causes for symptoms and disease, using advanced testing and treatment protocols combining ancient healing arts and the best of modern medicine.
Functional medicine offers a different approach - one that leads to real and lasting, sustainable change.
- Gets to the root cause of the imbalances that lead to symptoms
- Looks at the whole person: mind, body and spirit as one
- Recognizes that lifestyle, sleep, diet and the stories you tell about your life are vital parts of wellness
- Treats YOU, not just your symptoms
- Encourages you to be an active participant in your wellness
- Brings together the best of all healing paths: botanical medicine and herbs, nutrition, supplements, advanced testing and drug-based (allopathic) medicine as needed
- Finds and treats imbalances and health concerns sometimes years before you have symptoms, while also helping you live your best life now
- Research and evidence based
As a UCSF trained Family Nurse Practitioner, I am trained in and offer the best of both worlds - integrative and allopathic/Western medicine, all in the same visit. I trained at the internationally renowned Osher Center, am certified by the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine, have trained for over a year with Chris Kresser's Institute for Functional Medicine and am a member of the American Herbalist Guild. In addition to my extensive herbal and functional medicine training, I have spent years in apprenticeship with herbalists and well known Functional Medicine gurus, as well as working for many years as a Primary Care Provider in busy urban clinics.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is very different from seeing your regular western-medicine provider. We spend more time with you, listen intently and deeply, asking about stress, sleep, relationships with friends, family and self, and what your food choices are, all from a nonjudgemental, loving place. The tests we run are often well covered by insurance, which makes this care more accessible.
I like to say that, generally speaking, regular, allopathic medicine asks What is going on, and then seeks to stop those symptoms. For example, you come in with a chronic cough, sore throat that comes and goes and a weird feeling in your chest after eating. Your regular, western-medicine provider may diagnose you with heartburn or GERD, and will offer a pill to stop the symptoms by stopping the stomach from putting out the acid that is part of breaking down or digesting you food (proton pump inhibitor or histamine-2 blocker). These drugs are useful for symptom management, but they have real risks associated with them, and they don't heal the underlying concern.
In Functional or Integrative Medicine, we dig deep, asking why you are having the symptoms you are having, and look for the root cause of symptoms such as fatigue, hypothyroid, depression and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), women's health concerns and hormonal imbalances, fungal overgrowth (also known as candida), insomnia and nutrient imbalances. Maybe you're living without significant symptoms, and want to optimize your health and wellness, to live a long and disease free life. Whatever brings you to functional medicine, finding the underlying cause of imbalance can help improve and optimize your daily life.
To get to the root causes, we order in-depth labs that you likely have not had offered before - special stool, hormone, adrenal and blood work tests that conventional providers don't use.
Based on the results of these tests and a thorough nutritional evaluation, diagnoses are made and a thorough treatment plan is made. We often start with diet and lifestyle, and add supplements, herbs and other care as your symptoms and test results indicate. The goal and focus is always on making you feel amazing now, while preventing future illness. Lasting wellness is everything!
The pathway to healing is unique to each person. My role is to guide you along the path to healing that works for you and your body. Some folks benefit from a strict diet, to some that sounds unmanageable and impractical. Some people thrive with weekly accountability, some prefer to meet monthly or as needed to reach their goals. There is no one path to healing, and by combining the best of western or allopathic medicine with the most thorough of evidence-based holistic medicine and my passion for practical, realistic goal-setting, sustainable wellness is possible. You are a whole person and deserve to be seen as such - mind, body and spirit, beyond the limitations of a disease-based way of thinking.
Because care is so individualized, the length of treatment varies. For many people, we put together a two or three month plan. Those dealing with chronic or complex illness or imbalance may need six months or a year to heal. We will discuss your treatment plan at length, making sure we being both thorough and reasonable.
Empowerment and Partnership
My work is rooted in an empowerment model - you have what you need to support your own health and healing, and I am honored to be your guide on that path. As a patient, your participation and insights are essential to choosing the healing path and to achieving optimal health.
Focus on Wellness
Western medicine rarely focuses on wellness, on healing the whole person, not just treating a disease. Wellness is a key focus of our work together, addressing the stories we tell about ourselves, our relationships and our lives, beyond symptom-management. I bring my training in life and health coaching to every visit, addressing stress management, movement & exercise.
Health at all sizes - no shame, guilt or judgement here
I believe that all bodies are good bodies, perfect as they are. Want to lose weight? I can help. Want to gain weight? I can help. Don't want to talk about weight at all? That works for me. I believe in your personal autonomy, and that you know what is best for you and your perfect human body. I promise to be diligent in my attention to your health and wellness, to respect your choices and to do my best to make suggestions that honor and support your personal boundaries.
I deeply believe that food is the best medicine, and work from a place of abundance, by adding in foods that support your best health, and don't support the kind of diets that leave you feeling hangry - that's no way to live.
We start our work from a place of love and kindness, with deep respect for you and your wisdom, add the best of evidence based science and medicine, based in a deep reverence for ancient and traditional healing and a belief in your body's ability to heal, no matter what it's been through. I'm here to see you, listen to you and guide you.
Ready to join me on the path to your best health? Book a complimentary 20 minute introductory session now. Email us to book your comprehensive 90 or 60 minute intake, in-person in Manhattan.