Functional Nutrition

  • What is a Functional Nutrition Approach to Optimal Health?

    Functional medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease.
    By actively listening to a patient’s history and mapping their personal story to a timeline, the functional medicine provider seeks to identify predisposing factors, triggers and events that shift the set-point from health to illness. This process is deeply affected by genomic predispositions, dietary patterns, nutritional influences, and foundational lifestyle behaviors. By changing the disease-centered focus of medical practice to a patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. When a patient’s clinical history, signs, symptoms, and story are  viewed through the functional medicine matrix, the systems view illuminates the root causes of illness and practitioners can support the healing process.
    As diet and lifestyle often contribute to chronic diseases, a personalized approach to nutrition provided through therapeutic dietary interventions, is considered to be foundational.  A food-first approach, with focused therapeutic interventions that address underlying physiological concerns, provides the foundational plan to be implemented by the practitioner.

    What Is Functional Nutrition?
    Functional Nutrition emphasizes the importance of high quality foods and phytonutrient diversity to address clinical imbalances and move people to the highest expression of health.

    The practitioner uncovers functional nutrition-related concerns from a thorough history, physical exam, and advanced nutritional lab assessment, along with a review of dietary patterns, nutrition status, and lifestyle behaviors. The patient’s timeline and functional medicine matrix reveal patterns that inform providers of the next steps in assessment, testing, or implementation of a personalized therapeutic intervention to promote optimal health and prevent diet- and lifestyle-related disease.

    Functional Nutrition offers personalized dietary guidance in foundational nutrition, phytonutrient applications, the Core Food Plan, the Elimination Diet and GI Specific Food Plans, a Detox Food Plan, a CardioMetabolic Plan, the Energy Food Plan for improved vitality, as well as gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

    What Does a Functional Nutrition Assessment Identify?
    The Functional Nutrition Assessment offers an ABCD organizational approach to support the clinical analysis, it allows for nutrition-related findings and clinical patterns to emerge.  From the medical history, physical and laboratory exams, and a diet and lifestyle review, the Functional Nutrition Assessment improves the identification of insufficiencies/imbalances through the PFC-MVP model; representing Protein, Fat/ Oils, Carbohydrates, Minerals, Vitamins, and Phytonutrients.

      • Anthropometrics help to identify altered body composition patterns and abnormal vital signs
      • BioMarkers and functional laboratory findings uncover PFC-MVP nutrition insufficiencies and physiologic patterns linked to clinical imbalances
      • Clinical Indicators from the physical exam identify signs related to nutrition abnormalities that can be further explored through laboratory and functional assessments
      • Diet, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Journals explore daily or weekly food intake, PFC-MVP assessment, patterns of eating, cravings and habitual foods, and stress eating associations

    Functional Nutrition, within the operating system of Functional Medicine, provides the health care practitioner with the tools and process to promote patient-centered care and personalized nutrition.


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