In functional medicine, we focus on natural ways to improve our health. That means food first. The functional medicine approach looks for the underlying causes of disease and illness and addresses it in order to improve health status. Health begins in the gut and often the underlying cause of what ails us is digestive and metabolic dysfunction.
Functional medicine practitioners use nutrient supplements, along with food, in clinical practice as the primary tools of treatment.
I've been asked, can't food be enough? After all, as a clinical nutritionist the expectation is that I'm going to create a diet plan to make you feel better. Yes! This is part of what I do.
Sometimes, food isn't enough. This can happen as we age and bodily processes slow down and need a little extra help, when we have a functional deficit in a metabolic pathway, when our hormones become imbalanced, and when our guts aren't functioning the way they're supposed to. These are just some examples of when we may need a little more than what even the best, most thought through food plan can provide.
Our every day lives expose us to stress, environmental toxins, and lack of physical activity. We also experience inadequate exposure to sunlight, and many other problems associated with the 'conveniences' of Western society.
It is for these reasons that we can benefit from supplementing our healthful diets with extra nutrients. Some can help support metabolic pathways and therefore the biochemical reactions that make our bodies run. Others help support our immune system and combat oxidative stress and inflammation, two causes of chronic and complex disease.
I do believe that most of us can benefit from taking certain supplements.
To learn more about my take on specific supplement recommendations --> click here <--
Nutrient supplements are not medications. Prescription medications work by altering metabolic pathways, and even sometimes by shutting them down. All of the processes in our body are connected. When one is interrupted it can affect all others leading to chronic and complex disease. Nutrient supplements provide fuel (just as food can, when all else is in balance) for these processes to help them run. This is the difference between conventional medicine and the functional approach.
So, are nutrient supplements necessary, and can't we get everything we need from food? My answers are sometimes, and maybe.
Most of us know what a healthy diet should look like. When you are following a healthful eating plan and are still having symptoms that can't be explained or tied to anything in particular, this is when food may not be enough. If this sounds familiar I can help you get to the bottom of it.
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If you're ready for a strategy session with me --> click here <--
Are you looking for general information and just want to pick my brain? --> click here <--
Interested in only a diet plan? --> click here <--
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
Wishing you a delicious weekend!
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist