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How do I know I am Choosing the Right Functional Medicine Provider?

Are you tired of dealing with constipation, pain, fatigue, inflammation and other ailments and need one on one help, but not sure if you are at the right place?

Choosing a health care professional is a personal decision and a significant investment of time and resources on your part. My guess is that you have been dealing with IBS for years and have tried many different therapies and employed a wide range of practitioners. If you are going to spend this much time and effort-you want to see results.

Here are some things that you should definitely avoid when deciding on your choices to treat your IBS.

  • There is no one special diet that fits all patients and will cure all ailments
  • Treating symptoms not the causes
  • Relying upon magic treatments and supplements
  • Failing to treat the patient as an individual
  • Providers lacking motivation to continue their own education

No One Diet Fits All And Is A Cure All!

The diet is of course one of the most reliable factors to achieving overall health. Being able to eat the right things for your individual body’s needs can have remarkable results. No one diet fits all, but with that being said, there are certain diets that are more beneficial for certain conditions. Darla will work with you and evaluate your readiness to change to help pick the right diet for your condition. As you evolve, so will the diet and other treatment options. In many cases, diet will make you feel much better, but there still may be other factors contributing to your symptoms and need to be further investigated.

What Are The Underlying Causes?

Symptom management is fine to make you feel good, but WHY do you have IBS? What has my medical care to this point done for me, and how come I still suffer from these terrible symptoms?

You may have been told for years that taking this new medication, popping more laxatives, choking down more fiber, drinking more water or a combination of the above was the answer. But do those options address the underlying cause?

In your mind, you may think that you were born this way and there is nothing that you can do about it. I know, because that is what I used to think. You don’t have to live this way.

The answer lies within you as a whole. All the body’s systems are important. Finding the underlying causes with the most current and dependable testing available is key to freeing you from IBS and other debilitating symptoms. In addition, gathering specific life events and spending time listening to you as a person can help determine the underlying causes, coupled with the most current and dependable lab testing. You can chase your symptoms around with multiple supplements and/or medication, or you can get the right testing done and find out what is actually going on. Examples of lab testing that Darla uses may include:

  • Saliva testing to determine your stress hormone rhythm. An imbalance in these hormones can reduce your gastrointestinal track’s ability to heal
  • Stool testing-do you have a parasite? Dysbiosis? Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth? Maybe candida? Are these factors contributing to increased gut permeability?
  • Micronutrient testing and genetic testing-do you have a micronutrient imbalance or a problem metabolizing certain nutrients?
  • Conventional blood work like thyroid, vitamin D, inflammatory markers-Darla will work with your primary care physician to order the lab tests that best suit your needs.

There Are No Magic Pills

Everyone can see the mega media in this country selling the miracle cures for all our medical woes. TV commercials, radio, magazines and social media have inundated us with flashy ads and pretty faces with glowing testimonials. You can even find these amazing results being marketed on the internet. We have come to expect that all we need to do is “take this purple pill and continue to eat what you want-it’s OK, your heartburn will go away.”

In reality, there are no magic supplements or pills that you can take to easily fix your problem for good. The conventional medicine model is life saving and is technologically advanced. But for chronic conditions like IBS, this model is based on treating the symptoms. Symptom relief and out the door in 15 minutes.

People are complex entities. There is no one size fits all. You and Darla will work as a team to develop a treatment protocol that is right for you, based on your unique history, lifestyle factors and the results from lab testing. You will have to make some lifestyle changes that may be hard work, but if you are at the point that you have no other options-isn’t it worth it? I can reassure you from my own personal and professional experiences, you can achieve optimum health and we will work together to achieve this goal.

Do I Know My Healthcare Practitioner And Do They Know Me?

Being able to sit and listen is a lost art for many doctors and practitioners. One of the fundamental basis’ of the functional medicine model is to treat each patient as an individual. Darla begins this journey with the assistance of the Living Matrix, a recent addition to Real Nutrition Concepts.

The Living Matrix is a functional medicine program that consolidates your entire health history, which is collected through extensive functional medicine surveys and populates it into a timeline. Symptoms in terms of the underlying clinical imbalances are organized and prioritized into various body systems, which provides clues to the underlying cause. You can see first-hand your story unfolding.

Knowing your history and what led you to this point is paramount to understanding the underlying cause and embracing your journey towards the healing process. Maybe you went through a damaging divorce or lost a loved one and that is when your problems started. Each consultation is geared toward allowing you the ability to fully discuss with Darla all of the questions you may have. Darla will take the time to listen and involve you in each step of the journey, in order to solve together the root causes and not mask the symptoms.

In addition, you know that Darla was very sick with IBS and can relate to what you are going through. She knows what it takes to get better.

Education Never Ends.

Becoming a health care professional usually depends on formal education. Many professionals have dedicated most of their early adulthood to schools and training which certify them to practice in some form of health care. Aside from professional conferences and company representatives the educational curve stops there. Once trained, they know what is needed to run a successful business in the health care field and carry the education with them for their entire career. Darla has taught at the university level for more than 15 years. Her expertise and ongoing education has never stopped. Darla spends countless hours researching her ideas and treatment protocols based upon clinical data.

Why Darla?

Working as a Registered Dietitian, University Professor and Functional Medicine Practitioner, Darla’s base of knowledge complimented her own journey to overall health. Through her own personal experience, research experience and clinical experience, she has learned that diet is the foundation for achieving the best outcomes for her patients. However, there was still more that could be done for overall wellness. It was at this point that Darla began her mentorship with the Kalish Institute for Functional Medicine. Now she is able to implement a systems approach (diet, lifestyle, functional lab testing, and use of supplements) to treating each patient. Darla has a wealth of knowledge and experience she uses to guide her in her daily practice. During the journey of solving her own IBS with constipation, Darla has discovered the true test will be with what she learns tomorrow.

When you make your final decision, choosing Darla as your solution to combat your IBS with constipation, you are selecting a provider who has lived through years of researching what can be done to help you.

You can live your life free of the worries of not being able to participate in the events you deserve. Why should your constipation interfere with the social life you desire. Your IBS does not have to dictate your way of life. Let Darla begin the process of a journey to overall wellness designed individually for you. Contact Darla and book your appointment today, let your new life free from IBS begin today.


Dr. Darla O’Dwyer offers her patients the convenience of meeting you in office, online via Skype or via phone.