Are Nutritional Deficiencies the Root Cause?

Nov 13, 2020

I’m going to play the Devil’s Advocate, here, and say that NO! Nutritional deficiencies ARE NOT the root cause of your health issues.

Yes low vitamin B’s, and magnesium, and iron, and the like can - and do - cause symptoms of anxiety, and insomnia, and fatigue, and more. And yes, supplementing with these nutrients can relieve symptoms. But they are NOT the root cause of those symptoms.

In our Functional Medicine system, we dig deeper, and ask: why do you have nutritional deficiencies in the first place? Some key things we think about are:

  • Are you eating enough nutrient dense foods? If not, this could be the ROOT CAUSE.
  • Are you actually breaking down and assimilating those nutrients effectively in the gut? Or do you have insufficient stomach acid or bile or digestive enzymes to make this happen, or do you have leaky gut, or pathogenic overgrowth which is preventing absorption? Your poor gut function could be the ROOT CAUSE (but then you have to ask…what is the root cause of the gut breaking down…you get our point!).
  • Are you stuck in chronic stress of the body or the mind or life circumstances? If yes, this could be the ROOT CAUSE. Our body burns through nutrients when there is chronic stress and overwhelm.
  • Are you exposed to too many toxins in your food supply, your drinking water, alcohol, skincare, cleaning products, petrol fumes, mould, etc. If yes, this could be the ROOT CAUSE of burning through required nutrients that aid in detoxification.
  • Do you have genetic issues which burn up nutrients too fast, or don’t metabolise nutrients sufficiently? This could be the ROOT CAUSE.
  • Do you have heavy periods which are dumping out nutrients? If yes, this could be the ROOT CAUSE (but like the gut point, you then have to ask…what is the root cause of the reproductive system being out of whack?).

How would you even know where to begin looking for your ROOT CAUSE? Testing is a great place to start! And by testing, we mean both functional lab testing AND ALSO a deep analysis of your current lifestyle and mindset. Often the ROOT CAUSE comes from a combination of physiological imbalances, and poor lifestyle and mindset habits.


Author: Filipa Bellette, Functional Medicine Practitioner & Clinical Nutritionist

If you would like more information about our functional medicine practices and to see if this is something that could help you, click this link to Apply For Free Discovery Call.

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