Frequently asked questions
What is functional health and what does a FDN Practitioner (FDN-P) do?
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) is a type of ‘health detective’ work that searches for the ‘root cause’ of what is going on inside your body and identifies dysfunction – rather than simply chasing symptoms in an endless cycle of trial and error. My aim is to really help you to understand why those symptoms are happening in the first place by identifying what is currently dysfunctional or imbalanced and helping you to restore function.
I do not ‘diagnose’ or ‘treat’ anything, rather I connect the dots between your lab work, health timeline, and symptom history. I want to know why your body is reacting the way it is. And I want to help your body function the way that it should.
To do this, we work together to address you as a whole person, including your hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems. I recognise that each person is biochemically unique so I use knowledge gained from lab tests to identify healing opportunities specific to you.
I help you learn how to best care for your unique body and restore, then maintain, optimal health. I’ll suggest the right whole foods healing diet for your current needs, optimise your sleep routine, add in movement & stress management recommendations, autoimmune support (if that is relevant to you) as well as suggest natural supplementation protocols when needed to support imbalances.
This is a proven system that has helped thousands of people restore and maintain their health.
Schedule a complimentary 15min consult [click here] to see if we’re a good fit to work together.
What kind of health conditions can you help me with?
I work with you to address symptoms that often originate when the systems of the body are not functioning optimally.
Examples of common health challenges that can benefit are:
- Fatigue and/or adrenal dysfunction (HPA axis dysfunction)
- Autoimmune support including implementing the Autoimmune Protocol (see more information on this below)
- Nutritional imbalances
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Hormonal issues
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & bloating
- Parasite & Pathogen infections
- Food intolerances
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Other symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, eczema
What is the Autoimmune Protocol and how can it help my autoimmune symptoms?
If you suffer from one of the hundreds of identified autoimmune diseases, the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a scientifically supported, anti-inflammatory, nutritionally dense elimination and reintroduction diet and lifestyle protocol. It’s been designed to help you reduce and control autoimmune symptoms and flare-ups by removing foods known to cause inflammation in autoimmune disease sufferers and nourishing your body with nutrient dense food.
AIP is more of a process or template than it is a “diet” as it also recognises the importance of movement, rest, connection with others and stress reduction, in the healing process. Usually, certain foods can often be successfully reintroduced after a strict elimination phase – AIP is not meant to be for life, the aim is to reduce inflammation, allow for gut healing then re-introduce many eliminated foods back into your diet once many of your symptoms have dropped away !
While some specific foods are strictly removed during the elimination phase of AIP, the protocol equally focuses on the importance of adding in nutrient dense foods that provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to heal and function. These nutrient dense foods include grass-fed and finished beef, pasture raised animal proteins, organ meats, wild-caught fish, seafood, bone broth, fermented foods, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and avocado.
Inflammatory foods forbidden during the elimination phase include: all grains, gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc.) nuts, and seeds/seed-based spices.
The Autoimmune Protocol:
- Restores gut integrity
- Boosts your microbiome
- Helps you learn more about what foods work (and those that don’t) for your body
- Identifies foods that trigger symptoms or flare ups
- Is full of nutrient-dense, healthy foods
- Can help lower inflammation
Research has established the relationship between gut health and autoimmunity. It is believed that three things must be present in order to develop an autoimmune disease: genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger, and intestinal permeability (leaky gut). This suggests we have the ability to slow down or even sometimes reverse autoimmunity by removing environmental triggers (food sensitivities, hidden gut infections) and by healing and sealing the gut barrier.
To this end, many of my autoimmune clients find it really beneficial to combine AIP with functional lab testing, especially if at any point we feel that you are not seeing improvement in some areas where we would expect with AIP alone. For example, food sensitivity testing or checking your gut microbiome can often really enhance your healing.
Can you really help me ….I’ve already tried everything!?
Your body is designed to perform at 100%, and the functional health approach aims to help get your body back working optimally as it should be. Whether you’re experiencing fatigue, hormonal or gut symptoms, your symptoms are not the problem, they are the result of the problem. Unfortunately, many of us spend years stuck in a cycle of trial and error trying to alleviate those symptoms, rarely ever really getting to the root cause/s.
I use the latest in functional lab testing to get to the root cause of your health issues (test don’t guess!) and then use that information to develop a personalised protocol to restore function and maintain health long-term.
When we find and remove the source of hidden stressors in the body, symptoms will drop away as a consequence.
What testing do you run and what protocols do you use?
Which lab/s we choose to run will depend on both your health history and symptoms and will also determine the right personalised protocol for you.
The most common labs I run are:
- Complete Microbiome Mapping (GI Map)
- Dried Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH Complete)
- Food sensitivity testing
(however there are plenty of other functional lab options we can discuss, depending on a client’s individual needs such as SIBO breath test, HTMA and more)
All individualised protocols include:
- Nutrition recommendations to suit your individual macro and micronutrient needs or to support your specific healing focus such as Candida, low Fodmap, AIP, GAPS, Paleo, depending on what your lab/s uncover
- Stress reduction strategies
- Exercise/movement recommendations to suit where you’re at with your health
- Sleep routine/hygiene recommendations
- Specific Protocols if needed, such as – Anti-Parasitic, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Yeast/Candida, Autoimmune
- Supplements – to support digestion, healing, removing & repair
How often do I need to see you and for how long?
