What is Functional Nutrition

What is Functional Nutrition

Integrative and Functional medical nutrition therapy can be extremely helpful for a wide variety of symptoms and ailments, including depression, fatigue, brain fog, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, weight gain, joint pain, inflammation, autoimmunity and thyroid health.

It focuses on the various systems within the body and on not just treating the symptoms, but examining the underlying causes driving the condition. It treats the whole body as a complete system in efforts to bring about balance and an overall state of well-being.

This medical nutrition therapy incorporates lifestyle choices and patient centered treatments where the standard is prevention before disease begins to take hold, causing the body to break down because of poor diet, stress, sedentary life style etc. It encourages and empowers the individual to take an active role in his or her health by preventative practices and choices. It essentially puts you, the patient, in the driver’s seat.

The scientific documentation supporting the effectiveness of nutrition therapies cannot be denied or disputed in many areas of healthcare, especially but not limited to, digestive ailments. However, it is not all healing and can be complimentary to conventional medicine.

Gut health and healthy digestion are arguably the foundation of good overall health. Recent new research has drawn connections between the health of your stomach and intestines and your brain, your heart, your immune system, and, of course your ability to absorb the nutrients that fuel all the biological mechanisms that keep your body healthy and functioning properly. Symptoms like bloating, constipation and heartburn can be precursors to more serious digestive conditions like IBS, SIBO, and even colitis.

Here are a few more examples of connections that have been made in the literature:

  • Thyroid issues and gut health
  • Arthritis and gut health
  • Depression and anxiety and gut health
  • Autoimmunity and gut health
  • Brain fog and gut health
  • Heart disease and gut health
  • Celiac and gluten intolerance and gut health
  • Fatigue or lack of energy and gut health
  • Proton pump inhibitors or antacid meds and gut health
  • Nutrient deficiencies and gut health
  • Medications that impact gut bacterial balance and gut health
  • Diet high in FODMAPs and gut health
  • Exercise and gut health

Many of these connections can inform a functional medical nutrition therapy approach to help rebalance systems within the body that may have become dysfunctional over time.

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