IFM Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice

ifm-logo

Hi Folks,

I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for the Institute for Functional Medicines AFMCP training. I promised that I would keep everyone informed so I have recorded a short message at the end of each day.

The course is being run from The JW Marriott Desert Ridge, and wow what a venue! I haven’t seen the half of it yet; I am lucky if I can even find my car!

Marriott Desert Ridge Resort-full

To be honest by 7 pm my brains are completely fried after the long day so please excuse the quality of the recordings as I cannot even begin to describe how much brain function has been used during the long day; I can barely recall the lecture titles when I get home!

I have been enjoying a good routine here and am up and out the door just after 6 for a short run and then lectures start at 8 am.

If you are nosy this is the street layout here, all my runs are in perfect squares and flat as a pancake; and i am still trying to get used to the giant cacti in people’s gardens.

The sun rise over the mountains is a sight to stop your heart and makes my day and no matter how tired I am calls me out the door to get the feet to the pavement in the cool morning air.

So here are my video blog posts and I will keep adding as I go. I will create a new post for my trip to Sedona and also Colorado.

 

I am placing my last day first as it contains the most important message to you all; enjoy.
PS I really wish YouTube didn’t freeze the clips on the ugliest facial expressions!!!

Small addition from the kitchen ūüôā

Day -1

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Excuse the fumbling spiel about organic; I advocate the best quality that you can buy and am pointing out that if you cannot afford to buy everything organic that at least we have local and seasonal options here in¬†Ireland¬†that still are¬†‘good’ in quality.

TBC…………¬†

Love,
Andrea

andrea

PS: To learn more about my trip here in the USA read here:

 

Sports Nutrition Clinic Services

Hi healthy peeps,

I recorded a quick video blog earlier today to let you know a little bit more about my approach for athletes in the clinic. Mostly because there isn’t really an adequate title to cover what I do and provide to athlete clients.

Firstly my qualifications; I am a pharmacist, Nutritional Therapist, and Senior Associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

This means that I have trained in pharmacy and health care, functional medicine and functional and medical diagnostics, nutrition and sports nutrition, and also have been gifted a high level of sensitivity to the energy of people and what is going on in their bodies.

Science and a little bit more!

Some call this being psychic, medically intuitive, an energy healer and so on. I just see it as a nice way to help you even more because I sense what you and your body need on a day-to-day basis. This can come in handy when assisting you reach your goals! I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t want to see anyone’s future;¬†I simply sense what you need in the moment that I am with you or before I meet you which can be interesting.

It can be as simple as just saying hey I think your body will benefit from a probiotic in the month before your race, and then all the facts will point to this. Or it will give me a sense of what is the most immediate concern for you when the paper and science will tell us we need to do fifty things;¬†sometimes it is best to keep it simple and go on what the body needs in that moment… and then work from there.

Something that this does give me is a knack for feeling your energy, and the state of health within the muscles and what you need to do to assist their recovery; so if you are open to it and I sense it is needed I may suggest some energy sessions, a go on the PEMF machine, some healing aromatherapy oils (I use Vibrant Blue oils; here is a nice blog on how oils work and Panaway by Young Living oils is a favourite for those with sore or tired muscles) or some other helpful strategies.

Secondly what I really do?

Well think of me as your support team; regarding diet, nutrition, explaining the ins and outs of health and sports supplements (IF needed and how to determine what is worth your while), your functional health and the monitoring of this, your energy and rest-recovery balance, etc.

Basically I sort of act as that support system that provides more than just nutrition. I prefer to see nutrition as just one of the tools we use as more often that not all you require here is guidance (most athletes and active person know what to eat; and if they aren’t then this is where we must focus!).

Continue reading

Functional Diagnostic Tests

light-end-of-tunnel

“Knowledge is the beginning of the journey back to health; I am here to guide you in the application of that knowledge” Andrea

I believe in getting to the root cause of illness; knowledge of the cause of a condition is power and enables a treatment protocol to be set in place such that health can once again be enjoyed.

Knowing the correct functional and medical tests to take, the correct treatment strategies to commence, and the best individualised diet for a client however is an alchemy that I am striving for… I don’t want to waste your time, money, or emotional reserve. Being ill sucks enough already!

