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  • Writer's pictureLiz Riesen, RD

Functional Nutrition Approach

Functional Nutrition

The core of functional nutrition is collecting as much detailed information from a client as possible. This includes learning about my client's health history, travel, environmental exposure, and significant emotional experiences. I also want to collect information on my client's current diet, lifestyle, environment, stress, and relationships. All of this information plays a role in symptoms, disease progression, and identification of potential underlying issues.

Nutrition is much more than the food you eat. Nutrition involves chemical messaging between cells, organs, hormones and the brain. Understanding the relationship between functions in the body allows functional nutrition practitioners to fully assess possible issues and triggers of your health imbalances. These imbalances have been grouped into 7 areas that we assess in functional medicine.

The Institute of Functional Medicine's 7 Core Imbalances

The groups below are what the Institute of Functional Medicine considers to be potential core imbalances contributing to a disease state. (1)

  1. Assimilation includes digestion, absorption, respiration, and gut microbes.

  2. Defense & Repair refers to immunity, inflammation, and infection.

  3. Energy deals with energy regulation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism.

  4. Biotransformation & Elimination involves toxicity and the detoxification system.

  5. Transport includes cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.

  6. Communication involves neurotransmitters, hormones, and immune cell messengers.

  7. Structural Integrity encompasses everything from cell membranes to skeletal structure.

In addition to nutrition intervention, a functional nutrition provider needs to take into consideration the patient’s lifestyle. There should be recommendations to promote physical activity, stress management, adequate sleep, and emotional well-being.

Working with a functional nutrition provider will help to not only identify underlying contributors to health concerns, but also treat the body as a whole and support the body through nutrition and behavior modification.

If you are ready to make changes and take control of your health, let’s connect!

Schedule a free nutrition inquiry call, to discuss your health goals and see if we would be a good fit!


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