Is your diet making you sick? Have you been making changes to your diet and seeing no improvement in your health? Or worse yet, feel worse than you did before? There are all sorts of diets being promoted today that are designed to reverse illness, improve gut health and restore vitality. Maybe you have tried a low-FODMAP, AIP, Whole 30 or Paleo diet in an effort to improve your health. While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these diets, they just don’t work for everyone…nor should they. Many people have benefited from following these diet plans but just as many have not. So what is the “diet” solution?

Let’s begin with one of the most fundamental concepts in functional medicine and integrative medicine…we are all unique. We all have different needs, be it vitamins, minerals, sleep, exercise or food. There is not a single recommendation for any of these that will apply to everyone and this is why many diets fail. Most of these diets are based on beneficial general concepts, but you are not “general” you are YOU…your body does not work like mine or your neighbor’s or your best friend’s.

For most people, making general positive diet changes will help and certainly not hurt them. Most people really do need to cut back on processed and prepackaged foods, consume more vegetables and drink more water. The problem is that making general changes just don’t seem to be enough these days.

People are sicker than ever and exposed to more toxins than ever before. Chronic illness is robbing people of their quality of life. According to the World Health Organization, we are living longer but not living healthier, happier and active lives. Yes, we are ALIVE longer but the quality of these added years may not be what we had hoped for. The point I want to make here is that adding some veggies, eating some fermented foods and cutting back on the junk food is not going to be enough to move you from where you are to where you want to be.

So what can you do? You could start by following a general diet like the ones listed above and if this gets you to where you want to go, then great, problem solved. Or you could seek the help of a functional medicine doctor to help you create a diet and health plan based on your needs. The emphasis here is on “your needs.” What type of diet does your body NEED to function properly. This requires collecting objective information about your body’s current state of health. Are you inflamed? If so, what is the source of it? Is your blood sugar too high or too low? Are you lacking key nutrients? Do you need levels of some nutrients that would be very difficult to achieve with diet alone? Are your thyroid hormone levels off? Do you have a leaky gut and if so what is causing it?

I could go on and on for days but the point I want to make is that you need a diet plan that is going to address the health imbalances you have right now. You may be trying to fix your health problem but don’t really know WHAT you are trying to fix. The first step of solving a health problem is to identify WHAT is not working right. Only then do you apply solutions…like diet.

Due to your current state of body function, “healthy” choices like fermented foods, nuts, eggs, avocados, butter or fish MAY NOT BE GOOD FOR YOU and actually make you feel worse! There is not a perfect diet for everyone. Maybe you have food allergies or food sensitivities? Do you have leaky gut? Do you have SIBO? Do you have an imbalance of the microbes living in your bowels…bacteria, yeast or parasite? These are just a few conditions that can make your dieting plans fail. You need to know what is going on with your body.

If you are serious about restoring your health then you need more information about the current state of your body and how it is functioning now…not how it was working 5 or 10 years ago…right now. Now is your starting point.

I wish you success on your quest for better health!

If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com

Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.

This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.