Many Americans suffer from chronic diseases that include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, arthritis, gastrointestinal issue (IBS and IBD), and autoimmune to name a few. As many of these can have different root causes, nutrition can play a huge part in managing or reversing the condition. Practitioners, such as a Registered Dietitian and Integrative and Functional Nutritionist take a holistic approach that addresses the root causes. I also believe in prevention of chronic disease and being proactive with your health that includes addressing environmental and genetic factors with adequate nutritional intakes and lifestyle interventions. In addition, for optimal results, participating in functional nutrition testing identifies any dysfunction or abnormalities in your body. This blog post will explain the benefit from meeting with a nutrition professional and which conditions are affected by nutrition intervention.
Having any of the aforementioned diseases or if your lab values are trending towards subclinical, your options for treatment can vary. No matter what treatment path you decide to take, a good team of professionals is necessary. I work with many physicians and I am grateful for their referrals as well as asking me to be part of the team. I believe a nutrition expert should be on each physicians list for referrals. Medical doctors only have so much time to spend with their patients and a comprehensive plan needs more time. Also, conventional medicine tends to lean towards medications and if the condition has advanced far enough and needs to be addressed quickly that seems to be appropriate if not necessary. But if you are beginning to experience symptoms or labs are fluctuating towards adverse ranges, my professional opinion would be to meet with a registered dietitian (RD) and address the root causes of your condition. And these root causes include stress, toxins, adverse food reactions, infections and nutrition imbalances.
Many of these root causes can be improved with lifestyle modifications, such as, implementing strategies to relax, determining and eliminating excess toxins, pinpointing food sensitivities and improving your eating habits towards a more wholesome intake.
Changing your eating habits can help you lose weight or to be more specific lose fat by providing adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fats as well as fluids. Sugar is a carbohydrate and one the main additive in our food supply that is causing inflammation and weight gain. If you don’t control your sugar or carbohydrate intake your blood sugars will rise to high levels and may ead to pre-diabetes and eventually full blown diabetes. To control diabetes or reverse it, a balanced diet along with specific nutriceuticals can help control your blood sugars.
Along with controlling your sugar intake, other nutrients should be curbed in order to prevent illness and disease. Sodium is a extremely important electrolyte and can benefit brain function, helps maintain heart contraction, regulate fluid levels and provide relief from muscle cramps. Controlling your intake of high sodium as well as eating healthy fats (avocados, etc) can help with lowering your blood pressure and lipoproteins respectfully. With any intervention one should address what works best for their biochemistry and metabolic pathways.
Any kind of illness or disease and in particular autoimmune disease which is on the rise, must have the genetic factor, a trigger and a leaky gut present, accordingly to Alessio Fasano medical doctor, pediatric gastroenterologist and researcher. What we consume, inhale or put on our skin can increase the immune system response that can lead to inflammation and autoimmune disease. Decreasing inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet and identifying food sensitivities help with GI issues and autoimmune conditions.
All of these conditions above can be improved with nutrition intervention and to provide the fastest and most comprehensive approach, functional testing should be included in your plan.
Today, there are advances in labs that can assist the practitioner in creating a comprehensive individualized plan. These labs consist of taking a blood, urine or saliva sample to be analyzed. Even whats in your stools can tell a lot about your health. There are many different lab companies and you have to be careful which one will give you the most accurate results. Functional labs can be a great place to start and can put you on the right path to health but not always necessary. Again, any of these conditions listed above can be addressed with modifying lifestyle and diet. Please dont take for granted the power of nutrition as it has synergistic effects that heal and repair. Many functional labs can identify nutrient deficiencies, abnormal hormone levels, inflammation, infections, gut bacteria imbalance and give you a blueprint of your genetics. Distinguishing which values need intervention from lifestyle, diet, and supplements may prevent and correct your condition.
Who can benefit from working with a Integrative and Functional Nutritionist?
Do you have fatigue, low energy, or trouble concentrating?
Do you have trouble losing or maintaining your weight?
Are you pregnant or trying to conceive?
Do you have dry skin, eczema or urticaria
Do you have anxiety, depression, or brain fog?
Do you have muscle and/or joint pain?
Do you suffer from indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or other digestive problems?
Has your doctor recommended a nutrition consult for medical condition?
Are you taking more than one prescription medication to treat one or more medical condition?
Are you confused about what diet is best for you?
Are you taking nutritional supplements but unsure about the quality, effectiveness or healthy benefits?
Would you like to improve your health and well-being through diet, nutrition, and a healthier lifestyle?
Do you want to improve your stamina and physical performance?
Obesity and weight loss
Nutrition for pregnancy
Irritable bowel syndrome
Dry skin/skin conditions
What can you expect from a nutrition consult?
A personalized nutrition analysis that addresses your concerns and chief complaints, comprehensive assessment that includes analysis of your current meal plan in addition to a meal and exercise plan.
Discuss what your goals are.
Learn which foods will provide optimal health and energy, menu planning and recipes thats practical for you.
Education on supplement use.