When working with my clients, I love to use this ice burg visual to explain the disease process.

The tip of the iceberg is what represents disease. If you are familiar with an iceberg, then you know that only about a 1/10th of an iceberg is actually seen. 9/10th’s of the iceberg lies below the surface.

In order for healing to take place in an individual, it must be understood that the specific diagnosed disease, just like the tip of an iceberg, is the only 1/10th of the picture. As a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, I do not ever diagnose or treat any one specific disease or even symptom. Instead, my job is to help my clients dive deep below the surface and discover the stress in their life that led them to disease or symptoms in the first place.

Stress represents the base of the iceberg and is the foundation for all disease. Whether the goal is the prevention of disease or reversal, focussing on removing as many stressors on the body MUST be addressed.

When I say the word stress, most people think of emotional stress, the stress that we feel; meeting project deadlines, relationship conflict, being stuck in traffic, etc. however, stress is defined as anything internal or external that causes malfunction within the body. If you look at the iceberg visual you will see that this includes many things.

When it comes to stress, our bodies do not understand the difference between running from a pack of wild animals, eating inflammatory foods, loneliness, not getting enough sleep, or being in an unhealthy relationship.

Regardless of the source of stress, our body responds the same way in an effort to help us handle the stress at hand. At the first sign of any kind of stress, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to send chemical messengers into the bloodstream that we are under attack. The adrenal glands then receive both nerve and chemical signals initiated in the hypothalamus. The nerve signals activate the adrenal glands to release epinephrine into the bloodstream which then pushes the release of cortisol also into the bloodstream. Cortisol will then raise blood pressure, increase blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system just to name a few.

What cortisol causes the body to do is actually a GOOD thing and is the sign of a healthy stress response. The problem is, we were not meant to be in a constant state of stress like most people are today. When you consider possibly decades of poor eating, overworking, over exposure to screens, exposure to toxic chemicals, lack of identity and purpose etc., does it make sense why there may be chronic damage on the body as a result?

Working to remove as many stressors as possible on the body is much more work than just taking pills, but if you truly desire to heal and take control of your health, you must be willing to start here.