Many years ago Functional Medicine
inspired me. And, so much so, I studied it to become a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Clinical Nutritionist. Because these disciplines use detailed evaluations of the whole person and ultimately recommends a lifestyle protocol to maintain the unique biochemistry of each person, I felt like it was “the answer” to healing chronic diseases and ailments. I wanted to help people discover the root of their health issues and heal themselves. Let me share how it works.
Recently a 40-year old woman came to me and was experiencing multiple health challenges. After a detailed intake, here’s a list of her symptoms:
Excessive fatigue and exhaustion despite getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night.
Low Energy. Gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.
Lack of motivation and drive, at home and at work.
Difficulty concentrating. Diagnosed with ADD
Consistent low blood pressure
Dry skin, scalp.
Has always had a low sex drive
Feeling overwhelmed by stress
Craving salty foods.
History of endometriosis and ovarian cysts since a teenager, and a recent diagnosis of small uterine fibroid. She was on birth control pills for 10 years to control painful menstrual cycles.
Recently diagnosed as having low thyroid.
College graduated and owned two businesses = Stress!
Clearly, there was a lot going on for my client and she wanted to address it all. I used an investigative process to pinpoint the source of what was causing her symptoms and used the following tools:
Laboratory Testing (Complete Blood Count, Metabolic Panel, Vitamin Testing)
Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Panel to check for digestive residues, bacterial levels, leaky gut, serotonin, immune system, and histamine intolerance.
Key Hormonal testing
Full Health history (questionnaire) from as far back as she could recall
There were quite a few results from her tests. And, they were all opportunities for healing:
Leaky Gut (gut permeability from various toxins and food intolerances)
Low adrenal function
Elevated Blood Sugar levels
Low Iron and Ferritin (iron stores)
Low Vitamin D
I developed a personalized protocol for my client to support the areas showing deficient from our investigative process and test results. Here’s a snapshot of my recommended healing protocol for my client:
Herbal support for adrenal function;
Herbal support for blood sugar stabilization;
High potency seaweed based multivitamin;
Avoid common food allergies (wheat, gluten, cow’s milk dairy, soy)
Avoid sugar, alcohol, and caffeine;
Gentle exercise program;
Stress management program or therapies such as acupuncture, CranioSacral therapy, meditation, yoga
My client and I tracked her results together over defined time periods. As more time elapsed, she experienced an array of health improvements. Here’s what she shared just after two months:
Sleeping through the night;
Sleep is deeper, and she rarely wakes up in the middle of the night to urinate;
No longer craving salt
Off of coffee (caffeine)- was really difficult to kick
After three months, she added more health improvements to her list, including:
Memory slowly improving;
Stamina is better;
Sex drive is improving
After six months of adhering to her new lifestyle protocol, my client added a few more health benefits to her list:
Remember that it takes a long time for symptoms to develop in your body, which means it is going to take some time to heal, too. The good news: when you stick with your recommended Functional Medicine protocol, you body will heal.
Are you on a health journey where the approaches you’ve tried haven’t worked for you? As they say, health is wealth. You deserve to fully enjoy life, too. Give Functional Medicine a try. I’m 100% confident it will make a positive impact in your life.
Yours in health, April
Inspired to learn more about April? Click here.