fbpx

Click Here to Book a Discovery Call

What Is the Difference Between a Functional Nutritionist and a Conventional Nutritionist?

What Is the Difference Between a Functional Nutritionist and a Conventional Nutritionist?

What Is the Difference Between a Functional Nutritionist and a Conventional Nutritionist?

All bodies are unique, and health and dietary needs vary greatly from one person to the next. Since we all have different genetics, living environments, and lifestyles, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet that works as a cure-all for every single individual. Your dietary plan should be just as unique as you are, which is why working with a nutritionist should be at the core of your health journey. 

 

If you’ve done some research already, you may have found that there are different types of nutritionists. You may be wondering, “What’s the difference between a functional, registered dietitian nutritionist and a conventional nutritionist, and how can I find a functional nutritionist near me?” 

 

First, let’s review the difference between each type of nutritionist, and how functional nutrition is unique compared to conventional nutrition.

 

What Is a Conventional Nutritionist?

A conventional nutritionist is a dietary specialist who has been trained in conventional medicine and is trained to follow the USDA’s nutritional guidelines. They help their clients create healthy, realistic, sustainable meal plans to help them work toward their health goals. Their priority is helping the client better understand food, creating individualized meal plans that are tailored to that client’s specific situation, and teaching them how to make healthier choices.

 

While almost all nutrition coaching will provide some benefits, conventional nutritionists sometimes miss opportunities to improve their patients’ health because they work out of a narrow framework. They are taught the standard practice of diagnosing and treating each individual health concern, all of which may come with their own individual set of rules, restrictions, and medications. After a while, this process can become muddy, leading the clients on what feels like a wild goose chase to achieve their health goals. Many clients who work with conventional nutritionists find that even if they are getting adequate nutrients and diligently following their meal plans, they may not see the results they were hoping for. Five Journeys sees a lot of benefits to conventional nutrition, but we think your health team can be doing even more when it comes to diet.

 

The issue with this conventional method is that they are missing major pieces of the puzzle. Many Nutritional Science programs utilize outdated information that views nutrition as a black and white, cookie-cutter treatment. No matter what a client’s goal is, whether it be weight loss, more energy, or relief from digestive discomfort, there is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a revolving door of diets that work for a while until the next symptom or health issue arises. Once a client has exhausted themselves trying every diet under the sun, they are more likely to give up and move forward under the impression that they are destined to live with their symptoms forever.

 

What Is a Functional Nutritionist?

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, a functional registered dietitian nutritionist approaches each client as a unique individual and takes other factors into consideration when developing their treatment plan. In fact, there are many functional nutritionists near year. You just have to know where to look. 

 

Stress levels, pre-existing conditions, genetics, and other lifestyle choices all play a role in helping a client achieve optimal health.

 

Functional nutritionists use science-based data to help them treat the whole person, rather than just an isolated set of symptoms. In doing so, they are able to help determine the origin of the client’s health condition and address the root causes of the symptoms. Some of the factors a functional nutritionist may take into consideration include:

 

  • Illnesses
  • Medications
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Emotional or physical stressors
  • Genetics
  • Spirituality
  • Relationships or social connections
  • Life history

 

Standard nutritionists prescribe a singular set of nutrition guidelines that they believe will work for everyone, regardless of other lifestyle factors. The purpose of functional nutrition is to use food as a natural medicine to heal the gut, correct nutrient deficiencies, and restore balance. In addition to failing to consider other key elements of a client’s health and lifestyle, there are a variety of reasons why a diet prescribed by a conventional nutritionist may not work. 

 

Depending on the stipulations of the diet plan and the client’s individual needs, a conventional diet may:

 

  • Slow the metabolism
  • Lead to overeating
  • Demonize certain foods
  • Lead to weight loss that is only temporary and circumstantial
  • Cause the client to ignore their hunger cues

 

Our bodies are very complex machines, and no two bodies are created equally. What works wonders for one client, may be completely ineffective, or even downright harmful, for another. Functional nutritionists take a holistic approach and use nutrition as one part of the whole plan of action to lead the client on a path toward wellness. 

 

Optimal health relies on a diet that is rich in fresh, whole, nutrient-dense foods. Functional nutritionists often focus on restoring gut health, no matter their condition, to improve a client’s overall health. Since 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, balancing the gut microbiota is crucial to managing health conditions, preventing disease, reducing inflammation, and improving cognition. 

 

A healthy life goes far beyond what is on your plate. A functional nutritionist will address your entire lifestyle from stress levels and sleeping patterns, to exercise routines and pre-existing conditions. If you are under high amounts of stress, aren’t sleeping well, and are not physically active, your body is unable to properly digest the nutrients from the foods you eat. This can lead to brain fog, fatigue, depression, autoimmunity, and a host of other health conditions. A meal plan is no use unless the body can actually absorb nutrients to begin with!

 

If you’re struggling with your health and wondering “how can I find a functional nutritionist near me?” contact the team at 5 Journeys today!

Our Providers

Quick Links

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Glyphosate (“Round Up”) is a pesticide that is widely used and this test indicates the body’s levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 ($69 if performed with mycotoxins or environmental toxins).

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins or GPL Tox.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test measures saliva cortisol testing throughout the course of one day and informs us where there might be an adrenal imbalance.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Saliva

COST

$80

INSURANCE

Only covered by Medicare

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals stored in the body.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

Testing: $138
DMSA: $36

INSURANCE

Not covered by Insurance

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is specifically for a tick-borne illness called “Bartonella”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$260

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the full menstrual cycle, female hormones, and adrenal profile.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

NOTES

Must be off hormones in order to do the testing.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the gut function and indicates microbiome balance, overgrowth, infection, inflammation, parasites and digestive efficacy.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Stool

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

No probiotics for one week.

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates many measures including micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, detox, overview of gut function, omegas and toxic exposure.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Urine & Blood

COST

$179 – $400

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

INSTRUCTIONS

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

NOTES

You often have to fast for these tests.

COST

Depending on the test, deductible or copay may apply.

INSURANCE

Depends on insurance coverage, deductible or copay may apply.

Get Your Code Now!

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates a wide range of environmental toxins that may be leading to harmful health effects.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$199

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$299

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This company can test for lyme, babesia, bartonella and additional tick-borne illnesses.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$450-$3000

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. May be reimbursed with PPO plans.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the genetic profile for multiple health indicators.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$319

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 – $184

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. Repeat test prices $400.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test looks for the inappropriate presence of bacteria in the small intestine known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or “SIBO”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Breath

COST

*$109 with insurance, $179 without insurance *This test has an initial fee of $109, if your insurance doesn’t cover the test you’ll be charged the extra $70.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$99 – $184

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted