You enter the new year brimming with hope and motivation. This year, you’ll finally lose weight, start an exercise routine, get control of stress, and fix unresolved health issues. But come February, that motivation fizzles out, and you quickly return to your old ways.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Research shows about 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. So how do some people manage to create healthy habits and transform their health – while others stay stuck?
Well, often there are some missing ingredients – namely support, guidance, and accountability. Luckily, functional medicine delivers all three. So if you’re ready to make 2024 your healthiest year yet, read on to learn how functional medicine can help.
What is Functional Medicine?
First, let’s cover what it’s not.
Allopathic medicine uses a one-size-fits-all approach. You have a symptom, you’re given a medication. If you get lucky, your symptoms may improve. If they don’t, you’re prescribed another med. The cycle continues… But nothing is ever truly resolved.
Functional medicine is different. It’s a personalized, patient-centered approach to health care. Instead of focusing on disease, it aims to restore your health and well-being. It believes all human beings are born with an innate ability to heal. But sometimes stressors can disrupt this process. Genetics, diet, lifestyle, and environment can all play a role in illness.
Functional medicine practitioners identify the root causes of disease. Once these roadblocks are removed, health and well-being can be restored.
8 Ways Functional Medicine Can Kickstart a Healthy 2024
Here are 8 ways functional medicine can help you start your new year on a healthier note.
Clean up your diet
Many people want to eat healthy when the new year rolls around. But making big changes to your diet on your own can be tough. Without the right support, it’s easy to fall back into old habits.
Enter functional medicine. Functional medicine doctors understand that food truly is medicine. But just like all medicines aren’t a good fit for everyone – the same is true for diets.
Maybe you tried going vegan, but it left you feeling lackluster. Or maybe you’re curious about keto but feel overwhelmed.
A functional medicine doctor can guide you to the diet that’s the best fit for you based on your genetics, symptoms, and lifestyle. They can also provide the support you need to make your new healthy eating habits stick.
Identify food sensitivities
Food sensitivities can cause an array of symptoms like muscle aches, brain fog, and fatigue to name a few. Functional medicine can help you get clear on which foods support your health – and which do just the opposite. Often, identifying these sensitivities can have dramatic improvements on your health.
Elimination diets and food sensitivity testing are two common ways to do this. But overhauling your diet alone can be overwhelming. Having a functional medicine practitioner’s support can make the process much easier.
Fix nutritional deficiencies
Your body is a complex system that depends on vitamins and minerals to function. If you’re running low on any of these nutrients, your health will suffer. This can even happen if you eat a healthy diet!
That’s because your genes affect your nutritional status. Some genetic variants can increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies. For example, about 30-40% of Americans have the MTHFR gene mutation. This can interfere with your ability to absorb folate, which can, in turn, impair detox.
Genetic testing can identify any genetic variants that may be affecting your health. But making sense of the results on your own can be confusing. A functional medicine doctor can help you understand the results and put an action plan in place. You get personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations to help correct any deficiencies.
Balance your hormones
Your hormones affect your mood, sleep, libido, metabolism, fertility, energy levels, and more. So when your hormones are out of whack, you feel it! And often one hormone imbalance triggers a cascade of others.
For example, your thyroid hormones regulate sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. This means if your thyroid hormone is low, it can disrupt the balance between these hormones. Or if your stress hormone cortisol is high, it can interfere with the sleep hormone melatonin.
Correcting these imbalances on your own can be tricky. Often it takes a multi-faceted approach with dietary and lifestyle changes. Sometimes supplements are needed. Functional medicine doctors can guide you through these changes until your hormones are in balance.
Uncover hidden infections
Suffering from mysterious health symptoms and can’t seem to make headway on your health? You could have hidden infections.
Bacteria, viruses, yeast, and parasites can hide out in your body. These pathogens can create inflammation, weaken your immune system, and even trigger autoimmunity.
Some of the most common culprits are:
- Lyme disease
- Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
- Parasitic infections
- Yeast overgrowth
- Pathogenic bacteria
- Mold colonization
Functional medicine doctors are experts at finding these underground invaders. They use lab tests to pinpoint what’s causing your symptoms. Once these infections are treated, your health and well-being can flourish.
Detox your body
These days, toxins are everywhere. They’re in our food, water, personal care products, and even the air we breathe!
Our bodies have a built-in detoxification system: our liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, and lungs. But sometimes these organs can’t keep up with our toxic load. When this happens, these toxins get stored in our fatty tissues.
If these toxins overload our system, it can lead to symptoms like:
- Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and other digestive issues
- Rashes, acne, & dry skin
- Frequent colds & viruses
- Joint and muscle pain
- Weight loss resistance
- Feeling unrefreshed from sleep
- Autoimmune disease
Detoxing can help remove these toxins from your body and relieve symptoms. But this needs to be done gently, and carefully. Detox too fast, and you can end up feeling worse!
A skilled functional medicine practitioner can help you open your drainage pathways. That way, your detox is safer AND more effective.
Improve mental health
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of mental health. Stress, anxiety, and depression are on the rise worldwide. In fact, in a 2023 Forbes Health poll, the top resolution was ‘improve mental health.’
Today, more than ever, we need to create a lifestyle that supports our mental well-being. Diet, sleep, exercise, and stress can have a massive impact on your mental health. But just because you know something is good for you, doesn’t mean you do it.
Working with a functional medicine doctor can help you create healthy habits that support your mental well-being. They can provide the resources and accountability you need to build inner resilience.
Lose holiday weight
Between eggnog, Christmas cookies, and Grandma’s fudge, keeping your weight on track over the holidays is tough. This leaves many feeling heavy, bloated, or just plain ‘blah’ once the new year rolls around.
If this rings true, you can drop that dreaded holiday weight gain with the help of functional medicine.
Functional medicine doctors can pinpoint roadblocks that may interfere with weight loss. Hormones, stress, toxins, and poor diet can all play a role. Once these stressors are addressed, weight loss isn’t such a struggle.
At Anchored in Health, our functional medicine doctor uses the Shape ReClaimed program to help patients shed excess weight. This program detoxes your body, resets your metabolism, and helps you build a healthy relationship with food. You can learn more about it here.
Make 2024 Your Healthiest Year Yet With Functional Medicine in Orland Park, IL
If you live in the Chicago area and are ready to upgrade your health and well-being this year, we’re here to help!
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, balance your hormones, or resolve chronic health issues – we’ve got you.
Our functional medicine doctor takes a collaborative approach to care. We use functional lab testing to get to the root of what’s causing your symptoms. From there, you get a personalized treatment plan based on your unique health goals.
So if you’re ready for a healthy kickstart to 2024, follow these steps:
- Contact us with questions.
- Schedule your first appointment with Anchored in Health.
- Discover how functional medicine can help you stop dreaming about your health goals – and start living them!
Other Wellness Services Offered at Anchored in Health in Orland Park, IL
Anchored in Health offers a wide variety of holistic health services to help you feel your best.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health goals this year!