This will differ from client to client, and will depend on what your health challenges are, test results, your individual protocol length and progression. I will assess and discuss this with you to ensure it suits your needs.
I see all clients for an Initial Consultation, then you decide what testing you’d like to do based on our discussions, what Program option suits your needs (depending on how many labs you’d like) and I then organise the relevant lab kit/s to be sent to your home.
Once your first lab results are back, and I’ve analysed the results, you’ll book in for a 60 minute Results & Recommendations session where we go through the results together and I’ll explain your individualised Protocol. From there, we typically catch-up fortnightly for a 3 month period of follow-up support allowing for course adjustment and retesting when needed. At times support is required past this timeframe (especially with hormonal or autoimmune issues which generally involves a longer time to heal).
Why are all your consults online and how does this work?
All consultations are completed by secure video chat or telephone conference. The benefit of this is:
- Allows you to have the consultation in the comfort of your own home, or even during a lunchbreak from work (in a quiet place of course).
- Allows flexibility around your work and family schedule
Prior to our first session together, I’ll ask you to:
- Activate your account in my portal called Practice Better (and download the Practice Better app if you prefer an option on the go!). This is where you can access any documents, labs or protocols I have sent to you.
- Fill out your intake paperwork (which I will send to you through Practice Better)
- Have access to a computer or device for our video / phone sessions together so we can go through test results, protocols together.
Simply jump into the video chat room in Practice Better portal at your scheduled appointment time, for our sessions.
When enrolled in one of my program options, you also get the additional support of being able to message me in Practice Better and email between sessions to troubleshoot any issues you may experience or ask questions you might have.
I’ll be with you every step of the way so you feel fully supported and empowered in this journey to restore your health. Healing is usually not linear, there are often ups and downs along the way, so I’m here to help you adjust course when needed or investigate more pieces to the puzzle.
Where are you based?
I’m based in Sydney, Australia, however using secure video technology allows me to work online with clients anywhere throughout Australia & New Zealand.
How does the lab testing process work?
Most of our testing (besides blood tests) can be completed in the comfort of your own home. After your Initial Consult, I will organise for the test kit/s to be sent to your home along with step-by-step instructions. You simply return the samples back directly to the lab, in the supplied packaging. Some tests are paid for on ordering, others are paid for when you send the samples back.
Basic blood tests can usually be requested through your GP, which you will need to organise direct. If you need any advanced blood panels, I order these through a private lab and you get them done like a normal blood test, through specified collection centres in your area.
Once I receive your results back from the lab, we will arrange a 60 minute appointment to discuss your results and recommendations. If supplements are required, these can all be ordered online and sent direct to your home.
How long will it take to feel improvement with my symptoms?
To be honest, this depends on how long you’ve been unwell, along with your commitment to becoming well again. It’s difficult to say without having an idea of your health history, current symptoms, and goals as it is so individual.
It will take more than one session however, and we’ll discuss this during our calls together. Often even just a few initial modifications to nutrition and lifestyle can start the process of you feeling some positive benefits early on whilst you work on your longer-term protocol to restore wellness.
The more dedicated you are to your health and incorporating the advice from your health coach, the more positive outcomes you are likely to see. This is what sets apart the functional health approach from the traditional medical model. YOU become empowered to take charge of your own health. Nobody will ever care more about your own health than you. Whilst I’ll be there to help support and guide you through the process to find the root causes of any dysfunction, you are the one who then needs to commit to do the work. Once you start to feel the benefits in your health, it becomes really motivating and easier to continue.
How much does functional lab testing cost?
Labs are sold at wholesale price and range between $100 –430 each, depending on the specific lab. These fees are paid directly to the lab and are separate from my consult or program fees.
Please note, I don’t get any percentage from lab testing fees. All recommendations for specific functional labs are based solely on what’s appropriate for your symptoms and health goals.
Are these tests covered by Medicare?
Medicare only covers fees for tests that check for disease. They don’t cover fees for services that are considered preventative health or involve looking for dysfunction occurring in the body prior to disease developing. Therefore, functional lab tests like the ones I use, are unfortunately not currently covered by Medicare or by private health funds. This is the same for any functional health practitioner. Hopefully this may change one day (fingers crossed !)
WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
- Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, FDN-P
- Certified Autoimmune Protocol Coach
- Advanced Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, FDN
- Advanced Stress and Hormones, FDN
- Advanced Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, FDN
- Advanced Thyroid, FDN
- Diploma in Swedish Massage, Naturecare College
- Certificate in Aromatherapy, Naturecare College
This is an ever-growing list as I strive to keep up with the latest information and training in functional health, so that I can best serve my clients.
You can also read more about my personal journey to regain my health as well as what motivated me to do what I do on my About Me page.