6 Ways Functional Medicine is Transforming Health Care

Tired of taking drugs that not only don’t help you, but they also make you feel even worse?

The standard model of care for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, low thyroid, acid reflux, and autoimmune disease is inadequate. Conventional Medicine is failing us.

The good news? Functional medicine is transforming healthcare.

Here are 6 ways how:

1. We aren’t ok with the decline of our collective health

No matter what we do, our population is getting sicker. We want to fight the increase of
● Heart disease
● Metabolic disorders
● Autoimmunity
● Cognitive decline
● Hormone imbalances
● + so much more

2. We fill in the missing gaps

In functional medicine, we spend time creating customized wellness plans depending on someone’s unique biochemistry. We spend adequate time with each patient to help them, help themselves.

We understand that SO MANY things can influence the course of a disease and treatment including:


● Environment
● Health history
● Genetics
● Diet
● Sleep
● Movement

You won’t find standardized treatment plans here — only plans customized to the individual!

3. We know medication deficiency isn’t the reason why people are getting sick

More than 100k die each day because of the side effects from drugs.

Functional medicine is NOT anti-medication, however, for any person with any health issue, we look for the most effective option that causes the fewest side effects. Sometimes that doe mean medication, most often it means supporting the body so that it doesn’t need medication.

4. We realize genetics are not the problem

Did you know that 90 percent of our longevity is determined by the choices we make – not by genetics?

Even if we have genetic predisposition for certain diseases, it’s the interaction between our genes and:

● The foods we eat
● Stress levels
● Sleep
● Physical activity
● Exposure to toxins

…that determines our health

5. We believe the best medicine is at the end of our forks

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.” – Hippocrates

How far have we come that the words of the founder of modern medicine are considered to be threatening to modern medicine?

6. Functional Medicine personalizes health care

Functional medicine practitioners treat each patient as an individual and design customized healing plans for each client.

There’s no ‘one size fit them all’ treatment protocol – every case is different.

Imagine this:
You and your best friend suffer from the same problem let’s say acne! She went to the doctor and was prescribed loads of creams, face washes, tonics and even the pill – so you think: why go to the doctor myself, I’ll just ask her the name of the products and BAM! That’s solved, we will both have smooth healthy skin.

A few months later you realize that: the face wash makes your skin red, or that the face cream makes you itching and the pill – well you don’t even want to talk about how bloated you feel.

Different people might have the same apparent problem and symptoms, but they don’t
necessarily need the same treatment.

Now what?

So if you want to:

● Wake up energized every single morning
● Have an abundance of energy throughout the day
● A calm, centered mind that can handle any stress that comes your way
● Move your body without aches and pains
● Feel like you can connect deeply with your loved ones

Then the way I see it, you have 3 options to achieve that:

  1. Spend hours and hours trying to figure it out yourself. Getting few results.
  2. Do nothing and be in the exact same place 6 months from now. Still sick & frustrated.
  3. Invest in someone who is a health expert with a proven track record in helping people just like you overcome their health issues to help them lead a vibrant life full of the above.

I say, you are worth the investment!

If you choose option 3️ — I’m here to support, you!

I create customized wellness plans with accountability and support to help you reach your health goals.

If you’re curious to know more about what that might look like, sign up for an initial consult here to discuss your health concerns and goals!
Schedule here

The Cortisol – Inflammation Connection

The flight or fight hormone…can you guess what it is?

>>> Cortisol! <<<

Cortisol is a major hormone in the body. Responsible for waking us up every day and the hormone associated with stress, cortisol plays a very important role in our daily lives.

When cortisol levels are high, it can lead to excess levels of inflammation.

Symptoms of inflammation:

● Slow metabolism
● Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
● Irregular periods
● Anxiety
● Irritability
● Body aches
● Stiff muscles
● Headaches
● Fatigue
● Digestive problems
● Skin breakouts

Inflammation plays a role in nearly every modern disease, such as cancer, heart disease and all autoimmune diseases, as well as:

● Dementia
● Arthritis
● Allergies
● And digestive disorders

To lower your levels of inflammation, and therefore be one step closer to healing, you must first determine how much inflammation you have, where it is, what kind of inflammation it is, and what your body’s triggers are.

