Each person has their own individual health history, lifestyle, and genetic factors, yet most of us are advised to follow the same general dietary guidelines. In functional nutrition, practitioners believe that approaches to eating should be as unique as the patient themselves. The overarching objectives of personalized nutrition are to restore wellness and reduce the risk of serious illness.
Functional nutrition is an important principle in functional medicine. Whereas traditional medicine approaches health by making a diagnosis and then treating that condition or its symptoms, functional medicine aims to treat ailments and prevent illness by addressing any underlying factors that can compromise health. In other words, while functional practitioners will still come to a diagnosis, they dig deeper to find out what’s causing a condition, looking at the body as a whole and assessing the interplay of its different systems. From there, they help patients rebalance by looking to optimize wellness in the areas of stress, sleep, movement, and diet.
Functional Nutrition to Promote Overall Health
Functional nutrition uses diet to promote gut health, achieve balance throughout the body, and optimize nutrient levels. It’s highly personalized and looks into factors such as genetics to come up with an individualized plan for eating that’s perfectly suited to your needs. For instance, you could have food sensitivities that are affecting your body more than you might imagine. Certain dietary choices could be triggering symptoms like bloating, fatigue, and other issues. By eliminating these sensitivities, you could feel better, prevent health issues down the road, and ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to function its best.
Functional nutrition experts can also make tailored dietary recommendations based on your lifestyle. For instance, if meals that require time-consuming prep just don’t fit into your schedule, these wellness professionals will help you find alternatives that you can maintain regularly.
While functional nutrition does aim to get your body more of the sustenance it needs to function well, the benefits extend far beyond nutrition alone. Since functional medicine practitioners understand the remarkable ways in which the body’s systems work together, they can help you uncover the bidirectional effects at play. For example, stress and poor sleep can worsen the symptoms of digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but lack of proper nutrition caused by IBS can also be a stressor that affects sleep quality. Functional medicine practitioners like to get the “big picture” of your health, which allows them to analyze important interrelationships and determine the far-reaching impact a tailored diet can have on your wellness.
How do I start?
To make these tailored recommendations, practitioners need insight into your individual makeup. For this reason, Stemedix offers Genova Diagnostics tests, including the Matabolomix+ test, an analysis of nutritional biomarkers, and the GI Effects® comprehensive profile for insights into gastrointestinal health. Results can reveal details about the digestive function, the microbiome, underlying inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies which could otherwise go unnoticed. With this information, detailed, tailored dietary recommendations can be made to fine-tune your health.
For more information on how these comprehensive tests can benefit your overall wellness, contact us today!