Angela came to me as she was struggling with constant tiredness, low energy, increasing anxiety and depression, and weight gain. She is in her late 20’s and the only help her doctor was offering was a prescription for anti-depressants. Angela wanted to explore her options for nutrition and supplements to help with these conditions before taking a medication.
Getting To The Root Cause of Fatigue
Constant fatigue, depression and anxiety have numerous causes (I wrote about some of them in this article for Charlotte’s Book) and include everything from imbalanced blood sugar, low iron uptake to poor gut health and underlying infections. It’s my job as a Functional Nutritionist to ascertain exactly what is causing a client’s health challenges, and then find the quickest and most effective route to help them regain their health and begin to thrive.
Test, Don’t Guess
When starting with a new Private Coaching Client we meet for an hour long consultation in which we talk discuss the client’s current health challenges, food diary, lifestyle, and dig into family history and birth circumstances. From this information I then recommend the lab tests that would be beneficial for the client to help discover the root cause of their issues.
In Angela’s case I recommended panels for metabolism, blood sugar balance and inflammation and additionally checked thyroid and essential nutrients. The symptoms she was experiencing are often linked to low thyroid function and/or deficiency in specific vitamins and minerals such as Iron, Vitamin D, B12 and magnesium. Low levels of these micronutrients are often found in those following vegan and plant-based diets, which Angela was at the time.
Your Blood Doesn’t Lie
One of the reasons I am so passionate about testing for all my clients is that it not only gives us a clear indication of what is happening in the body, but it also helps me ascertain the best place to start for the quickest, most beneficial results. In Angela’s case the lab work helped me to know where to start – whilst her thyroid function was not optimal she was deficient in the essential nutrients above, which were both affecting her body’s ability to make energy and her mood and mental health. Low levels of these nutrients also lower thyroid function. So from her results I knew to focus on boosting the levels of these first, which would in turn boost thyroid function. Without testing it could have been assumed that Angela’s symptoms were caused by low thyroid function alone, and the root cause (nutrient deficiency) may have been overlooked.
Whilst increasing Angela’s level of energy making essential nutrients was my key focus, I also started her on a variation of my 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program as ensuring she was digesting and absorbing nutrients from her diet was crucial to upping her levels. We limited high carbohydrate foods which can contribute to low energy, included foods which can help heal the lining of the gut (such as bone broth and collagen) and added in foods that are of the highest nutrient density such as organ meats, ghee, berries, and even dark chocolate!
I also recommended specific supplements and dosages based on her labwork, in highly digestible forms, including a high strength Vitamin D that she would take 4x a week (this has been proven to be more effective at quickly raising levels than a smaller dose 7 days a week), and a liquid iron supplement as this is more bio available and easier on the digestive system,
4 weeks after starting our work together Angela was already feeling her energy increase, and felt an increased resiliency in her mood and mental health. I am now working with another member of her family in a 3 month package and I am so honored to be entrusted with their health.