When Starting Your Health Journey, What Should You Focus On First?May 05, 2022
One of the most common questions I get asked by clients just starting their wellness journey is:
“What should I focus on first, sleep, stress, toxins, hormones, gut issues, diet, or exercise?
The answer is, it really depends. There are so many ways to approach functional or integrative wellness and there’s really no cookie-cutter formula.
Having said that, if I were starting over again, I would focus first on functional lab testing.
I have 3 main reasons for my personal preference of functional lab testing first when starting your health journey. Keep in mind that I am NOT Providing MEDICAL ADVICE, diagnosis, or treatment. The information shared is for informational purposes only. NO material on this website/coaching practice are intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of YOUR physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding medical treatment.
Let’s get started with my top 3 reasons for choosing Functional Lab testing first:
Test, Don’t Guess.
Functional testing gives access to data that tells us exactly where the imbalances are. It can also tell us about nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, imbalances in the gut, food intolerances or allergies, what state of stress your body is in, and even what toxins you have building up.
So many symptoms can be the result of many different causes. To have to guess what the root cause is through trial and error, or elimination can be a long and frustrating process. Functional testing can identify root imbalances or intolerances from the start which helps tremendously when determining which protocol to implement first.
Functional Testing can sometimes show more information with better accuracy than standard blood testing.
This is important because doing bloodwork only shows what is in the blood, at the time of when it’s drawn. This is helpful for many standard labs, but this method can also be misleading at times because hormones, for example, can vary depending on the time of day.
It’s not possible in some cases to have blood drawn at the best time simply due to logistics. If you want to test Cortisol levels for instance, a blood test will show what the level was at the time of blood draw, but you really should be tested at 4 different specific times of the day to see if your levels are high when they should be, and low when they should be.
Another example is how bloodwork cannot show the detailed condition of the gut microbiome or certain toxins that may not show up in blood but will show up in hair samples for instance.
Functional Testing can determine the protocols/plans/and programming of everything else.
This is important because, if your testing indicates that your body is in state of chronic stress, then sleep habits, exercise routines, nutritional support, and lifestyle changes are all impacted by the need to balance the stress response.
If testing indicates a gut microbiome issue, then again, all other habits are going to be adjusted in order to help balance the gut. Exercise may be reduced for a short time, you may need to focus first on incorporating different eating habits and lifestyle routines that you aren’t used to.
If testing indicates high levels of toxins, then standard protocols to reduce your toxic load will have a possible ripple effect on changing the environment you live and work in, the foods you eat, and even some of the products you use every day.
I personally spent way too much time focusing on standard thyroid hormone bloodwork and medications early on because when I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know there were any other options outside of conventional medicine. While I’m glad I did something, it did wind up holding me back a bit because I was not addressing the root cause to my illness and disease, I was just treating symptoms.
Finding the balance between Functional lab testing and health balancing protocols will get you results much faster in my opinion and you will be addressing the actual root cause, not just putting a band-aid on symptoms.
When you approach your health from a functional approach, you’ll be able to identify exactly what’s going on in your body, what’s missing, what’s out of balance, and what’s possibly attacking your body causing negative symptoms and poor health.
So, what would you do differently if you were starting from scratch? Do you know how to access functional lab testing? If you are interested in functional labs and identifying what may be the root cause of your illness, then I highly recommend you get started as soon as possible.
If you’d like to purchase your own at home functional lab test kit, I have included my affiliate link that gives you access to the same labs my clients purchase when they are first getting started on their wellness journey. They are easy to follow, and you get a free coaching session to discuss your results and what protocols you may choose to follow to correct any imbalance identified on your lab results.
If you are unsure of how to get started, or would like my help, I am glad to help. Schedule a free consultation with me at :Book FREE Consult!
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