Integrative & Functional Nutrition
What is integrative and functional nutrition and medicine?
Integrative and functional nutrition and medicine focuses on addressing the root cause, rather than symptoms, of disease.This approach to wellness fosters a relationship with the patient in order to identify the many different factors that contribute or lead to health complications and symptoms of disease. The reality is that many manifestations of disease (even obesity) are often the result of a deep-rooted issue, imbalance, or chronic inflammation within the body, including one's behavior as well, such as lifestyle.
Let’s use hypothyroid to illustrate. Conventional medicine for hypothyroid suggests taking medication to restore hormone levels. This approach does not address the preceding conditions, behaviors, or other health complications that might be causing a disruption in hormone levels to begin with. The true cause of symptoms will persist, and as a result the patient will also continue to experience an imbalance or disruption in their health. Rather than simply suggesting medication, integrative and functional nutrition attempts to heal the patient “from the inside out” so to speak – viewing all areas of a person’s life and all of the possible contributing factors that might cause hormonal imbalance. By addressing the root cause of hypothyroid, the patient can experience optimal health and wellbeing while also balancing their hormone levels naturally. Of course, there are some individuals that may experience hormones disruption due to elements outside of their control (such as age, gender, etc.) but the purpose of integrative approaches is to evaluate all of the the opportunities to make the most lasting impact on one's health.
The key feature in functional nutrition and medicine is to address the underlying causes of disease and symptoms. This approach continues to utilize science and evidence-based recommendations but also includes a variety of nutrition therapies to ensure excellent health, such as mindfulness, stress management, and behavior modification. Remember, health is not merely the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, social, and mental well-being.
This highly effective treatment method applies to behavior modification and lifestyle shifts as well. Many clients simply wish to lose weight. Treatment recommendations will almost never include restrictions, counting calories, or “dieting”. Instead, we work together to understand what contributed to weight gain in the first place. Everyone's story is completely different. This can include a myriad of factors like stress, family or social life, dietary behavior, habits, and any other health conditions they may have. There are countless influencers on a person’s current health status. By focusing on these many components, the client learns long lasting changes and experiences true wellness.