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How A Root Cause Approach To Health Changed My Life

girl walking through field

My medical records could fill up several filing cabinets spanning several decades. From mysterious rashes, cerebral edema, hypoglycemia, psoriasis, and most recently over the last 5 years Lyme disease and Chronic Inflammatory Syndrome. The long lineup is a painful list including infectious disease, rheumatology, endocrinology, cardiology, pulmonology, chiropractic, internal medicine….and too many more to count. Been there, done it.

You can say I’ve been around the block a few times with just about every kind of medical specialist there is.

Seeing upwards of 25+ different doctors and specialists in the span of 7 years I have grown a new appreciation for waiting room décor, overhead music, and warm smiles from strangers.

The five years of needle pricks, IV’s, lab draws, MRI’s, CT scans, emergency room visits filled my calendar replacing the social activities that used to crowd it. It’s been no easy feat, and in many ways I stand amazed that my heart is still beating. Lyme may not have killed me but lack of the will to keep on going almost did.

Sadly, I’m no stranger to this reality…there are millions suffering right now as I did too.

Just one in a large crowd of needy souls I was shuffled around in a broken medical system that segments our ailments into separate systems, prioritizes band aid solutions, and overcharges on behalf of greedy insurance companies. It’s a maze you don’t want to get lost in and a reality that is challenging to navigate. Your sense of autonomy is lost and you begin to feel like a lab rat in a science experiment. The alternative was to lay down and succumb to the ravishing effects of the Lyme that permeated every cell in my body.

Or was it?

Medical Doctors looking at patient

I stumbled along for years desperately trying to find the will to survive. Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia I was offered pain medication, physical therapy, and told that my quality of life would never be the same. My cabinet was cleared out and prescription pills lined the shelves and overwhelmed my schedule trying to keep up with it all.

I assumed my physicians would make the connections and would properly diagnose me in no time. I assumed they would understand why I felt horrible all the time and that the extreme dietary changes and targeted natural antimicrobials would help me feel slightly better.

I often left feeling frustration to hear my physicians communicate that diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors had little to do with my ailments. I was even more disturbed to later learn that the 2010 "Nutrition in Medicine" project surveying 127 accredited U.S. medical schools revealed that physicians receive around 20 hours of nutrition education in medical school. I was exhausted and fed up with a broken medical approach to health and sick care rather than healthcare.


I had reached a breaking point.

I was desperate for change. A friend who had witnessed my suffering introduced me to a "Root Cause Medicine" approach when she recommended a new doctor to me. It was an introduction that not only saved my life but changed my life. Within the two hours of my first visit, I was asked a series of questions going all the way back to my childhood, examined top to bottom, and then met with the physician for an entire hour.

I had grown quite accustomed to the 15-minute time frame I had with all previous physicians rehearsing my whole health history summed up into a span of 5 minutes, giving them 10 minutes to talk and write prescriptions.... so this was a little new to say the least!

A Root Cause Approach Changed My Health

Throughout my visit the physician took the time to ask about my environmental exposures, past and present medications, childhood health, diet and physical activity, relationships and stress and much more. In an attempt to find the root cause of my ailments my life was examined and laid completely bare. There I was telling my whole health story to someone who took the time to get a full and complete picture. Someone who cared enough to allow me more than 5 minutes to talk.

Someone who cared enough to sit with me and really listen.

holding hands

I walked away from that first visit feeling that not only was my health about to radically change but my life as well.

Through a root cause approach rather than a pile of prescription medications my approach to healing had a new makeover. Removing that which was harming me and adding in that which my body needed my body was given the opportunity to do that which it was made to do…. heal.

For the first time in years my Lyme disease was properly diagnosed, environmental factors were addressed, and the approach to healing was comprehensive...and hopeful!

A "Root Cause" approach believes the body is made to thrive when health is addressed from not only the ground up but rather the roots up. Looking down below and factoring in how the mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected lends itself to total body transformation. For those of you not familiar with functional medicine, The Institute of Functional Medicine website describes this root cause approach as “a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.”

girl at beach raising arm

A Root Cause Approach Changed My Life

My body was struggling as I walked out of that office on that first visit, but my soul was on fire. I was determined as ever that I would transform my experience into helping others to know there is hope for better health and that the treadmill and rat race of modern medicines approach to healing can be walked away from for a better approach.