“In order to restore health, we must determine the causes of ill-health and address them one by one….

As many of you know, diet alone is often frustratingly insufficient to cure your health symptoms, and this is because frequently other things may be going on.

For example: chronic gastrointestinal infections, subclinical hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal inflammation and hyper-permeability, food intolerance, viral illness, adrenal hormone imbalance (cortisol, DHEA, sIgA, and also melatonin can be measured), elevated levels of environmental toxic metals, dental amalgam leaching of mercury, autoimmune related inflammation, parasitic infection, stomach hypo-function, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, fatty acid imbalances, and so on.

Depending on the analysis of each individual patient we may decide to run some tests to give us practical strategies to get working on. I have access to a number of tests that will help guide us.

Who will benefit from these tests?

  • Patients and athletes looking to act proactively regarding their health.
  • Patients suffering with fatigue and poor energy; whether this has been diagnosed officially as CFS or not.
  • Athletes suffering with fatigue or suboptimal performance or those simply looking to get ahead of the game and monitor their training macro-cycle or body comp, hydration strategy success, cellular health or nutritional balance.
  • Those suffering chronic or acute gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis or similar.
  • Fertility issues.
  • MTHFR mutations
  • Hormonal imbalances such as thyroid, adrenal, female or male health imbalances.
  • Sleep issues such as insomnia.
  • Those wishing to learn about their food allergies/ intolerances, gastrointestinal inflammation, leaky gut or the balance of the gut bacteria.
  • Suspected gluten intolerance, non-coeliac gluten intolerance, or coeliac disease
  • Suspected mercury, aluminium or other toxic metal toxicity.
  • Those¬†suffering from autoimmune conditions or¬†vaccine related side-effects.
  • The list could¬†go on and on, please click into the test companies to read more.

What tests are available?

In brief you have access to the tests from the following labs; if you are interested to make an appointment to discuss your needs please fill in the contact form:

OmegaQuant  24-fatty acid analysis

omega-quant-logo

Body-Stat 1500 MDD body fat, hydration markers and cellular health analysis

bodystat%20logo

Genova Diagnostics UK now amalgamated with Metametrics laboratories

genoova

Microtrace Minerals Germany suppliers of comprehensive tests for essential and toxic metals; environmental analysis, amalgam mercury release assessment, etc.

microtrace

Invivo Clinical UK suppliers of Atherotech, Diagnostic Solutions, Dunwoody Labs, European Laboratory, Kashi, Meridian Valley labs, R.E.D labs and ZRT laboratories

invivo clinical

ALCAT Europe comprehensive food and environmental allergy testing.

alcat

Other tests: We also run some simple tests in the clinic such as a zinc taste test, pH testing, Raglands postural blood pressure test, intuitive diagnostic energy scanning as well as assessing all of your external and environmental stressors. As a matter of routine I review all patients medical and blood tests (with permission!).

I look forward to assisting you ūüôā

Andrea

 

New test available for food allergies

alcat

Hi Folks,

Just a wee heads up that we are now offering this state of the art diagnostics test for Food Allergies and more. I have been patiently waiting for this test to be available to us here in Ireland.

To read more please see here: ALCAT europe

To enquire about a test please fill in the contact form.

I continually invest in my education…

More adventures to the USA………

live-as-if-you-were-to-die-tomorrow-learn-as-if-you-were-to-live-forever-mahatma-gandhi

I have a few beliefs in life; ok a lot! When it comes to education, however, I believe that if I am to help my clients to the best of my ability then I must do two things:

  1. Education: to continually strive to be as educated as I can, in as many topics as I can practically consume;  from health, medicine and wellbeing; to fitness, mobility and all topics related to movement;  to psychology, life and spirituality; food, cooking, and our ancestral relationship to foods; to mother earth, her plants, animals and energies; and finally to energy medicine and the whole realm of the invisible, unknown, and astonishing powers of healing, intuition, conscious beliefs and inner self-healing.
  2. Integration: to combine almost 20 years of medical, nutritional, and functional diagnostics experience with my 40 years of life (some hard knocks as well as eye-opening intuitive skills) into a skill mix that delivers practical and empowering advice to you the client such that you can become the master of your own health and wellbeing.

