nutrition dr austin

Nutritional Deficiency Testing: Is Your Diet Making You Sick?

Up to 90% of Americans are not consuming enough of the essential nutrients required for healthy functioning of all aspects of their bodies. These nutrient deficiencies can compound over time and have lasting negative effects on your health.

Austin, TX integrative medicine specialist Dr. Ruthie Harper, MD wants to help you understand how crucial nutrition is to optimal health and how food can serve as medicine to heal your body.

As Hippocrates, the father of medicine once said, “Let food be thy medicine or medicine will be thy food” This quote, though thousands of years old, acknowledges the importance of healthy eating and how the nutrients in various foods have healing properties.

The Nutrition / Health Connection

Most medical doctors receive only around 19 hours of nutrition education over their four years of schooling, with only 25% of schools providing even this level of education. This is shocking considering the critical role that nutrition plays in maintaining good health. Understanding the connection between food and health is vital for every individual who desires optimal functioning of their body.

The importance of food stems from the fact that there are an astounding 37 billion chemical reactions occurring in your body every second. For these reactions to happen, your body needs proper nourishment in the form of vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately, eating enough calories does not necessarily ensure that the food we eat has nutrient density or the amounts of each nutrient required for health to occur. Despite calorie abundance, most Americans are overfed but undernourished- meaning they eat too much of many foods with too little nutritional value to provide what the body needs for function.

Traditional Doctors & Nutritional Deficiency Testing

In the world of traditional medicine, the only diseases recognized as related to malnutrition are scurvy, and rickets. Yet, when evaluating people for optimal health, over 98% of Americans are deficient in omega-3 fats, an essential nutrient linked to brain and eye health. Moreover, 80% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption and bone health, and 50% are deficient in magnesium, which plays a critical role in nerve function and metabolism. Shockingly, deficiencies in vitamin C, a nutrient known for its role in preventing scurvy, affects around 10% of the population.

Causes of Nutritional Deficiency

The prevalence of nutrient deficiencies in America can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, in our past, we consumed food as hunter gatherers and these foods contained higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats than our current diet.

Secondly, industrial farming methods and hybridization techniques have led to crops and animals with fewer nutrients. Thirdly, processed and factory farm foods have low levels of  nutrients and must be fortified to compensate for the nutrient depletion. Lastly, the burden of environmental toxins, lack of sunlight, chronic stress, and the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar have increased our nutrient needs, which our current diet unfortunately does not sufficiently provide for.

Nutritional Deficiency Testing | Austin, TX

At Ruthie Harper MD in Austin, TX our metabolomics test – as well as other blood work – will provide a comprehensive assessment that identifies your potential nutritional deficiencies, imbalances, or insufficiencies of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, organic acids, and antioxidants. These tests provide a powerful and comprehensive examination of various aspects vital to your health including mitochondrial function (the power house batteries for all cellular function), B vitamin status, detoxification capabilities, neurotransmitters, and gut flora.

These blood tests conducted at Ruthie Harper MD in Austin, TX will identify potential issues such as low amino acid levels, oxidative stress, low zinc and selenium levels, and toxic overload all critical for optimal function. They also identifies area needed to ensure that you are taking a proactive approach to disease prevention including  nutrients that protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and neurodegenerative decline.

The results of these tests will provide valuable insights into your overall health and help us create personalized nutritional and lifestyle recommendations for you for disease resolution as well as prevention.

Nutritional Deficiency Testing | Austin, TX: (512) 343-9355