Stephanie Gray joins us on the podcast to shed light on the fact that a diagnosis could easily just be a symptom. She explains how you can avoid invasive protocols including medications and surgery by attacking your ailments with functional medicine. Stephanie uses the struggles from her own life to help heal others in the form of gut health, hormone imbalance, infertility, nutrition deficiency and more. Are you ready to regain your health? Then, I can’t wait for you to tune in!
Stephanie is a functional medicine provider who helps men and women build sustainable and optimal health so that they can focus on what matters most to them. Her expertise lies within integrative anti-aging and functional medicine. She's arguably one of the most credentialed female healthcare providers in the Midwest. She’s the author of Amazon’s best-selling book Your Longevity Blueprint, has co-founded Your Longevity Blueprint nutraceuticals with her husband, Eric, and owns the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic in Hiawatha, Iowa.
DIFFERENTIATING CONVENTIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
When looking at conventional medicine, Stephanie likes to look at it with a fire department approach; it’s there to put out the big, bad, ugly fires. Conventional medicine’s two fires it puts out are prescription drugs and surgery. Stephanie and other functional medical professionals don’t want to be the fire department, they want to be the carpenter or the contractor. They want to help their patients repair and rebuild their bodies. While both options are necessary, it’s always good to avoid the fire department whenever possible.
Stephanie felt like she had been raised in a very healthy family and believed she was in good health. When she was 30, she was sitting at her desk one morning and her heart rate just took off to a point where she almost passed out. This landed her disoriented and confused in the emergency room. The doctor told Stephanie that it was her low blood pressure that caused the incident and the only way to control it was through medication.
Not wanting to accept that medication was her only option, Stephanie began looking at her own health with a functional medicine point of view. She began analyzing her nutrition and worked to become more in-tune with her body. Stephanie quickly realized that the true culprit of her blood pressure issues was her gut function, diet and stress. By adding more salt into her diet, practicing meditation and yoga and cutting out gluten from her diet, Stephanie was able to manage her blood pressure without medication!
Stephanie’s health struggles inspired her to write her book, Your Longevity Blueprint and allowed her the opportunity to help people all over the world feel their best without conventional medicine.
When it comes to nutrition, what is healthy for one may not be the best thing for the next. That’s why when you're experiencing a symptom, you shouldn’t go straight to medication, but rather try to find the source of the problem. Stephanie uses an example from her book where a good friend of hers suffered from chronic migraines. She had been heavily medicated for years, but her neurologist never asked what she was putting in her mouth. After Stephanie helped her identify that she was celiac and helped her change her diet, her headaches were completely gone and she is now on no medication.
The root of the problem usually stems from poor gut health. That’s where ‘the foundation’ comes into play. Throughout Stephanie’s book, she works to connect aspects of a home to certain organ systems in the body. The gut is described as the foundation. Your body needs a strong GI tract just as your house needs a strong foundation because, without it, both will fall apart.
Stephanie likes to start with removing food sensitives as you are working to improve or repair your gut health. It could be as simple as cutting out gluten, dairy or sugar, but gut repair varies from person to person and for some it could take more than removing certain foods from their diet.
Stephanie describes the link between infertility and nutrition to be inflammation. Just like the migraine example, gynecologists don’t always ask the patient what their diet looks like. Once you start removing foods that are causing inflammation, you are then able to improve your hormones, decrease stress on your body and improve the way your body functions. Exciting things start to happen for your body, mind + mood once you make the commitment to simple diet changes.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Hormone imbalances can often be corrected and managed by tackling what is going on in the gut, detoxing and proper nutrition. But what if that’s still not enough? Stephanie has worked with numerous clients and offers a variety of options for hormone replacement that include gels, creams, lozenges, herbs and pellets. Since everyone’s bodies are different, Stephanie says that the combination of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone vary from person to person. Getting the right combination of hormones and managing them effectively can be a huge game changer for your health. You don’t have to live with feeling less than your best! Check out Stephanie’s website for more information and to set up an appointment.
For patients who don’t want radiation from mammograms, an alternative is getting a thermograph taken. This is a digital infrared image that allows you to see hot and cold spots on the body in a noninvasive way. When choosing between a mammogram or a thermograph, it’s honestly a personal preference and you can mix up what you do every year! But Stephanie likes to look at what the best fit for the patient would be considering their personal risk factors.
Stephanie believes, along with many others in her field, that aging begins in the womb. Working to preserve your self-function and limiting the number of toxins you expose yourself to can help to slow down the aging process.
Stress is another BIG factor when it comes to aging. It’s good to be driven, motivated and have things that you want to accomplish. But you also need to make time to stop and smell the roses. Setting up healthy boundaries will help give your body and mind a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
TIP: A way to reduce stress is to breathe. Deep breathing is something that you should be doing every day and one of the first things you can do to start working on lifestyle modifications for stress reduction.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE WITH PREGNANCY
Supplementation is very important during pregnancy. For years, gynecologists have told patients to take folic acid when they were thinking of conceiving. Folic Acid is actually something you want to avoid because it’s a synthetic, man-made vitamin. You want to look for folate in your vitamins. It is getting easier to find because supplement companies beginning to sub out the folic acid for folate.
OTHER IMPORTANT SUPPLEMENTS
When talking IV therapy, Stephanie isn’t talking about a quick fix for someone who needs to rehydrate after a long night out. The purpose and goal of IV therapy is to support the immune system and fix any nutritional deficiencies. IV therapy is especially helpful for patients with poor gut health, as nutrients might not be absorbed as easily. By getting the extra support that you need, you can drastically improve your energy + how you feel!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase by using the link. Please understand that I recommend these products because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decided to buy.
The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).
I know how busy life can get which is why I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to get in some "you time". Join me in my 10-minute Pilates Flow workout to tone, strengthen and improve the functionality of your body without the dread of going to the gym.