Testing

This is where testing comes in!

Functional medicine testing has made significant advances in the treatment of chronic conditions such as the ones named above, however, there’s a problem…

In addition to testing your cortisol levels through saliva testing, you can also test levels of inflammation within the body.

Here are the top 4 inflammation markers you should ask for that aren’t on standard lab testing:

  1. C-reactive protein (CRP) test.
    CRP is a blood test that determines how much inflammation is present in your body. Ideally, you want less than 1.0 mg/L on this test.
  2. Liver function test.
    This test determines the extent of liver damage caused by insulin resistance-induced inflammation. High liver enzymes equate to liver cell death, which is most commonly caused by elevated insulin resistance due to a fatty liver.
  3. Fibrinogen test.
    Fibrinogen is a type of blood clotting agent that rises in response to inflammation and insulin resistance. For this test, you’ll ideally want less than 350 mg/dl.
  4. Ferritin test.
    This is a metric for extra iron storage, which rises in conjunction with inflammation and insulin resistance. Lower than 200 ng/ml is ideal for this test.

How to reduce inflammation

If you suspect excess inflammation within the body, it is extremely necessary to decrease stress and support your body. You can do this by following these steps:
● Get enough quality sleep. Sleep is when your body rests and repairs itself. It’s perhaps the number one thing to work on when dealing with stress and inflammation.
● Stop eating processed foods and drinking caffeine the entire day as it can lead to fatigue, sugar crashes, and excess inflammation.
● Focus on eating vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats throughout the day to keep you energized the whole day by supporting healthy cortisol levels.
● Use aromatherapy to help decrease stress and improve the quality of sleep. Lavender is a potent remedy for a good night’s sleep.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.05.007

● If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, you can also use adaptogens that reduce symptoms of stress. Adaptogens help the body to become more resistant to stress and decrease the overall sensitivity to various stressors. Ashwagandha has shown incredible
results for lowering cortisol and reducing stress and anxiety. ​​PMID: 32021735. Rhodiola helps to also reduce stress and fatigue. PMID: 29325481. Work with your practitioner to see which supplements are best for you.
● Develop a personalized relaxation routine where you choose your favorite relaxing activities such as meditating, journaling, yoga, deep breathing, etc.

How do you focus on decreasing stress in your life?

How to support your mitochondria through lifestyle

Mitochondria, which are tiny organelles found in every cell in the body, create 90% of the energy we need!

They do this by taking the nutrients from the food you eat, break the nutrients down, and transform the byproducts into ATP (energy!).

They are essential to how energized we feel on a daily basis!

Increase energy levels by supporting your mitochondria with these lifestyle tips!

Get moving!

Exercise is key to improving mitochondrial health. Muscle cells tend to have a large energy expenditure so there are more mitochondria associated with them. However, don’t head out to get an extended cardio session in. The best types of movement to support the mitochondrial include interval training and strength training. However, when you are recovering from poorly functioning mitochondria, it’s important to start slow and build up your endurance and strength over time.

Don’t overeat

Too much “energy” in the body from overeating (and inactivity) can lead to oxidative stress that damages the mitochondria. Aim to stop eating when you feel 80% full.

Intermittent fasting

Time restricted eating or intermittent fasting has been linked to preventing and restoring damage to mitochondria. If you’re new to fasting, I always recommend starting with a basic 12 hour fast overnight and customize it from there.

Minimize environmental toxin exposure.

Various environmental toxins like pesticides, cigarette smoke, heavy metals, and more have been associated with a decrease in enzymes that help the mitochondria produce energy. These toxins can also lead to excess oxidative stress in the body which also impacts mitochondrial function.

Sleep

While you sleep is when your body takes out all the junk. If you’re not getting enough quality or quantity of sleep, the waste removal system can’t properly clear out the toxins. This toxic build up can reduce the function of the mitochondria. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep /  night between the hours of 10pm – 6 am.

