Dr Kate Barry
What is Functional Nutrition?
Functional nutrition is never one-size-fits-all, instead it is a highly customized holistic health perspective that takes an individual's unique specifications into account. Functional nutrition follows a systems approach that takes into consideration how interrelated every part of the body is, looking at the big picture of health by restoring optimal physiological functioning. While standard healthcare will try to suppress symptoms with medication, functional nutrition instead sees them as clues for understanding the underlying issues within the body.
Five Foundational Factors of Functional Nutrition WE ARE ALL UNIQUE: Looking through a lens of bioindividuality is one of the cornerstones of Functional Nutrition. Your physiology and associated dysfunctions are the way they are because of myriad factors that are unique to you. You do not fit into a pre-determined formula. You are an individual with a particular history, experience, body, and lifestyle. You also have goals and aspirations that are special to you.
ROOT CAUSES: Dr. Dale Bredesen coined the term "36 holes in the roof" to describe the many root causes contributing to chronic illness. There are likely many factors contributing to your suffering, and we need to address all of them. There is no single pill or protocol that will help you get well. We need to find all the holes in your particular roof, and plug as many of them as we're able to. This takes time and patience, but it is necessary if you are aiming for for symptom minimisation/resolution. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED: Functional Nutrition takes a systems-based approach, considering the interrelatedness of all parts of the body and looking at the big picture of health by bringing balance and restoring proper functioning. By considering the impacts of seemingly unrelated factors on health, clients are carefully evaluated and provided with a well-researched and comprehensive holistic plan that takes all five pillars of wellness into consideration. ALL THINGS MATTER: It is not simply about changing your diet - literally everything matters. I take a detailed history and use it to create a timeline of health and to fill in the Functional Nutrition matrix. We will identify the triggers that likely contributed to your current state of dis-ease, and start to reframe what has and hasn't worked in the past as clues to more effectively determine "what's going on in there?" TEAMWORK: I am with you every step of the way! That means partnering with you and any other providers on your healthcare team that understand the need for a collaborative approach. Today’s health challenges are best served by practitioners and clients working closely together, with the client's input being just as important as the practitioner's.
Three Roots, Many Branches
In keeping with the "36 holes in the roof" analogy, my mentor Andrea Nakayama @ Functional Nutrition Alliance has determined that there are three roots responsible for the majority of health issues seen by functional nutrition practitioners - genes, digestion, inflammation - but there are many many more branches.
These downstream "roots", when addressed, will positively affect the many upstream "branches" that are being fed - or starved - by those roots. The branches include any sign, symptom, or diagnosis. Many are shown on the above image, but literally any symptom or diagnosis is a branch. I remain focused on the importance of addressing the three roots in chronic illness - they are the key to solving your unique and complex puzzle!