Are you struggling with your health? Interested in natural healing options?
Do you have health issues or symptoms that you can’t seem to manage and seem overwhelming? Maybe you are not completely connecting with the conventional medical approach (i.e. every time you go to the doctor you get yet another prescription or talk about the same thing that doesn’t seem to work) and have an intuition that there must be something else out there that addresses your issues/symptoms more naturally and gets to the root cause…
I’ve been there too.
What's interesting is that I’m a clinical dietitian nutritionist with a Master’s degree in nutrition and trained in the traditional medical model of treating disease and symptoms using evidence-based medicine (i.e. focus on the disease/symptoms instead of the whole patient, only good for managing the very sick/ acute patient, if there aren’t placebo-controlled, randomized studies to back the therapy its not valid, etc.).
Ever since my first hospital based job after graduate school I’ve had this feeling of, “Is this it?” I had a feeling that I was missing something… and that I wasn’t making a lot of difference for my patients or my team. I was really interested in using nutrition therapy to create real health outcomes and was constantly searching for the "missing" pieces.
I started on a journey dealing with severe headache pain, fatigue, weight loss, anxiety and depression, disability, poly-pharmacy and subsequent need to withdraw from narcotic dependence. I came out on the other side (or more like dragged myself out the other side) and was told to get back into life… I was fine now… nothing else medically to do (except for continuing to take certain medications, get regular blood work, and have periodic check-ups).
It didn’t quite come together for me… I didn’t feel “fine”. I tried to get back to a “normal” routine, but started having anxiety and panic attacks, the depression came back, eczema and allergies, fatigue, significant PMS… random symptoms that I didn’t understand and felt overwhelming.
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Conventional medicine wanted to throw pharmaceuticals at all of the random problems… specialists were recommended. I tried some of these things, but my intuition was signaling that something was “off balance” and I was not interested in taking multiple pharmaceuticals after my recent experience.
I started looking into integrative and naturopathic medicine. I was desperate. I was also open-minded and curious. This is also when I learned about functional medicine – a type of medicine that addresses the body as a whole system (not just different body parts to be looked at separately by different specialists) and is more interested in searching for the root cause of illness rather than treating symptoms or diagnoses. Personalized nutrition and lifestyle therapy is the cornerstone of the functional medicine approach. As with integrative and naturopathic medicine, the functional medicine approach understands and utilizes the power of food, nutrition, and lifestyle care for prevention and management of chronic disease… natural healing.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) and the conventional medical approach is flawed when it comes to prevention, management of chronic disease, and examining diet/nutrition research. I've come to see medical nutrition therapy as a blend of: 1) Understanding the basic sciences and how the body functions as a whole system which includes the role of diet, nutrition, and lifestyle care in maintaining or restoring "function"; 2) Science-based medicine -- with the understanding that diet/nutrition research doesn't fit the same mold as pharmaceutical research, all types of science/evidence needs to be analyzed and must be synthesized in combination with analytical thinking and clinical reasoning, and 3) Clinical insight and experience (i.e. working with individuals).
Integrative and naturopathic medicine worked for me. I am better because I tried and tested these approaches and I know of many other similar stories. I am still working on some health issues (and since then I've had other chronic health conditions surface (i.e. autoimmune disease), but I can say that my symptoms are 90% better and I am currently not taking any pharmaceuticals.
I am excited to bring this type of “food and nutrition as medical therapy” thinking to you by considering the science and making recommendations and suggesting resources for prevention and chronic disease management based on all types of evidence and insights. I hope to engage you in a new way of taking care of your health and present an integrative and functional medicine based approach to nutrition therapy and lifestyle care for natural health and natural healing.
Do you have a similar story about using food and nutrition for natural healing? Have you experienced the power of integrative and functional medicine based nutrition therapy?
If the answer is yes, then please share your story and have it published here.
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