Functional Medicine for Nutrition

Getting to the Roots: Functional Medicine for Nutrition 

In the quest for optimal health and well-being, conventional approaches to medicine often focus on treating symptoms rather than addressing the root causes of health issues. However, a growing movement in healthcare is embracing a more holistic and personalized approach known as functional medicine. At the heart of functional medicine lies a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of the body’s systems and nutrition’s pivotal role in supporting overall health. Below, we’ll explore the principles of functional medicine for nutrition, its core concepts, and how it can revolutionize how we approach health and wellness.

Understanding Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is a patient-centered approach to healthcare that seeks to identify and address the underlying causes of disease rather than just managing symptoms. It recognizes the unique genetic makeup, biochemical imbalances, and environmental factors contributing to an individual’s health status. By taking a comprehensive view of the body as a complex system of interconnected parts, functional medicine practitioners aim to restore balance and optimize function across all aspects of health.

The Role of Nutrition in Functional Medicine

Central to the practice of functional medicine is the recognition that nutrition plays a foundational role in health and disease. Food is more than just fuel for the body; it provides the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients needed for optimal function and vitality. Functional medicine practitioners leverage the power of nutrition to support the body’s innate ability to heal and thrive, addressing nutritional deficiencies, imbalances, and dietary factors that contribute to poor health.

Key Principles of Functional Nutrition

  1. Personalized Approach: Functional medicine considers each individual’s unique biochemistry, genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors to develop personalized nutrition plans tailored to their specific needs and goals.
  2. Root Cause Analysis: Instead of simply masking symptoms with medications, functional medicine seeks to uncover the underlying root causes of health issues, which often stem from imbalances in nutrition, gut health, hormones, and other factors.
  3. Focus on Nutrient Density: Functional nutrition emphasizes the importance of consuming nutrient-dense foods that provide the essential building blocks for health, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  4. Gut Health Optimization: The gut plays a crucial role in overall health, immune function, and inflammation. Functional medicine approaches prioritize gut health through dietary interventions, probiotics, and lifestyle modifications.
  5. Lifestyle Modifications: In addition to dietary changes, functional medicine emphasizes the importance of other lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress management, exercise, and toxin exposure in promoting optimal health and well-being.

Transforming Health Through Functional Nutrition

By embracing the principles of functional medicine for nutrition, individuals can unlock the transformative power of food to heal, nourish, and support their bodies. Whether addressing chronic health conditions, optimizing athletic performance, or striving for vibrant health and vitality, functional nutrition offers a holistic and sustainable approach to achieving optimal wellness. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, addressing underlying imbalances, and adopting a personalized approach to nutrition, individuals can take control of their health and embark on a journey toward lifelong vitality and well-being.


Functional medicine is more than just a bunch of lab tests. However, laboratory blood, urine, stool, saliva, and hair testing can help personalize an approach. Please see some of the tests that Dr. David Wiss routinely uses. If you are interested in taking a deep dive into your health, there are other tests we can discuss. Give us a call or fill out the form to get started!

Dr. David Wiss became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in 2013 and founded Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice of RDNs specializing in treating eating and substance use disorders. In 2017, David received the “Excellence in Practice” award at the National Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded him the “Emerging Dietetic Leader Award” in 2020. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in the Community Health Sciences department (with a minor in Health Psychology) by investigating the links between adverse childhood experiences and various mental health outcomes among socially disadvantaged men. His treatment philosophy is based on a biopsychosocial model which incorporates an understanding of biological mechanisms, psychological underpinnings, and contextual factors that integrate the social determinants of health. Wise Mind Nutrition is an app-based interactive treatment program available for download now -

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