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The truth about epigenetics (and root causes!) - Blog Image

The truth about epigenetics (and root causes!)

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2019-02-27

Last week I introduced the Non-Negotiable Trifecta — sleep, poop, and blood sugar balance.

I also shared the new Sleep Assessment that we use in my clinic.

These 3 factors (sleep, poop and blood sugar balance) are so critical to resolving any health issue that in our clinic they are assessed immediately, either before or during other recommendations or interventions, dependent on the case.

I know it’s seductive to rush ahead — to think about genetic mutations or bacterial infections or hormone imbalances or mold exposures — but the truth is, trying to bypass the Trifecta is like building a house on quicksand. The house just doesn’t stand tall and strong, at least not for very long.

I also know it seems somewhat boring or even trivial to spend time bringing remedy to these core basics. You likely want to position yourself as someone who goes deeper, someone who can address that more seductive “one root cause.”

Many Roots

Yet the truth is, there is rarely one root cause.

In fact, all the social media hype about “the root cause”, is causing me to lose a little sleep!

It has patients back to searching for the one pill, protocol, probe or practitioner that’s going to unearth that one root cause and address it to resolve issues that are instead more widely rooted in the full body systems. (Have you noticed this too? The trend in health-conscious circles is no longer about the one pharmaceutical or nutraceutical. Instead, it’s about the one root!)

Soil Matters Too

Beyond the deceit of this trend, I’m concerned about you. I’m concerned that you’re looking for one root when you should be focusing your attention on not just finding the roots (notice the plural), but also on the soil in which those roots grew!

That soil includes the terrain created by imbalances manifesting in problems with sleep, poop and blood sugar balance. That soil contains the epigenetic factors we all know to pay attention to. (“Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger.” We all know this, right?!) And without changing the soil, the root (singular or plural) will just grow back. Or a new root will manifest.

This leads you and your clients on a quest for the next root, and the next one. But without a lot of sustainable resolution.

So I’m on a soapbox about the reality we have to face in healthcare — about the need for more practitioners to get out of the Quick Fix, to better understand multifactorial conditions. and to accept the TRUTH ABOUT EPIGENETICS.

And over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking into how to do this with sleep. How do we use the Sleep Assessment to lead us to individualized recommendations and treatment plans that work?! Stay tuned for more on this important reframe on “root cause resolution.”

Related Blog Posts

Functional Nutrition Tool: Sleep Assessment
Setting-up Success for Sleep Support
case study: insomnia through a Functional lens, part 1
case study: insomnia through a Functional Lens, part 2

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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