Updated: Aug 17, 2019
As a personal trainer and health coach my job ranges from getting people sweaty to giving them a hug on a bad day. I'm friend, colleague, and motivator. Part of the reason I keep going back to school to learn more tools to help my clients is because I end up being the one they come to talk about their woes and seek advice. When I got certified as a functional diagnostic practitioner I found that I finally had some really good research tools to give my clients the additional support they needed.
A big part of what I do with my clients is fill in the gaps between what they are getting from their doctors, learning in the media, and needing physically. Many of my clients end up in the doctor's office with legitimate complaints about not feeling their best. And sadly, they are often told that none of their symptoms or blood work are unusual and that they are just fine.
But they aren't fine!!
And, is "fine" good enough?
I would argue NO!
These people, who know they can and should feel healthier than they do, go online to figure out what is wrong and how they can help themselves. They come in asking about detox juice programs, vegan diets, low fat diets, keto diets, expensive super foods, and supplements that promise instant vitality. There's a multi-billion dollar industry built around selling the public on ways to self-medicate. The biggest issue with this Dr. Google situation is that there's no way for people to know how their personal chemistry/biology/lifestyle will be affected by these supplements and diets.
When I started studying with FDN, I just wanted to learn new strategies to help my clients optimize their health. But what has really come of it is new information to help them fill in the gaps. Let me give you an example:
I have many female clients come to me in mid- or post- menopause who just feel awful. They have no energy, are gaining weight, losing hair, and are not happy! So their OB/GYN orders blood work and yes, all their estrogen and progesterone numbers come in low. So they are offered a mini-pill or other HRT. That's it. Well, what happens to the woman who has really bad androgen symptoms (hair loss, acne, weight gain in the midsection) when you give them HRT? It gets worse. Especially if it's not properly compounded for their biological needs.
What happens to the woman who is terrified to get on HRT because she's heard that it causes cancer? She feels terrible and thinks there's no option. But did her doctor tell her that those studies showing HRT caused cancer were using synthetic hormones? Did the doctor show her how her body is detoxifying her estrogens or utilizing testosterone? No!
While I'm NOT a doctor, I am an educator.
I can show these women not just what their hormone levels are, but HOW their bodies are utilizing those hormones and how we can make lifestyle, diet, and even supplement changes to optimize that endocrinology. I can also refer her to her doctor for specific compounded bioidentical hormone replacement. I just arm her with the information she needs to take her health into her own hands!
I see similar issues with clients dealing with gut dysfunction. They complain of weight gain, heartburn, IBS, and yet they get no relief from their doctor. I've seen clients get stool tests done at random that show everything is "fine." But then, when I give them enzymes to help get rid of biofilms (slimy coverings that hide intestinal bugs) then redo the stool test, low and behold we have uncovered a whole host of issues! Or, we look at food sensitivities and do an elimination diet only to find all those years of eczema, rosacea, heartburn, etc are just gone!!
This isn't magic, nor charletry, it's just functional diagnostics. I'm looking under the hood to see WHY people don't feel and function optimally.
Please don't take the above to mean I have an adversarial view of medicine. I do not. In fact my own GP has literally saved my life with attention to detail and deep care for what he does. I just want people to have deeper conversations with their doctors, understand what is going on in their own bodies, and take ownership of their health!
Yours in Health,