For the duration of my time here on earth I will be an eternal student driven to marry science with intuition and innate healing skills; and to somehow create an alchemical balance within my practice of medicine, functional medicine, food and lifestyle with your innate  ability to heal, thrive, be happy and achieve a life beyond your dreams.

A mediocre life is not an option when you start to see what you are capable of experiencing…..

I see travel on the horizon:

travel-quote-1

First stop Phoenix, AZ, for APMCP training with the Institute of Functional Medicine.

 

So 1 month to the day I am off on more educational adventures.

ifmlogo

This will commence with a weeks functional medicine practical training course with the IFM in Phoenix. The course is titled Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice and although I use a strong functional medicine base in my daily practice already, I felt that it is time for an upgrade, to mix with the best in the field, and come home pumped with even more knowledge to help you better. To read more about my educational shenanigans please follow the link here.

I believe that functional diagnostic medicine is a core part of patient care. To fully heal a patient suffering with chronic health conditions (for example auto-immune conditions and gastrointestinal complaints) we must get to the root of the health problems and functional medicine does this in a much more comprehensive and whole-body way than conventional medicine alone.

With my background in pharmacy I am able to integrate conventional medicine with functional medicine and wI ork closely with patients’ doctors and specialists. This is very important for patient welfare and to prevent conflict and confusion for the patient. Every part of both fields of medicine has a purpose and a good practitioner will marry both.

Many patients coming to me are on medication and so my pharmacy training (qualified 1997 ex The Welsh School of Pharmacy, University of Cardiff) puts me in a strong position to ensure the best care for them and to run full checks on the appropriateness of herbs and nutritional supplements. With the complexity of liver detoxification function herbs should never be taken without the supervision of a herbalist or appropriately trained medical doctor or pharmacist.

Second stop Sedona, AZ

 sedona

I am so excited about this stop-over between courses. I will be staying 18 days in Sedona on what I guess you could describe as a spiritual retreat with a little bit of studying!

I have a huge draw to the USA and especially the energy of the Native Indians, their traditions, their sacred medicine and the energy in the land. This energy has called me to the USA many times and she has called me again of late. I think that the two courses lining up in proximity and timing was simply the excuse to give myself permission to adventure once more to places calling me.

I will be spending a significant amount of my time with my mentor Clint and his wife Michelle. If you would like to read more about Clint please click this link to Sedona Sacred Earth. Clint and I have been working together for months and so when I visit in March, our work together will be completely tailored to my needs. I am beyond excited and open to the challenges.

I will keep you updated with blogs and video messages while on my stay in Sedona; of note I will be spending time looking within, setting goals and desires into motion, visiting the reserves and spending time with plants, animals, and sacred sites. I am very much looking forward to opening my heart to new experiences, friends and more.

There is a nice challenge also in that the only accommodation that I was successful in finding for the duration of the stay requires that I only cook vegetarian meals; so this will be a nice opportunity to cleanse and heal the body. I don’t very much trust the meat in the USA anyhow so I wont be missing out too much.

Third Stop Littleton, Colorado

After my 18 day stay in Sedona I will set off for the biggest road trip I have ever done alone in a car and travel on to Littleton, Colorado, via Santa Fe. 11 hours in total (in theory) so the stop over in a very pretty location is welcomed.

In Colorado I will be attending a training clinic run by Dina Griffin to gain my Level I Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist Certification at eNRG labs with Dina Griffin. Littleton is at higher altitude than Ireland (not difficult to achieve!) so without adequate acclimation time I am unable to have my own good self tested, which is a shame but I will be making the most of some training runs at elevation and hope that my body knows what to do after my 3 months in Reno 2014; also at altitude.

I won’t try to reinvent a perfectly good explanation of metabolic efficiency (a concept based on metabolic flexibility) so here are Bob Seebohar’s own words to describe the concept.

Metabolic Efficiency can be defined as improving the body’s ability to use its internal stores of nutrients, specifically carbohydrate and fat, more efficiently.

