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May 6, 2024

E24 | Beyond quick fixes: Find true healing with Functional Medicine

Discover how Functional Medicine can help you find lasting relief from chronic health issues by identifying and addressing the root causes with a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs.

Are you tired of being stuck in a cycle of chronic illness, bouncing from one specialist to another without ever getting to the root of your problems?

Conventional medicine often fails to address the complex, chronic health issues that so many people face today, focusing on suppressing symptoms with medications rather than identifying and addressing the underlying root causes of illness.

But what if there was a better way? 

Functional Medicine and health coaching offer a personalized, root-cause approach to healing that has helped countless people reclaim their health and their lives.


  • What Functional Medicine is and how it differs from conventional medicine
  • The importance of a personalized approach that addresses your unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors
  • Three steps you can take to start healing from the inside out with Functional Medicine and health coaching

If you're ready to take a ne approach to your chronic health issues and experience lasting relief from your symptoms, this episode is for you. 

Don't settle for a life of chronic illness and symptom management - take the first step towards optimal health and well-being today.


Episode 1: How I healed my daughter’s severe health issues when conventional medicine failed 

Episode 23 : Heal eczema, acne and psoriasis: Focus on the gut skin axis for optimal results

Functional Medicine: An Operating System for Integrative Medicine

Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases

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A must listen for anyone dealing with such chronic illnesses or anyone looking at improving their overall health and wellness” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

"Autoimmune Disease 101" is a carefully curated and comprehensive collection of carefully selected books, podcasts, websites, blogs, and other resources from the field of Functional Medicine with a focus on autoimmune diseases.


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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Your body knows how to heal, are you ready to support it?


 In today's episode, we will explore the power of functional medicine. Understand why a one size fits all approach often fails, and see how you can keep exploring to uncover hidden imbalances and missing pieces of your unique health puzzle. So if you're tired of bandage solutions and quick fixes and are ready to transform your health, then this episode is for you. 

That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. 2s Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a Functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more. 

In each episode, I share pieces of inspiring poems, stories, and quotes that may help you to draw strength from and inspire you and help you to stay motivated on your health journey. And these are of course, books, poems and other quotes, etc. essays that have helped me and they continue to inspire me and motivate me. 

And today's excerpt is from the excellent book on Hormonal health for women by Doctor Aviva Rome. It's called Hormone Intelligence, she says. Your body isn't your enemy. And hormonal imbalances aren't just random. They also don't mean you're broken or crazy. They are your body's sane response to a crazy world that demands you live in ways that are absolutely contrary to your natural, innate hormonal blueprint. Your hormones and your symptoms are vital, offering that provide you with powerful information that acts as a compass, a complete inner guidance system, and as such, sometimes a warning system to alerting you when you're not getting what you need for hormonal health, which also means for your best total health. And this is not just pertaining to hormonal health. This is pertaining to your overall health. No matter what you are dealing with, no matter what diagnosis you have, what symptoms you have. Which is why I chose to share this excerpt with you today. But of course, if you're dealing with any kind of hormonal issues, then a hormone intelligence is a book that you may want to check out.

 So now back to today's episode. I first stumbled across the term functional medicine back in 2014, when I was desperately searching for an effective solution to get my daughter's severe eczema under control. At that point, she had already been on a few immunosuppressive medications for a while, but her eczema was still not completely coming under control. It was still not completely managed. Her skin remained dry, rough and in constant need of moisturization, and on top of that, she kept developing skin infections from time to time. To make a long story short, I discovered functional medicine while researching for a more effective and gentle solution for her chronic health issues. And that's when I came across the gut skin connection as a potential root cause of her eczema. I learned that functional medicine was a stream of medicine dedicated to identifying and addressing the underlying causes of disease. 

But here's the thing I wasn't entirely convinced at first. I mean, I kept thinking that if this was really the solution, why won't be hearing about it? Why wasn't everyone shouting about it from the rooftops? Why were we still relying on conventional treatments and symptom management approaches that essentially were just bandaid solutions for chronic conditions? I didn't have answers to those questions back then. But I do now. So I got deeper and I searched for medical research papers on this topic. I kept doing going down the rabbit hole, and that's when I came across numerous individuals who had successfully reversed their conditions using a functional medicine approach, and they were now helping countless others to do the same. Some of them that I came across at that time as doctor Mark Hyman, Doctor Amy Myers, Doctor Terry Walls, and I've shared some of the links to the research papers in those show notes below. I came across these research papers. I came across various books that these practitioners and other practitioners had written about successfully reversing their health conditions and then helping others with the, you know, with similar health issues. And this whole process of research took me over a year, but by the end of 2014, I was convinced that functional medicine was the solution I had been looking for all along. And guess what it was. You can listen to the full episode about how functional medicine heal my daughter from the inside out. 

