The purpose of functional medicine is to find the root of disease and prevent future ailments. Because the focus is on prevention, food is a key component in leading a healthy, disease-free life. Many patients are overly aware of the link between nutrition and weight but keep in mind we don’t eat foods just to regulate our weight; our food intake does so much more than that—food is directly responsible for many of the processes that take place inside our bodies.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nutrition plays a role in five out the 10 leading causes of death. Several scientific studies have associated high intake of fat, sodium, and sugar to disease and death. It is no secret that type 2 diabetes is on the rise and millions of Americans are on medicine to control high cholesterol.
The basic macronutrients found in food are protein, carbohydrates and fats. Your body needs and utilizes these micronutrients for metabolic activity, energy production, hormone production and much more. These also add up to your daily calories and determine whether you maintain, gain or lose weight. In addition to macronutrients, your body absorbs micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals, and we also need these to live and thrive. Not getting enough macro and micronutrients will cause nutritional deficiencies that can lead to serious illness.
When it comes to weight loss the equation is simple—calories in vs calories out. However, not all calories are created equal. It is possible for a person to consume an adequate number of calories to maintain or even lose weight but this doesn’t mean the person is healthy or has adequate nutrition. If you eat a bag of chips a day, you will probably lose weight because you are on a caloric deficit, but are your nutritional needs being met? The answer is no.
By the same token, it is possible for a person to consume excess calories and be overweight—this still doesn’t mean nutritional needs are being met. Food quality makes all the difference in the world and weather you have a healthy weight or are obese, you may still be suffering from nutritional deficiencies. What’s also important to consider is that nutritional deficiencies do not happen from one day to the next. Chances are these have been developing over periods of time before you start to see the signs.
Some common signs of nutritional deficiencies include:
- Dry/Brittle skin
- Hair loss
- Dry/brittle and Ridged or spoon-shaped nails
- Weak immune system
- Inability to focus
- Depression and anxiety
The good news is that nutritional deficiencies can be corrected by implementing changes in your diet. Eating unprocessed foods—whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds—is a good way to start. In some cases, supplementation may be needed. At Bellissimo Medical, we can conduct specialized testing to determine if you are suffering from nutritional deficiencies or specific health issues in order to outline a customized treatment plan that is most likely to help you improve your health.
Call us today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989. Dr. Jean-Claude Nerette is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine and Stephanie Muniz Nerette is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Diplomate to the Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Bellissimo Medical is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, in Weston.