The average person has approximately 1,400 – 2,000 calories worth of carbohydrate stored in their body and 50,000 – 80,000 calories stored as fat.

The body is a very complex system but surprisingly, it can be taught to oxidize (burn) more carbohydrate or fat in a surprisingly short amount of time. Burning more carbohydrate will allow the body to store more fat.  Burning more fat will allow the body to preserve the small amount of carbohydrates. The latter obviously has more profound positive impacts on health and well-being, fitness, and athletic performance and is the foundation of Metabolic Efficiency.

…………………………….

Athletes embrace Metabolic Efficiency because the performance improvements can be fairly significant. It doesn’t matter the type of athlete (strength, power, aesthetic, endurance), there are benefits no matter who adopts this lifestyle.

Of course, the benefits will be different depending on the athlete but in general, athletes usually experience the following when they become Metabolically Efficient:

1) decreased body weight,
2) decreased body fat,
3) improved and sustained energy levels and mental alertness throughout the day,
4) improved recovery,
5) improved cognitive function,
6) improved power to weight ratio,
7) improved running velocity, and 8) better sleep.

This is a short list as each athlete will have different interactions and improvements based on their starting point and level of progression.

To read more please click the link to the Metabolic Efficiency webpage, the webpage from which the above explanation is taken. For more superb articles see the blog written by Bob and other certified nutrition, functional medicine, and metabolic efficiency certified experts.

I have already been working with elite, professional (rugby), Olympic (endurance, track and field, rowing) and dedicated athletes for a number of years (13 to be exact; spanning numerous sports); I see this training as an extension to what I have studied and gained in experiences over the years. I cannot wait to give myself the time and opportunity to further this knowledge and bring it back to you.

derval

So that is my little adventure in March and April Folks; I will keep you posted. To say that I am beyond excited is an understatement.

Oh and if you are wondering why do I invest in these trips? It is because I strive to be the best version of me so that I can best support you.

Much love,

Andrea

Study in the garden.2

Studying in the garden with my beloved Millie providing distraction

 

 

Do you suffer from Fatigue?

Hi Folks,

Here is a video blog of me discussing fatigue.

Fatigue, along with gastrointestinal complaints, is the most common condition that I treat in the clinic. I believe that with a bit of time, patience, effort (on your behalf!) and support and detective work on my behalf that fatigue can be fully solved.

In fact I believe that once we get to the true core issues and address them, that healing can happen quickly.

A return to health most often involves making positive and lifelong changes to your diet, lifestyle, environment, and the mind-body connection. In other words making changes to what caused the problem in the first place!

Any number of other issues can tag along such as viruses, infections, toxicity, poor organ function, hormonal imbalances, and so on….. but each imbalance is a result of a deeper issue relating to diet, lifestyle, environment and our emotions-belief systems.

I am here to support you on the journey and your quest back to health, vitality and adventure….

If you suffer with fatigue that is impacting your health, life or sports endeavours please contact the clinic on andreacullenhealthsolutions@gmail.com; it will be my pleasure to help.

PS I am a former fatigue sufferer and fully on your side when I say I get it!

And after some work on my own health using the principles that I will share with you, I am well, healthy and very active. Here is me with a great friend Orla before my first triathlon in June 2015. I didn’t get to run in this one due to a foot injury but I kicked ass in one a few weeks later in Austria 70.3 half ironman. ūüôā

andrea triathlon

Much love,

Andrea

Pause for thought….before you think health is $$$$$$$$

dare_to_complain

Today I was told that to make the necessary changes to be well will cost too much and it got me thinking about a few things.

Firstly my time; I spend HOURS working on each and every clients file with the view to not stop until everything is uncovered. I am sure that when you compare a typical private medical¬†consultants fee to mine my fee may start to look like value per minute ūüôā

However then a thought struck me:

“The next time someone complains about the cost of getting well I will ask them how much they have spent thus far getting unwell….

Add up those unhealthy foods, take-aways, poor food choices, negative lifestyle habits, and doctor and consultant visits etc. and then come back to me…

I will guess the cost to get you unwell is far greater than the “investment” in returning to and maintaining health.

Hmmmmm……