In the very first episode of this podcast, you can also hear about the gut skin connection and how eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions and autoimmune conditions can be successfully reversed by focusing on gut health in the previous episode, episode 23, I'll be sharing all the links below. So the reality is that pharmaceutical companies don't make much profit from preventive medicine or lifestyle driven interventions like functional medicine. The money is in making people believe that they have no control over their own health, and that the only way to get better is through medications and treatments. There's not really much profit to be made in interventions like deep breathing, meditation, whole food based diets, plant based diets, focusing on self-care practices, journaling, or incorporating herbs and spices into your treatment plan. The profit lies in convincing people that they need statins to lower their cholesterol levels. They need metformin for their blood sugar levels and antidepressants for all forms of depression. While that may be true in many cases so you may need medications, I certainly am not an advocate of not taking medications when there is a need for it, especially when you're dealing with infectious diseases, certain genetic conditions, acute clinical cases, an emergency situation. 

But this approach fails miserably when it comes to chronic conditions, because if you're dealing with chronic health issues like eczema, autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, you may be all too familiar with the frustrating symptoms that can take over your life. So maybe you're exhausted and drained even after a full night's sleep, or you find it hard to focus and think clearly because of your brain fog. Maybe you're self-conscious about your dry, itchy skin that just won't clear up no matter how many creams and medications you have tried. Or perhaps you're missing out on social. To the events and activities because of painful, swollen joints or embarrassing digestive symptoms like bloating and diarrhea. And you may even feel be feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed because of all, you know, the toll that these health issues are taking on your life. If you're nodding your head, uh, to all of this right now, I want you to know that you are not alone and that there is hope. 

Functional medicine offers a personalized root cause approach and support that you need to start feeling like yourself again. Functional medicine is, uh, you know, I'm going to talk about that. But this is the approach that I took for my daughter all those years ago and have never looked back ever since. It took my daughter of, uh, it took me my daughter of all her medications. It got her skin condition under control. And even when we have had flare ups, you know, in the future, after that, it has never been as bad as that. Because I know what to do now. I know what what needs to be addressed at the root cause level. 

So what is functional medicine? Functional medicine is a personalized root cause approach to health care that focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying imbalances and dysfunctions that contribute to chronic illness. So you have to figure out what is really going on underneath. And in functional medicine we say that, you know, downstream are all those symptoms that you might be having. So downstream might have been having symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bloating, gas. But as you go further and further upstream, you figure out what's really going on. Is it low stomach acid? Is it, uh, you know, uh, less digestive secretion of enzymes? Uh, what else is going on? Is it magnesium deficiency? Is it a chronic stress. And it's usually a combination of factors. So by uh, it recognizes that each person is unique and with their own genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that impact their health. So it is not a one size fits all approach. It can never be. So by taking a comprehensive, whole person approach, functional medicine practitioners like me, a health coach like me, works collaboratively, collaboratively with our clients to develop personalized plans. That's the key here personalized or tailor made, because that's what's going to support your body's natural healing process. And that is what is needed for long term health creation, because the real problem causing your chronic symptoms is likely a combination of underlying imbalances and dysfunctions in your bodies that is not being addressed by conventional medicine because it cannot be addressed by one particular pill, one particular, uh, treatment alone.

 In functional medicine, we recognize that health issues are rarely caused by just one factor, but rather it is a complicated. It's a complex, not complicated, complex combination of genetic environment and lifestyle factors that leads to first disease in your body. And. Finally, it may lead to a diagnosis. So for example, your gut health may be compromised initially due to factors like poor diet, chronic stress, or antibiotic use, leading to a condition called enhanced intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. This can trigger systemic inflammation and immune dysfunction, and that can contribute to symptoms like skin, skin problems like eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, joint pain, and eventually autoimmune disorders. Or perhaps your body is burdened by toxic exposures from a, you know, environment, which can be from your personal care products that you're slathering on your skin. So your body lotion, your creams, your shampoo, you know, pretty much everything that you are putting on your body. It can be the laundry products. It can be the, you know, the cleaning products. And all of these can actually interfere with your hormonal balance and detoxification pathways. And this can eventually lead to symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and mood imbalances. And you may also be dealing with nutrient deficiencies, chronic infections. You know, a lot of people have simmering chronic infections that go on for years because they never get addressed. And the solution never lies in taking antibiotics and trying to deal with them. In that sense, the first step is always to bring your immune system back into balance so that it itself can deal with it. And even,  people who have undiagnosed food sensitivities that often contribute to their health issues, but these are typically the ones that are often overlooked by conventional testing and treatment approaches. So they don't come up in conventional testing because, you know, either because they're not looking for it. The doctors are not looking for those things, and also because it is not preventative in nature. 

