We’ve all experienced it. A friend or social media influencer is so sure that you NEED to do what they did to feel better. They felt the same way you feel, had the same problems that you have, and struggled the same way you struggle. If a program or product worked for them, then it should definitely work for you, right?
So, you do what they say and follow the recommendations exactly. And yet, somehow, symptoms are worse. You’ve actually gained weight you set out to lose. Your gut is a mess, your hormones are
non-existent, and you may even have new symptoms pop up. What happened?
Now, I know this may come as a big shock, but apparently it needs to be said–you are not your sister. Or your neighbor. Or the Instagram influencer. (Crazy, I know.)
Your body has very unique, individual needs that can’t be addressed by a program that makes blanket recommendations for everyone. The problem with blanket recommendations to cover a set of symptoms is that a variety of different pathologies and disease processes can cause the exact same symptoms. And while a program might help one disease process, it can actually make another WORSE.
For example–you’re in a stage of life where your cortisol levels are running really low, and the pattern is all wrong. Your sister is in a stage of life where her cortisol levels are running really high all day long. The thing is, your symptoms could be the same! You’re both tired all the time, gaining weight, and your sleep patterns are terrible. If you follow the same program and recommendations, one of you might feel better, but the other will probably feel worse.
In the world of functional medicine, a good provider will follow the rule of “test, don’t guess”. We see patients all the time who arrive with grocery bags full of supplements that they’ve tried because so-and-so told them it worked for them. And while that might be true, these patients are coming to see us for a reason! They’ve tried every popular program, supplement plan, workout routine, and trendy device out there, just to be left with frustration and a depleted bank account.
You can follow this trend and jump into everything the girl with the abs on Instagram tells you to do, or you can cut straight to the chase and find out what is actually happening in your body.
Save yourself the time, money, and frustration and seek out a provider who is willing to do the digging for you. If a program or supplement sounds too good to be true, it probably is! You are a complex, beautiful creature with unique needs, habits, and genetic influences. You’re worth so much more than a trial-and-error cycle and a growing supplement graveyard.