Restore vitality and wellness to your life with a personalized nutrition plan from Enroot Wellness
What is Functional Medicine?
A practice of restoring function in the body – in the cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the organism (you). Instead of looking at health as the absence of disease, this is about the presence of vitality. This is about root cause resolution.
Functional Nutrition is personalized, preventive, predictive, and client-centered. We focus on wellness plans that take into consideration your genetics, your lab values (and patterns over the years), and your goals.
Functional Nutrition lies under the umbrella of Functional Medicine, which has its roots in the concepts extensively researched and deployed by Dr. Linus Pauling’s work (molecular biology, quantum physics), known as Orthomolecular Medicine. This practice holds the viewpoint that dysfunction and disease can ultimately be attributed to deficiencies in the internal environment, creating suboptimal conditions.
Opportunists thrive when health conditions are not optimal
Tenets of Functional Medicine, Functional Nutrition
- Client-Centered Care
- Biochemical Individuality
- Health is a positive vitality
- Dynamic Balance
- Organ Reserve
Evidence-based medicine + Systems-biology approach
Dr. Jeffrey Bland, a student of Linus Pauling, set out to enfold these concepts with evidence-based medicine and a focus on systems, not symptoms, to address the chronic disease pattern. Learn about systems biology here.
What is disease?
The story of chronic disease goes something like this: there’s a deficiency (in a cell or a tissue) that builds into dysfunction (in an organ or organ system), which manifests as pain, and then builds into a series of symptoms. A cluster of symptoms is then labeled a disease.
What does that name tell us? It tells us the what, but not the why.
It tells us about the part, but not the person.
Looking for the why within the what
We’re in a culture of name it and blame it. Name the disease and blame the symptoms on that disease. We have drugs for diseases not for mechanisms. What is meant by this? Consider for a moment that diseases don’t actually exist. Someone has a cluster of symptoms or clinical signs that has been collectively attributed to (or named) a disease. What happened to the cluster? The disease is a downstream affect of the upstream causes or mechanism/s. Yet, most drugs target the symptom downstream, rather than the steps, mechanisms, enzymes, cofactors, nutrients, etc. that are deficient, dysfunctioning, or have disappeared along the way. Many drugs also cause deficiencies.
All diseases (clusters of symptoms) start out the same way; an insult which gives rise to local inflammation and the body’s acute immunity system responds to resolve, sequester, or remove the offender. When copious amounts of insults repeatedly bombard the immune or our signaling systems are offline, these offenders act as signaling molecules. This results in myriad of reactions (systemic inflammation, autoimmunity, inefficient production of ATP, and so on).
Take home: All diseases begin through similar underlying mechanisms, of which the majority of drugs do not address. Most drugs also cause deficiencies or nutrient loss.
46% percent of children have a chronic disease by age 18 (in the US).
Children being born today (2005, NEJM) may be the first generation in history with a lower life expectancy than their parents (US), and yet the US spends more than twice as much per capita on healthcare, and we rank 37th in the world for health outcomes.
Caring for complex, chronic conditions involves courage and discovery.
This should not begin and end with the name of the disease.
It should begin with The Whole Story.
At Enroot Wellness, discovery involves a functional nutrition format, using the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating chronic conditions, history of onset, current pain points, and evidence of clinical imbalances.
There are web-like internal factors that contribute to health, and no system is isolated, everything is connected – mind, body, and spirit. We recognize that our mental, emotional, and spiritual health has influence on our physical health, and vice versa. It is with this in mind that we explore what all may be contributing to and manifesting in physical symptoms, chief complaints, and generalized contraction of well-being.
Through the lens of wellness and function, we are also generalists, not specialists. We listen to what the body is saying; through the blood, through the signals, and in your story.
When the network of our biology is disrupted, disturbances in the normal operating mechanisms will develop into patterns. Patterns of imbalance, dysfunction & insufficiency. Patterns can be detected in the data, in basic blood tests (eg. CBC, CMP, lipid panels), functional tests (eg. stool test, DUTCH), and more.
For example, placing these basic test results against optimal ranges, we can determine patterns of inflammation, infection, and cardiovascular health. It is also becoming possible to predict the diversity of one’s microbiome through a set of metabolites in the blood. Therefore, determining a healthy microbiome will be a blood test in the future, not a microbiome test. This is because the signals in the blood are a much more stable predictor for how microbes are actually achieving their function. Likewise, a new segment of study of polygenics will help determine whether an individual is more likely to improve wellness through lifestyle modifications or through pharmaceutical interventions.
When patterns at play are identified, we can drive the body’s pathways toward that of repair, restore, and corrective healing. For example, if micronutrients are lacking for the thyroid gland to convert inactive T4 to active T3, we can begin to greet the cells’ needs, and there is a domino or cascade effect, because, cells build tissues, tissues build organs, organs are a part of organ systems. When organ functionality improves, all interrelated systems are positively affected.