And the truth is, your body is a complex, interconnected system. So when one part of the system is out of balance, it can lead to multiple others, you know, places in your system where they become out of balance too. And that can lead to a cascade of symptoms and health problems that may seem unrelated. Right. So you have a lot of people are actually dealing with this today, a lot of unrelated symptoms, seemingly disconnected symptoms, but a whole basket for which they have no diagnosis, no treatment, and therefore they continue to suffer day in and day out. And that's why functional medicine takes a comprehensive, whole person approach to healing. And it looks at all the factors that may be contributing towards your enlist, and then helps you to develop a tailor made plan just for you. 

 So we say that in functional medicine we treat the person and not the disease. So your blood reports your, you know, all your symptoms or anything else, your environment, the toxins that you're exposed to. They are all pieces of the same puzzle. So once we start fitting in these puzzles together, that's when the whole picture starts emerging. Remember, if you played puzzles as a child, I. I've always loved playing these puzzles. Uh, so when I work with my clients, you know, I sort of enjoy putting these puzzle pieces together because they then give me the whole picture of what really this person needs. So if you've been struggling with chronic symptoms that just won't go away, know that the real problem is not just the symptom themselves, but the underlying imbalances and dysfunctions that are causing them. So this is where functional medicine really shines, because that is how you can start to heal from the inside out and experience lasting relief from your symptoms. 

So if you're struggling with chronic health issues, you've probably tried a variety of approaches to find relief from your symptoms. Then you may have found limited success, if at all. And perhaps you've gone to the doctor and have been prescribed medicines to manage your symptoms. They may have had for a while, uh, and giving you some temporary relief, but they may have come with unwanted side effects. This is very common with especially the stronger medications given for diseases like autoimmune disease. Um, you may have tried over-the-counter remedies, supplements, or special diets in order to heal yourself, but you may have found that the symptoms keep coming back so you've not really found a long term solution. Maybe they have helped to some extent, but then they keep coming back. Or maybe you have seen specialists for your specific health issues, but you realize that nobody is really seeing the full picture. So you keep going from one specialist to another, and you keep taking one medication after another, and then you deal with unwanted side effects. And this is what I call a disease merry go round. So it's not uncommon to feel you're stuck in a cycle of trial and error or a disease merry go round, bouncing from one treatment to another. Because the truth is, while conventional medicine can be lifesaving for acute illnesses and injuries, it often falls short when it comes to addressing the complex chronic health issues that so many people are facing today. 

And again, it's because the conventional approach is to simply suppress the symptoms with medications rather than identifying and addressing the root underlying root causes of illness. So if you're struggling to find lasting relief despite trying all these multiple approaches, it may be time to consider functional medicine, right? What what do you really have to lose in this case? You've been trying the other methods then do not seem to be working. You're not really seeing any lasting relief. They are not the solution. You know, probably realize they are not the long term solution that you're looking for. So maybe it's time to take a personalized root cause approach where functional medicine practitioners like myself and health coaches can help you identify and address the underlying imbalances. It's a really powerful approach that has helped countless people in all over the world. and now the awareness has grown and more and more people are becoming aware. It'll fade. Which is why I started this podcast, to create this awareness and let you know that there is a solution that is available to you like this. So you don't have to spend a whole year trying to find this solution. Like like I did all those years ago. I mean, it took me more than a year to come to terms with the fact that functional medicine really works. It's not a hoax, right? It's not quackery. Um, so, uh, this information hopefully will help you understand what this is all about and how you can apply it to your own health issues.

 So here are three things that you can do instead of relying solely on conventional medicine. 

Number one, find a functional medicine practitioner and a health coach. I play the role of both in my with my clients. Uh, you can look for a qualified functional medicine practitioner. There is the Indian Association of Functional Medicine, which is based in India. You can head to their website or I'll share the link below. You can also go to the international websites of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the School of Applied Functional Medicine, from where I have completed my certification. Plus, you can also look for health coaches. And I'll tell you, you know briefly what you know how it will help you. Uh, health coaches from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy where I've completed my certification from. So if you can partner with a functional medicine practitioner, they can help you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your body's unique needs and health goals. And a health coach who can provide the ongoing support, accountability, and guidance as you implement the lifestyle changes. So it's a beautiful, synergistic blend that will help you to get the results that you want. In my practice, I play the role of both a functional medicine practitioner and a health coach because I have been trained in both of these. 

Now, the second thing that you can do is to commit to a comprehensive evaluation. Uh, that means that you can take a thorough whole person approach. And, if you work with a functional medicine practitioner, this will, uh, they should happen. Then you will get a detailed medical history. You will be, uh, sharing a lifestyle assessment, physical exam if required, and advanced diagnostic testing again if required. Uh, even with the basic testing I've found, you know, I've got amazing results for my clients, but you have to invest time and energy into this process because it's crucial for identifying the root causes of your health issues. And again, a health coach can help you navigate this process and provide support along the way. Because this is a process, It's going to take time. It's going to take some effort. Uh, from from your part. 