It doesn't have to be this way!

I was determined to make a better way for others so they wouldn’t experience the suffering that I did. I began my pursuit of education to help others. Through my education I intended not only fill in the gaps in the medical community, but I would be that which I felt I needed along my own journey.

Your interest is probably peaked after all this talk about real health care. You've probably seen the flaws in the medical community yourself. To help you get started I want to outline what you can do to get your own journey started!

writing on paper with laptop on desk

10 things To Expect With A Root Cause Practitioner

  1. Expect to get what you pay for! If you want quality healthcare, you need to pay for quality health care. Value your providers time, education, and resources like you value your health! You will not be disappointed.

  2. Expect to spend time filling out a lot of paperwork. Your illness is a complex puzzle requiring many pieces to all fit together to get a clear picture. By taking the time to fill out and answer all questions you are better equipping your provider to be a good detective.

  3. Expect to undergo root cause health checkup tests. You want answer? You must allow your provider to look under the hood and investigate what is going on. Most likely they will look at the basics like you CBC & CMP but will also look at a variety of other more in depth tests as well such as a comprehensive thyroid panel, hormones, vitamin levels, food sensitivities and/or allergies, kidney and liver function and more. My favorite method is bioenergetic testing Your provider will take into account your unique bio individuality and your presenting symptoms and test appropriately.

  4. During your first follow up visit your provider will spend a considerable amount of time explaining the bioenergetic or lab results and their comprehensive plan to support your body to heal. This may seen exhaustive but it’s very important to know when your provider recommends supplements.

  5. Expect to invest in good quality supplements. Your practitioner will aim to support your body by utilizing medication when appropriate and targeted supplementation when needed. It may be costly but so is prolonged illness. Supplements are just that…supplements. They are meant to step in and provide nourishment and support to your ailing body for a time until your body is rebalanced.

  6. Expect to return to monitor your progress. Your practitioner utilizes these means to track how you are healing.

  7. Expect to be patient. Understand that you didn’t get sick overnight, and you won’t heal overnight. Healing takes time so lean into patience and stick to your providers plan.

  8. Expect to be stretched. Your practitioner will ask you to change and/or implement new things. Some of these will stretch you in unique ways. It's all for your good.

  9. Expect to heal! When your provider gets to the root cause of your ailments and supports you your body will begin to heal and thrive!

  10. Expect your life to never be the same! The education you receive from your Root Cause Team will be something you will use to not only heal your body but maintain your health going forward.

Healing doesn't happen in the span of weeks but rather months and for some years.

The path can be rocky and the ditches often feel deep but the health lessons, education, and resources individuals gain from addressing the root causes of their health problems makes real long term healing possible!

Ten Ways Root Cause Medicine Changed My Life (In A Nutshell):

1) It got to the root cause of my health problems rather than bandaids quick fixes

2) It taught me that I am in the driver's seat of my health and how to advocate for my health

3) It showed me how my environment, emotions, relationships, diet and lifestyle all play a crucial role in my health

4) It properly diagnosed me when conventional approaches failed year after year

5) It properly monitored and gave me targeted supplementation when necessary

6) It gave me hope in the medical community again

7) It taught me that healing requires a holistic approach, time, and a good team along the way

8) It provided valuable resources to educate me on what real health care looks like

9) It brought me from bed-bound to healing

10) It taught me how to be a valuable root cause practitioner who now helps others!

blonde riding bike


holistic practitioner, holistic health coach, functional medicine

Stefanie is a Holistic Health Practitioner specializing in Bioenergetics, a Functional Medicine Health Coach, & Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in whole body detoxification, chronic illness, fatigue, autoimmunity, digestive dysfunction, functional nutrition, chronic mystery symptoms, Lyme Disease & mold illness and more.

Stefanie takes a different approach to health and healing by addressing root cause issues rather than bandaid approaches to your health concerns. If you are tired of the conventional medicinal systems band apid approach Stefanie is available for one-on-one care to support you throughout your entire healing journey.

If you are interested in working with Stefanie reach out  to learn more about how partnering with her can help you along your healing journey.

Want to learn more about her services and how she can help you? You can browse this website to learn more!



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