When I was in college, working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science we had this dreaded class that taught us about evidence-based information and how to determine what is information that we should actually follow or it was written by a biased party that just wants you to do what they say for whatever reason.
Turns out….this is a really great tool to have in my toolbelt as there is SO much information out there about what you should do/shouldn’t do when it comes to obtaining your health and wellness goals.
When I meet with my health coaching clients I make sure I send them home with evidence-based information to help them understand why or to be able to refer to a trusted certified professional in the area that will be able to help further.
If you are unsure about something you have read, please seek a certified professional to consult with rather than just rolling with it. Or, drive down to Barnes & Noble to purchase a book to educate yourself (written by someone that is certified).
Why go through all this work? Some “information” can be very harmful to your body rather than helpful.
Moving forward, I want to educate my clients and you, my loyal readers, on Functional Nutrition Therapy.
I also want to introduce you to a certified professional that works locally in case this is something you have read about and want to learn more.
This Functional Nutrition Therapy professional is a member of Performance Health & Fitness and works with Jenny Vens (either in person or remotely) to help herself with the daily habit of exercise to achieve optimal health and live to be 100! (Just kidding….I am unsure if that is her goal but I do know that by living a healthy lifestyle that’s a huge part of becoming a Centenarian.)
Lisa Scranton is a board-certified registered dietitian but took her passion/knowledge a step further and became certified as an Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Professional.
Essentially, Food is Medicine and we can utilize certain lab results to find nutrient deficiencies, causes of digestive dysfunction, implement a nutrition plan to help find food sensitivities and then prescribe a specific nutrition plan to completely reverse or put our chronic illnesses and diseases in remission.
As Lisa puts it, “Food can help to maintain our health or develop chronic disease.”
Food is SUPER important when it comes to our overall health. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a donut or a beer or both once in a while, but we want to make sure that 80% of your food intake consists of foods that help your body to function at its best to prevent a life-shortening chronic illness/disease.
Living a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, decreased stress, proper hydration, good quality nutrition and daily exercise for 30 minutes are all things that we have within our control. These components have been scientifically proven to help manage a chronic illness and disease or put it completely into remission symbiotically with a treatment plan prescribed by your physician.
So now, let’s dive into Functional Nutrition Therapy and what it is to help you learn more about how implementing this daily habit could help you achieve optimal health!
Here are some words from Lisa:
What is Functional Nutrition Therapy and how is it different?
Functional nutrition therapy is a form of MNT (medical nutrition therapy). MNT is nutritional counseling and meal planning tailored to each individual and designed to help manage disease.
Functional nutrition therapy works to actually repair food-related root causes of chronic disease, including nutrient deficiencies (these are actually extremely common), food sensitivities and intolerances, nutrient absorption problems, toxin accumulation and compromised gut health.
What chronic illnesses/diseases can be treated with Nutrition Therapy?
Most people with chronic disease can benefit from functional nutrition. I work mostly with people who have gut problems like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, reflux, and chronic constipation, and also with people who have autoimmune diseases. There are over 100 autoimmune diseases, but some common ones are rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, lupus, celiac, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, Guillan-Barre, and Sjogren’s.
To develop any autoimmune disease, three conditions must exist. 1) Genetic susceptibility (no surprise there), 2) gut damage (“leaky gut”), 3) environmental trigger(s), such as nutrient deficiencies, viral infections, toxin exposures, chronic stress, and many others. Diet can repair gut damage and address some autoimmune triggers. Often this is enough to bring about significant improvement or even remission of symptoms.
Can someone expect to have their chronic illness or disease be completely reversed or just be put in remission with Nutrition Therapy?
Most people have partial or even complete remission of symptoms with functional nutrition therapy, but will experience a recurrence of symptoms if they don’t maintain their lifestyle changes. So I would call it remission.
How long until someone starts seeing results or changes when they start your program?
This is really variable. Some people feel better within weeks, but it often takes longer than that. The gut has the surface area of a football field, and healing that large of an area requires time.
What are the benefits that your clients see when they work with you?
Most people notice improved energy, less pain, and fewer gut symptoms.
How do you measure progress?
Great question! I am able to order some nutritional testing if needed, and some physicians will work with me to order lab tests. Tests can be useful, but the most important indicator of progress by far, is how someone feels. If symptoms are diminishing and energy is increasing, we are making progress!
How is Nutrition Therapy different from traditional Registered Dietitian Services?
Most registered dietitians (many of whom are great at what they do!) are generalists who will help clients implement a diet that has been recommended by a physician. A functional nutrition dietitian will work with clients to help them determine food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, and other root causes of their specific disease (including the need for exercise!), while implementing an individualized nutrient-dense eating plan.
If you are interested in learning more about Functional Nutrition Therapy and if you should meet with Lisa please don’t hesitate to schedule a 60- Minute Health Discovery Session with Performance Health and Fitness Health Coaches.
During this session we will have an hour to dive deeper into your goals, what your current lifestyle is, what barriers/habits we may need to change to help you achieve your goals and would be happy to give you more information on Functional Nutrition Therapy then refer you to Lisa.
You can also find Lisa on Facebook or scranton-functional-nutrition.com to be placed on her schedule and get started.
Thank you for your expertise Lisa and your dedication to helping people manage chronic illness and disease!
Lisa C. Scranton, MS, RDN, LD
FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION CONSULTANT
Lisa is a specialist in functional nutrition therapies, with an emphasis on autoimmune and gastrointestinal illnesses. Her approach has evolved from practicing conventional dietetics to understanding food as powerful medicine for chronic illness. Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Purdue University and Master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Michigan State University.
Autoimmune disease, IBS, and food sensitivities inspired Lisa to discover the root causes of her own problems by studying basic biochemistry and functional nutrition. She became an IFN Certified Practitioner through the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy in 2018.
Working in the office of one of the pioneers of Functional Medicine in the US, Karyn Shanks MD, has been another amazing learning opportunity, and Lisa gained valuable experience over five years helping clients identify their own root causes of chronic disease.
Lisa is passionate about working with clients with chronic complex illness, especially the gut problems, food sensitivities, and autoimmune disease that are often key dysfunctions. She understands that real, whole, nutrient-dense food is the foundation of health, and that each person has unique requirements for food and nutrients. Lisa knows that the journey to healing requires perseverance, hope, awareness, and a dedicated health-care team, as well as delicious, nourishing food. She would love to work with you on your journey toward health.
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