And number three is embrace a personalized treatment plan. So based on what comes out in all of this, uh, the practitioner and the health coach can help you, uh, you know, co-create a personalized treatment plan that may include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, lifestyle modifications. Management techniques and many other such targeted interventions like essential oils, acupuncture. Depending on what modality that you're working in or your practitioner is using, and your health coach can also help implement these changes in a way that makes it easy and convenient for you and sustainable for you to do so. And again, with my clients, I play the role of both the functional medicine practitioner and the coach and I, you know, blend this seamlessly. So I do know what I'm talking about. I've been doing this for a number of years now. It's a, you know, it's it's the solution that you have been waiting for.  Because if you take these steps and you work with such a practitioner, you can start to address the root causes of your chronic health issues and experience the lasting relief that you've been looking for, you not only get the answers that you have been waiting for, the clarity that you have been seeking as to why you have this disease and what can be done about it. But you also understand how you can, uh, make certain changes diet, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, mindset changes. You know, so many, uh, you know, at a mind body level so that you can start seeing results from today. It's a powerful approach that is helping people all over the world as we speak. And I want to make sure that, you know, about this and it's an approach. And you can, you know, uh, benefit from this. 

So if you are struggling with chronic health issues, uh, you know, you you will know firsthand how frustrating and how overwhelming it is to navigate this complex world of health care. Like what treatment should I going for? Which specialists should I see? What medication then? How do I deal with the side effect? It's it's quite complicated and it can be quite overwhelming, especially if you're not seeing the results. So you may feel like a stuck in a, you know, cycle of symptom management, bouncing from one specialist to another without ever getting to the root of your problems. You will know you will have gotten to the root of your problems if your symptoms don't keep coming back. And this is what I call a disease merry go round. 

But what if I told you that there, you know, was a better way? That's what I'm sharing. I'm talking to you about today. Function medicine and health coaching comes in. And I said that this powerful combination is a personalized root cause approach to your health so that you can identify and address the underlying imbalances and deficiencies and dysfunctions that are contributing to your health issues and your symptoms. So you can get the guidance, the support, the accountability, and the tools that you need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Because a lot of the changes that you will have to make, whether it's symptoms of your diet, whether it's some of your lifestyle, changing certain products, taking out certain products from your, uh, makeup, uh, changing your laundry changing or detergent, changing the way you think, change some of your habits. Of course. Changing some of your, you know, diets that you're consuming. That's a lot of things to handle. So having that accountability, having the support knowing, you know, giving by. Being given a step by step approach to do that is really, really helpful and essential if you want to see a long term, um, long term health creation because chronic health issues are so complex, this is precisely the reason that they need a comprehensive whole person approach to healing. And in this respect, conventional medicine often fails miserably. And as a result, many people find them, find themselves stuck in a cycle of chronic illness. 

So, the functional medicine and health coaching combination looks at all the factors that contribute to your health, whether it's your lifestyle, whether it's your diet, genetics, environment, and that is how it creates a personalized plan with you. Right? You are in charge of your own health, right? You are not being told what to do necessarily. Of course, you are being guided in terms of supplements which test to do. You know, those are things that you will be, uh, you know, you will need advice on. But most of it is actually co-creation. Whether you are where you are an equal partner in your healing journey. Um, because you have to take responsibility for your own healing. You have to feel empowered. And that is when you start seeing the results, because it puts you in the driver's seat of your own hand. You don't feel helpless anymore, you don't feel powerless anymore. And rather than feeling you know that you are a passive recipient of medical care, you now become an active participant, and that's what creates sustainable health. 

And that's what's helped my daughter to stay healthy. And I know that, you know, whatever I've been able to teach her, whatever we've done together, whatever changes that I've made in our lives as a family is going to help her. Not only help her, help us help my younger son. Right. These are things that you take for life that remains with you for life. They don't ever go away. It doesn't matter whether you have, you know, a diagnosis or not. These are things that will stay with you. Your habits would change for the better. You will have so many tools at your disposal that you will know what to use at what time, right? And this is about making informed decisions about your care and creating a roadmap to optimal health and wellness.  So this roadmap will stay with you for life and it will guide you even when you're lost. 

So if you're ready to take a new approach to your chronic health issues and start healing from the inside out, functional medicine and health coaching may be the answer you're looking for. It's a powerful combination that is helping countless of people, and I want it to help you to do not settle for a life of chronic illness and symptom management that involves pain and suffering and being stuck in this cycle of trial and error. Take the first step towards optimal health and well-being today. 

If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at @aninditarungta. Thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey. 

Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?