You already know that your body should be properly nourished, but you may not realize just how important this aspect of health restoration is. Optimal nutrient level is not just a good idea, it is essential to health and wellness. Nutrient status testing is a common practice in functional medicine and something we do on most of our patients.
How Do We Test Nutrients?
There are two ways we can assess nutrient status. One is to test the levels of the nutrient itself. This is how we test nutrients like vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper and zinc. Another way we test nutrient status is to measure chemicals in the body that depend on specific nutrients. We use this method to assess nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, biotin, CoQ10, etc. We use two different methods of assessment because it provides a more detailed view of not only nutrient levels but how efficient your body is using these nutrients.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Some of the most common nutrients that our patients are deficient in include vitamin D, vitamin C, B6, zinc, iron, folic acid, magnesium, carnitine and various amino acids. This is only a few of nutrients we can test for in our office. Identifying your unique nutritional needs is one of the ways functional medicine differs from traditional medicine and other forms of health care.
Why is Optional Nutrition Important?
Your body will not work properly if it lacks calcium or vitamin C; your body can’t substitute calcium for another nutrient and your body cannot use a different nutrient in place of vitamin C. Here is the bottom line on nutrients…if your body does not have the nutrients it requires, it cannot work properly…period. It is really that simple. There are many nutrients required by your body and in specific amounts. You might require 3mg of B6 or you might need 50mg or more.
How do you know if you are getting enough of the nutrients you need? How do you know your health problem is not caused by insufficient zinc or some other nutrient? If you do not discover a nutrient deficiency and remedy it, you will continue to suffer with that health problem.
You might be under the impression that if you are eating a healthy diet and take a multivitamin then you don’t need nutrient support. Many of our new patients are already eating very healthy diets including organic foods, grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish and take a multivitamin; yet they still suffer with nutrient deficiencies. We also see many new patients who come in with a grocery bag full of dietary supplements they are taking, and they are in terrible health. How could anyone possibly know what their body needs without testing and measuring nutrient levels?
My Own Experience…
Several years ago, I was shocked to discover that I was deficient in two very important nutrients (zinc and vitamin C) even though I was eating a very good diet and already taking these nutrients in supplement form. Increased stress will often deplete vitamin C and zinc by the way. After I increased the level of these nutrients to an optimal dose, I experienced more restful sleep and I have not had the common cold or the flu in years. I would not have known I was low in these nutrients if I had not done a nutritional test and certainly would not have known how much of these nutrients to take. Again, I was already supplementing these nutrients, but I want not taking enough!
Here is another example: my wife and I eat the same diet and basically live similar lifestyles. We get the same amount of sleep and exercise, work in the same office and live in the same house. With most conditions of life being the same, we have very different nutrient needs. She is much smaller than I am, yet she requires higher levels of some nutrients than I do. Using functional medicine testing procedures, we have been able to identify our own unique needs and experience excellent health. You must understand we all have unique nutrient needs. Age, stress level, dietary habits, health status, medications and genetics all play a vital role.
Optimal nutrition is one of the keys to health and well-being. Functional medicine can help you develop a nutrient program that is best suited for your unique needs.
If you would like more information about nutrient testing, functional medicine or Dr. Sexton contact our Naperville office or 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.