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  • Writer's pictureNamrata Patel

What is Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition?

Updated: May 11

Functional Nutrition

There has been a global shift in the approach to health and well-being in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a heightened awareness of prevention, as opposed to cure.   Functional Medicine is fast gaining traction in the health and wellness industry, and the demand for holistic healthcare is growing now, more than ever.

Functional Medicine Explained

Functional Medicine is a health care approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease, rather than just treating the symptoms. It operates on the principle that every individual is unique biochemically and genetically, and therefore requires a personalized treatment plan. This approach views the body as an interconnected system—akin to an orchestra, where the dysfunction of one part affects the whole.

In functional medicine, the goal is to understand and treat the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. By addressing root causes, functional medicine aims to restore balance and functionality to the body's primary systems.

Functional Medicine vs Conventional Medicine

Exploring Functional Nutrition: A Holistic Approach to Health

Functional Nutrition forms an integral part of the broader functional medicine model, adopting a holistic approach to diet by using food and nutrition as medicinal tools. This specialised approach examines how food impacts an individual's physiology and how chronic diseases can alter their nutritional needs.

By identifying foods that support or harm the body and pinpointing nutritional deficiencies, individuals can collaborate with their bodies to enhance functionality and overall health.

Who Can Benefit from Functional Nutrition?

Functional Nutrition offers significant benefits to individuals suffering from chronic diseases or those aiming to improve their overall health and wellness to prevent future illnesses. This approach is versatile, catering to anyone looking to harness the therapeutic power of diet to maintain or improve health.

My Approach as a Functional Nutritionist

As a Functional Nutritionist, I recognise the interconnected nature of the human body. Treating the root cause of disease involves a holistic treatment of the entire body. Once the root cause is identified, I utilise nutrition and lifestyle modifications to activate the body's natural healing processes.

Steps to Enhance Client Health:

1.     Comprehensive Health Evaluation: I start with a detailed assessment of your medical history, including any medications and supplements you are currently using.

2.     Systematic Review: Each body system is reviewed in depth to understand any imbalances or issues.

3.     Diet and Lifestyle Analysis: I examine current dietary habits and lifestyle factors to determine nutritional needs and suggest lifestyle adjustments.

4.     Functional Lab Testing: Specific tests help identify imbalances within the body, including:

  • Stress and sex hormones

  • Thyroid function

  • Inflammation levels

  • Micronutrient profiles

  • Gut health (leaky gut and infections)

  • Food sensitivities

  • Neurotransmitter metabolites

  • Mitochondrial function

Following a thorough health review, I develop a customised protocol that includes:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan: Aimed at reducing inflammation and enhancing nutritional status to kickstart the healing process.

  • Lifestyle Recommendations: These may include exercise routines, habit changes, and other therapies like acupuncture, all tailored to support your healing journey.

  • Supplement Recommendations: Provided as needed to support health and recovery.

  • Emotional Balancing and Mindset Adjustments: Recognising the impact of emotions and thoughts on physical health, I offer tools for healthy emotional processing, such as meditation, chakra balancing, breathwork, or EFT sessions, depending on your needs.

The Goal: Empowering Optimal Health

My ultimate aim is to empower you to become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself. Whether you’re dealing with weight management issues, hormonal imbalances, or chronic health conditions, and are in need of nutritional support, I’m here to assist. Book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with me to discuss how we can collaboratively achieve your health goals.

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Root cause medicine is an interesting concept. Well written post, thank you for sharing Namrata.



Great post - thank you.

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