Because there’s no license for nutrition in New Jersey, a lot of different people make nutritional recommendations, from those with degrees in nutrition to dietitians and gym owners. In many doctor’s offices, “nutrition” amounts to a brief patient history and stepping on a scale.
If your weight is appropriate, you’re told everything is fine. If you’re overweight, you’re told to go on a certain diet and take a few supplements. The problem is, this approach typically fails to identify and address the root cause of nutritional imbalances, genetic issues, and conditions like intestinal permeability.
When you go to the doctor, it’s their job to tell you what’s wrong with you – the root cause, not the symptom – and what you should do about it. If you took your car to the shop because it was making a weird noise, the mechanic wouldn’t just give you ear plugs to block out the noise. They’d find out what was causing the noise and fix it at the source.
Functional medicine works the same way. When a patient comes to Natural Healthcare Center, we examine their health and family history. We assess their current state of health. If they bring blood tests, we review them. But we go far beyond height and weight to measure things like body fat, water content, fat free mass and fat mass content.
Based on this data, we begin to determine what we think is going on with the patient. We then often order more functional testing to pinpoint nutritional imbalances and toxicities, working with several of the most respected testing labs in the country.
Depending on the patient and the suspected condition, we may test hormone levels. We may test for levels of glyphosate, a toxic weed-killing herbicide that’s been found in our food supply. We may order 23andMe genetic testing as part of our nutrigenomics program to find out how food affects your genes. We may order an organic acid profile to assess metabolic dysfunction.
We may test neurotransmitter levels to determine how well you’re converting amino acids to neurotransmitters, which can impact anxiety levels, depression and ADHD symptoms. We may order a GI Effects Functional Stool test to analyze your DNA and identify all microbiota present in your body. We may test for amino acids, which play a role in every chemical process that affects your physical, mention and emotional function.
I think you get the point. We want to gather as much data as possible so we can provide an accurate, science-based diagnosis and recommend a personalized, natural treatment plan that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. Medication and surgery are a last resort, not a crutch.
I share this information not to impress anyone, but to explain the level of testing, analysis and investigative work that’s often required to diagnose and treat nutritional imbalances. This is the kind of work that Dr. Oscar Coetzee, Dr. Dana Filatova and I do every day to deliver the kind of outcomes people expect when they come to Natural Healthcare Center.
Nutrition and its impact on the body are far too complex to be evaluated based on one conversation and a bathroom scale, and then treated with a cookie-cutter diet. If you suspect your doctor isn’t digging deeply enough, it may be time to look for a new doctor.