Functional Medicine: What can it do for you?

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When I tell people I’m a dietitian that specializes in functional medicine I often get a blank stare. Out of all the people I’ve encountered, only a handful of people have ever heard of functional medicine. It’s not a household name, yet. Functional medicine answers the “why” of disease, whereas conventional medicine answers the “what”. Identifying what is going on in your body is important, however it shouldn’t stop there, that’s only the beginning of the process. The bigger questions is why it’s happening. In short, functional medicine deals with “root cause resolution”.

Let me ask you, if you noticed every time it rained your ceiling would leak, would you just patch your ceiling? Most likely your answer is “NO” because you’d realize the root cause of the problem still exists. Similarly, just suppressing symptoms with a prescription without addressing the underlying problem won’t get rid of the issues- it may actually make it worse. While taking a pill and moving on with your everyday life has its appeal, it should be a last resort after addressing the underlying imbalances that are compounding and ultimately contributing to the poor health you may be experiencing. At the very least, those imbalances and dysfunctions should be addressed with a resolution you can implement in conjunction with taking prescribed medication.

Our daily habits have a huge impact on how we feel mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Although genetics play a significant role in health, your genes are not your destiny. Our environment and life choices influence the expression of our genes. In essence, you create your own health destiny based on your daily choices. If you are ready to take action to improve your health, it can start with just one change, however small, in the right direction. Sometimes one lifestyle change alone can change your entire world.

It’s important to remember that just because you aren’t sick doesn’t mean you’re well.

Diseases don’t manifest overnight. There have been years or even decades of internal imbalances occurring that eventually lead to symptoms or disease. Functional medicine can identify and address these issues BEFORE they turn into something significant. Your body whispers before it screams. Listen to the whisper.

Functional medicine is often called “lifestyle medicine” where adjustments are made around nutrition (food and supplements), managing stress load, incorporating movement (exercise), and improving sleep quality. For people who feel ok, but know they can feel better, just these foundational improvements alone may be all they need to optimize their health and prevent illness.

However, if you have had ongoing unresolved health issues getting help from a functional medicine practitioner may be needed to restore your health. Through examining your entire health history, your current symptoms, and lab testing, information about your unique self and how your body operates can be revealed. From there, we will build a personalized action plan tailored specifically to you. It’s not always a “one and done” approach and it can take some trial and error along the way to polish your path and bring your body back into balance. Effort and willingness to make considerable positive changes to your health and well-being is essential. However, the effort you put into healing yourself is a game-changer in terms of how you show up in the world.

Imagine how much more engaged you would be in your life if you felt less sick, less tired, less depressed, less anxious, or less “fill in the blank”. Functional medicine can be the answer you have been looking for to optimize your health and thrive in your life.

Think functional nutrition might be a good fit for you? Nutrition in Motion is always here to support your health journey! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE! 

  • Heather Waldie, MS, RDN, LDN

    Specialties: Functional medicine, autoimmune disorders, food intolerances/allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal imbalances, weight loss, health coaching/behavior changes, eating disorders.

    Office Location: Haverhill, MA; Worksite Wellness; Tele-Health.

Heather Waldie received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from San Diego State University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Western States with a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. She also holds a certification as a Functional Medicine Nutrition Specialist.

As a Registered Dietitian of over 16 years, Heather has worked in many settings such as clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and out-patient counseling. Her expertise includes functional medicine, eating disorders, and health coaching. Heather is passionate about helping others get to the root cause of their health problems and thrive in their life. She takes a personalized approach to health and wellness by looking at the whole person, not just their symptoms, and correcting underlying imbalances and dysfunctions that contribute to symptoms and disease.

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