Cold exposure

Cold exposure has been shown to promote mitochondrial production. This could look like ending the last 30 seconds of your shower with cold water, jumping in a cold body of water like a lake, or taking an ice bath.

Sauna

Infrared sauna use can potentially support mitochondrial health. One study found that frequent exposure to the heat stress from a sauna increased the function of mitochondria.

Supplement

Alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is an important cofactor of many mitochondrial functions. In addition it can act as an antioxidant which reduces inflammation that can damage mitochondria cells.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for 300+ processes within the human body, so it’s no surprise that it can also support mitochondria. It’s thought to support the mitochondria in two ways:

  • as an antioxidant that helps to reduce overall levels of reactive oxygen species.
  • as an important cofactor for many cellular reactions. In fact, ATP (the energy that mitochondria produce) needs to be attached to a magnesium ion to “biologically active” in the body!

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It has been found to support the growth of new mitochondria and enhance overall function.

CoQ10

CoQ10 is the star nutrient for mitochondrial health. CoQ10 is typically produced by your body and then the mitochondria stores it. It then helps the mitochondria in making ATP (energy). In addition, it also acts as an antioxidant and can bind to free radicals. Excessive free radicals in the body can negatively impact mitochondrial function. By supplementing with CoQ10, this can support your mitochondria to function better.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)

In some animal studies, NAC was found to support mitochondria by decreasing levels of oxidative stress within the body.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Research has found that omega 3’s have a positive impact on the membranes of mitochondria and can help to reduce mitochondrial dysfunction.

NOTE: always consult with your practitioner before starting or stopping any supplements.

Eat mitochondrial supportive foods

Blueberries

The antioxidant anthocyanin found in blueberries can help protect mitochondria from oxidative stress.

Brassica vegetables

Veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower support your body’s ability to produce glutathione which is the body’s master antioxidant and can help protect mitochondria from free-radical damage.

Grass fed beef

Grass fed beef is rich in CoQ10, and helps the mitochondria in making ATP (energy).

Avocado

Avocados are rich in healthy fats which help to protect and repair mitochondria.

Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega 3’s and b vitamins which support mitochondria.

Green tea

The polyphenols in green tea have been shown to protect, enhance the function, and repair damage in mitochondria.

Pomegranates

The compounds punicalagins and ellagitannins found in pomegranates have been found to help rejuvenate mitochondria and prevent damage due to oxidative stress.

AVOID these foods

Certain foods increase inflammation in the body which can damage mitochondria. These foods include things like sugar, foods covered in pesticides, refined grains, processed foods, and alcohol.

A daily routine to support your mitochondria:

How to do you put all those tips into action? Follow this daily plan!

Wake up and break a sweat. Do a short high intensity workout (~10 minutes).

Take a shower and end with 30 seconds of cold water.

Get ready for the day using “clean” hygiene and beauty products free of environmental toxins.

Eat a protein rich breakfast after a minimum of a 12 hour fast from the night before. Scrambled eggs with vegetables is a great mitochondrial supportive breakfast.

Take your mitochondria support supplements with or after breakfast.

Boost oxygen levels in your mitochondria by taking a mid-morning 2-5 minute deep breathing break.

Sip on some green tea while you are working.

For lunch, have a salmon salad with leafy greens, red cabbage, seeds, pomegranate seeds, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Boost oxygen levels in your mitochondria by taking a mid-afternoon 2-5 minute deep breathing break.

For dinner, make a stir fry with grass fed beef, broccoli, cabbage, and bell peppers.

Feel like dessert? Grab a handful of antioxidant rich blueberries.

Aim to go to bed by 10 pm and wake up at 6 am for a full 8 hours of sleep.

If you feel like you may need support to get your mitochondria healthy, schedule a free introductory call with us to see if we can help you. (add link to schedule)

https://www.timetap.com/appts/Oq6yt0krJub/

Keywords:

Mitochondria

Mitochondria for gut health

Mitochondria for hormones

NAC

CoQ10

Functional medicine

Functional nutrients

Gut health

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