What is functional nutrition?
Functional nutrition is a whole foods approach to functional medicine. Upon completion of my studies with the Functional Medicine University, I found that I really resonated with the goal of optimizing the body’s systems, and gained many tools for functional diagnosis. However, I was disappointed with the treatments used to obtain optimal health. I couldn’t understand why we, as functional medicine doctors, recommend a whole food, organic diet, then load a patient up with expensive, synthetic chemical supplements. These supplements are often made in reputable laboratories, but are still prescribed with a mindset that more is better, and 5000mg of an isolated molecule is safe.
Often, the long-term effects of high-dose, synthetic supplements, is an imbalance of essential vitamins and minerals. Such an imbalance is much harder to fix than a simple deficiency. Having had an extensive background in Chinese Medicine, I couldn’t, in good conscience, prescribe treatments that overlooked the whole being, to remedy one aspect of disharmony. My search for functional treatment tools continued. I knew that many patients were suffering chronic illness due to malnutrition, but I wasn’t sure what to utilize for treatment in addition to food and plant medicines.
Then we, as a practice, discovered Standard Process. Their supplements are made entirely of whole foods such as beets, alfalfa and sweet potato. Molly, Caroline and I have been using their products for just under two years, and we are over the moon with the results we get.
The more we use whole foods, the less we find a need to prescribe any synthetic supplements. It has been an amazing journey for us to see how much healing potential lies in the use of whole foods in a functional medicine practice. We have seen the reversal of symptoms from a wide variety of autoimmune diseases, and assisted in recovery from adrenal fatigue, low thyroid function, high cholesterol, SIBO, Crohn’s Disease, IBS- the list goes on and on.
In working with our functional medicine patients, we start with a thorough intake to help discern which systems need addressing first. In subsequent visits, we perform nutritional exams, in office, to discern any nutritional deficiencies that may be contributing to system dysfunction. For instance, we do a blood pressure cuff test on the calf to test for tissue calcium levels, and do a apple cider vinegar test to assess hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. For further diagnosis, we order a hair mineral analysis test to get a snapshot of the adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, inflammation, sugar handling, and protein synthesis. From there, we can dig deeper with blood, stool, and/or salivary tests as needed. We order tests directly from the labs to keep cost low. Functional Medicine is a practice in deep science with regards to physiology, and with our approach, it is also a safe, effective, holistic approach to healing.
Do you have to be sick to take advantage of Functional Medicine?
Absolutely not! The gold standard for the doctors in Chinese Medicine, are those who prevent disease. We at People's have put together a thorough optimal-aging protocol that prevents the causes of all “western diseases”-inflammation and necrosis. By optimizing innate immunity, reducing inflammation, and preventing necrosis, you set yourself up for 100 years of health.
How do you know if Functional Nutrition is right for you?
When you truly want to improve your health, and are willing to commit to the time it takes to resolve the root issue of what is imbalanced, you are ready for the journey of functional medicine. If you are a person with more than one symptom of illness, there is no silver bullet in true healing. We will will work together to work through the layers of your being, to affect long-term change. Your future self will thank you.