**A word on evidence-based medicine
While science can be reliable and serve as a basis for understanding the body, statistics can often exaggerate associations. The beauty of functional nutrition and personalized medicine is that balance between reliance on studies with what the body is revealing.
**There is no silver bullet for chronic conditions.
Our vital organs have a maximal capacity of function, and then there’s the minimal function required to sustain an individual’s life. Organ reserve is about harnessing and reinstating the power in-between. This is a marker for healthy aging. The aim of organ (cellular) reserve is enhancing health span, not just life span.
Disease in the adult is many times the result of cumulative and gradual loss of function and flexibility of physical, physiological, emotional, and cognitive capabilities. Functional medicine, functional nutrition aims to retain organ function and achieve root cause resolution.
Take the example of a water leak.
If I plug the hole for where the leak is draining, the water will find another place to go or cause a back up in the system. A plumber would not just cap a leak, they would determine the reason for it in the first place.
In functional nutrition, we are not concerned with geography (i.e. where is the leak), as much as the etiology (i.e. cause of the leak). What is the offender? What was the trigger? We look upstream.
Deficiencies of micronutrients or malnutrition (protein or energy malnutrition and obesity) diminish our immune and other systems. This is referred to as hidden hunger when one lacks vitamins and minerals.
**We aim to provide personalized nutrition to people and their pets by optimizing wellness through functional nutrition and organized, integrated assessments of epigenetics.
Every being holds a genetic and environmental uniqueness.
It is more important to know what kind of person has the disease, than what disease the person has.
-attributed to Hippocrates and William Osler, among others
Rather than disease arising from infectious organisms or inborn errors of metabolism, Hans Selye identified a physiological mechanism (cellular change) to disease development. Disease arises from dysfunction. Due to biochemical uniqueness, getting to know the person informs the roadmap for healing.
Enroot offer’s unique bloodwork analysis, food sensitivity tests, and more, to further identify nutrient deficiencies and patterns of disturbance.
In personalizing your wellness plan, we can influence the inherited dysfunction through environmental inputs and improved physiological function. This enables a truly comprehensive approach for disease prevention and root cause resolution.
Your genes are not your destiny.
Your genetic predispositions do not mean you are predetermined to contract a condition, develop a disease, to age well or to not age well. You have unique genes that are responding uniquely to their environment. Your body responds to alarms. You have the opportunity to be alert. Your cells are listening and waiting intently for your cues. Not your mother’s, nor Grandma Jeane’s or Uncle Ed’s, but the daily cues you give your body. These cues are unique inputs that either turn on or turn off genes.
Internal and external factors contribute to a person’s body, mind, and spirit. Epigenetics is the study of these internal and external factors that turn on and off our genes.
Did you know? Inherited genetic factors make only a minor contribution to susceptibility to most cancers. The major contribution, it turns out, are factors that we have the ability to influence; the way we stress, the way we eat, the way we move, and the way we think.
How we live, what we eat, and how we stress washes over our genes (not the 501 kind, the genetic kind) and all this gives signals to the body, mechanistically shifting how the body responds. Physical and psychological stress trigger changes in gene expression.
The dynamic interactions that give way to give rise to symptoms…
**Functional Medicine is a map. It is a GPS system to help the practitioner navigate through the landscape of illness toward the vortex of vitality. A medicine of connectivity. When we connect the mechanisms, not the diseases, the systems not symptoms, we can influence the ecosystem of the body.
Functional nutrition cares about the individual. We are client-centered, not disease centered. This is personalized nutrition.
Enroot’s Mission: Enroot Wellness is dedicated to listening to what your body is saying, and helping provide the means to restore vitality. An evidence-based, functional medicine, and personalized approach to health and well-being, for people and pets.
The Tack Rule
If you’re standing on a tack, it takes a lot of aspirin to dissipate that pain. If you’re standing on two tacks, removing one won’t make you feel 50% better.
For momentary discomfort now, we may be trading future dysfunction.
The model, the method, the map, of functional medicine is not magic. It is a model of connectivity.
Functional medicine is a disruptive technology that will overthrow the tyranny of the diagnosis. – Mark Hyman
We look for patterns, connections, mechanisms…in our walk towards wellness.
This work is…
personalized. predictive. preventive. participatory.
What is Systems Biology?
Functional Medicine is steeped in a systems biology approach. What does this mean? This includes multidisciplinary (an integrated team approach and multiple health modalities), personalized care, looking at underlying mechanisms, and all informed by evidence.
Please note that I do not speak on behalf of Institute of Functional Medicine or Linus Pauling Institute, though I hope my sentiments are in harmony with both. Any error in judgment should be credited to me and not anyone else.