lab testing

Healing Hypothesis Introduction

You’re ready to change your life. You can reclaim your health.

There is a set of concepts we use to help you change your life. Together, they make up our Healing Hypothesis. Everyone is unique and has a unique protocol. Applying these concepts to your case is what guides me in developing that protocol.

I want to share them with you so that you understand what you need to consider in order to finally get your health on track.

They are:

  • Health begins in the gut

  • Your body is built to heal itself

  • One size doesn’t fit all

  • Food isn’t always enough

  • Your unique biochemistry

  • A holistic approach

  • Your custom supplement protocol

  • Your custom diet

These concepts form our Healing Hypothesis, and they are the outline of the roadmap we use to bring you relief from your health problems, feel better, and help you meet your health and wellness goals.

Each concept helps us move the needle forward, and together they form the powerful, and holistic approach you need.

I know this because these concepts represent the lessons I learned along my healing journey, and are the things I did to get myself, and my health, back on track.

Here’s the deal. Chronic and complex health conditions have root causes. Finding these root causes is where we have opportunities to improve, and possibly even resolve them. My Healing Hypothesis guides us through identifying and addressing these root cause issues.

As a functional and clinical nutritionist I do not diagnose, or treat any condition. My job is to teach you what you can do to heal, feel better, and to help you identify root causes of the health problems you have. The kind of root causes I’m talking about lead to imbalances in your body, and long-standing ones can cause chronic and complex health problems. We can address imbalances with natural means like diet, supplements, and lifestyle interventions, and prevent long-term consequences.

The Problem (Part 1)

Likely until now, you’ve been fumbling through the maze of conventional, Western medicine.

You go to your doctor, you describe your symptoms, and they do some lab tests. There are two scenarios I see often. The first is that those lab tests come back normal, but you still don’t feel well. You are dismissed and led to believe your illness is all in your head. The second is that your labs are not normal and you are prescribed medication.

Let’s address this first issue. You don’t feel well, your labs look fine, and you are dismissed, and led to believe it’s all in your head.

What didn’t happen is that there was no exploration of what root cause issues (imbalances) may be contributing to how you are feeling, and causing the symptoms you have. You feel sick, scared, alone, and now think you are crazy and there’s nothing really even wrong with you in the first place.

You spend your time searching Google for answers, and find there are droves of others out there, going through similar challenges, all desperately searching for solutions to claim their health, and their life back.

Some have had success with this, that and the other, and you try these interventions, with no luck. Or maybe you have some minimal relief or notice some small changes, but it’s not enough to make much of a difference for you.

This is because everyone is different. Your biochemistry is as unique as your fingerprint, so what works for someone else may not work for you.

Also, interventions have synergistic effects. That means they work together, and combinations of interventions often work a lot better than individual ones.

This is why you’ve tried X, or Y, or Z and none of them have worked. Maybe you’ve even tried X and Y, Y and Z, or X and Y and Z, and still can’t seem to get results. X, Y, and Z are just three options.

Think of it this way, what if you take the entire alphabet, all 28 letters, and try to piece together what will work for you? It’s basically impossible (unless you're really good at probability... would that fall under 'probability'?).

That’s what this process is like, without the support and guidance of our Healing Hypothesis, and someone that can help navigate your journey as your copilot.

I was that person. I suffered many, many years with GI issues. Conventional doctors did what they knew how to do. For me, it didn’t help. My problems weren’t anything that conventional medicine could fix.

Even though I have the training, background, and experience in the kind of help I did need, I still had to search for my own answers, consult with other professionals in my field, and go through a lot of trial and error.

This process has inspired me to share my lessons learned with you. My lessons learned are the 8 concepts that form my Healing Hypothesis.

Your Unique Biochemistry

Diving deeper into your unique biochemistry is a component of our Healing Hypothesis, and it is necessary for developing your customized protocol.

Here’s the scenario: You feel awful yet all your lab work looks fine. Your doctor tells you you’re fine, sends you on your way, maybe with a prescription for something to help with some symptoms, and you are otherwise led to believe your health problems are all in your head. Sound familiar?

 It does to me. When I decided to finally see a doctor about my GI issues, I had all the necessary testing done, including a colonoscopy. Everything about my gut came back normal. Nothing about my gut was even remotely normal.

Standard, conventional labs do not take into account functional status. Many imbalances can precede abnormal findings on standard, conventional labs. This is why we need to explore the functional needs of your body, and why you don’t feel well even with normal looking labs.

We can use functional testing to identify these imbalances and resolve them to help you feel better.

As an example, some of the testing I use often in my practice evaluates overall functional nutritional status to determine personalized supplementation needs for a variety of nutrients including antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, digestive support and others. With this testing, we can:

  • Identify imbalances that may precede abnormal findings on standard lab panels.

  • Identify functional needs for specific nutrients, diet changes, antioxidants, and detoxification, and other interventions.

  • Determine personalized nutrient recommendations based on biochemical individuality.

This functional testing uses a combination of direct and functional markers in order to arrive at your nutrient needs. Some nutrients are directly assessed and others are assessed based on markers found in biochemical pathways that are associated with nutrient needs (functional status).

What does this mean? Basically, standard, conventional labs tend to look for example at blood levels of certain nutrients. You can have adequate levels of nutrients in your blood, but that doesn’t show us if your body is using those nutrients. By looking at markers found in biochemical pathways, we can identify if those nutrients are actually functioning.

Do you see the difference? Just because the nutrient is there, doesn’t mean it is working, or functional. This is particularly pertinent if you suffer with chronic and complex health problems, yet your lab work routinely looks in range.

Remember that nutrient imbalances and insufficiencies adversely impact a wide range of body functions and can produce an even wider range of symptoms. Identification of and targeted interventions for these problems can improve your health, combat chronic health issues, and prevent additional health issues in the future.

Another functional test I use in my practice is a poopy test. This is different from standard, conventional stool testing. The latter looks for particular infections, which of course is helpful. Often, these infections are ruled out (you don’t have any), however you still are sick.  

The stool testing I use takes things a few steps further, and helps to identify the root cause of many gastrointestinal symptoms including gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation, among others, and it can be used to evaluate folks with a clinical history that suggests a gastrointestinal infection or dysbiosis (abnormal gut bacteria).

Research associates a dysbiotic, or imbalanced gut microbiome with multiple disease states both within and outside of the GI tract. That means you can have impaired gut health and not even have gut related symptoms.

Functional stool testing gives us insight into your digestive function, intestinal inflammation, and the intestinal microbiome. It allows us to assess multiple functional areas that may be contributing to the symptoms you have, and the information the testing provides can be used to develop and guide targeted interventions to address your health issues.

Your symptoms will improve as functional imbalances and insufficiencies we identify become normalized through targeted diet, lifestyle, and supplementation interventions.

There are countless other functional tests we can use to appropriately assess your health status. Based on our work together, we will determine which will give us the information we need to develop your unique plan.

For you to heal, we need to address your health holistically. This concept of our Healing Hypothesis takes us out of the gut for a bit and into the rest of your life.