What is Functional Nutrition?
It's a personalised programme of using food as medicine in chronic health conditions. Advanced nutrition assessment, diagnostics and thorough health history gathering lead to a therapeutic plan.
It is based on the principles of Functional Medicine and Naturopathy, and applies the latest research in health sciences. It looks at health in a systemic way, e.g. how tiredness and hormonal issues can be linked to blood sugar imbalance or how your digestive system can affect your thyroid.
People may not relate chronic conditions to nutrition, yet it is food that provides the raw materials for building every cell, muscle, organ, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. In other words, the body cannot manufacture these without providing the building blocks from food. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to focus on nutrition as the key driver in creating good health or disease.
Functional Nutrition can support the following:
- Allergies and intolerances - food and environmental
- Digestive problems (abdominal pain, bloating, Chron's, constipation, diarrhoea, gas, heartburn, Helicobacter Pylori, ulcerative colitis, ulcers)
- Anxiety, depression, low mood, neurodegeneration, poor concentration, etc.
- Addictions, compulsions, obsessions
- Eating disorders
- Low energy
- Respiratory issues like asthma, chronic cough, wheezing
- Cardiovascular issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome
- Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
- Degenerative arthritis
- Autoimmune conditions (Celiac, Crohn’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Hashimoto Thyroditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.)
- Recurring infections (cold sores, cystitis, glue ear, tonsillitis, bronchitis, runny nose, sneezing)
- Skin conditions: (flaky scalp, rashes, cracks, athlete’s foot, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, facial hair in females)
- Underactive and overactive thyroid
- Hormonal matters (PMS, PCO, PCOS, fibroids, clots, endometriosis, symptoms of menopause, moodiness)
- Children's health (immunity, picky eating, glue ear, ADD, ADHD, all forms of autism)
- Recurring injuries
- Weight management
How long does the therapy last?
It depends on the individual needs, the duration of symptoms, priorities and personal circumstances. Some protocols are less, and some are more demanding.
Nutritional needs of a healthy person and someone who is unwell are different. Even if something is considered healthy, it may not suit one's current physiology. The therapeutic stage of GLOW's health plans is formulated specifically for those who aim to experience a shift in the quality of life, the way they look and feel.
Supplementation and nutrient therapy
Supplements can be highly beneficial at the initial stages of the therapy in order to replenish long term deficiencies and accelerate any sluggish processes. In the ideal world, whole foods should provide all nutrients. However, some people have digestive issues or problems with absorption and may need them more than others.
Testing is a valuable diagnostic tool which can wonderfully support the therapy and track its progress. However, it can also be deceiving due to possible false results. From the naturopathic point of view, testing should not be conclusive or take priority over individual's health history and the symptoms they are experiencing. In other words, it's a piece of a much bigger puzzle.
Functional nutrition vs primary healthcare
Functional nutrition does not replace either primary medical care or medication. However, it's up to both, the healthcare provider and the nutritionist, to understand the interactions between nutrients, herbs and medications. Always consult with your healthcare provider for any significant lifestyle changes and drug / nutrient interactions.