About Dr. Priyanka Gupta, ND
“How can I best serve my patients” is a question that drives my overall approach to my practice. As a constant learner, I am always researching to find evidence based solutions for my patient’s concerns. My mission is to help people understand the connection between mind, body and spirit as well as provide answers to chronic health concerns.
When I graduated in 2002 from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, the concept of functional medicine and healing from the root cause seemed fringe. Very few conventional doctors and even patients were on board with this idea when speaking about chronic health conditions. Over the years, I am amazed at how educated and well informed patients are about their health and their willingness to make necessary changes to their health. This makes the conversation about interventions much easier.
I believe that a person can heal given the right tools and guidance. In an era when google can provide answers, it can also be a confusing time not understanding what symptoms are telling you about your body. By using testing and functional medicine systems reviews, together we can uncover where the imbalances are originating from.
Through my over 20 years of clinical practice, I have come to realize that an emphasis on symptoms rather than the root cause often has us spinning our tires and never truly being able to bring the body to balance. It’s been my experience that when we treat the individual as a whole, we can help our bodies.
Every individual is different with unique dietary needs and requirements. This is the basis of personalized medicine where we look at each person as having their own story that the body is telling us. While most diet and nutritional plans focus on calories and macronutrients, my focus is using food as medicine and guiding patients with evidence based nutritional interventions.
In our fast-paced lives, we cannot ignore the impact that stress has on our bodies. Often the seed that initiates imbalance, I am always looking at strategies and tools that help to lessen stress and promote healing. I believe that the mind is a powerful governor of health so my philosophy is deeply rooted in the mind-body connection.
As a young child who was born in India and moved to Hamilton, Ontario at the age of six, I often suffered with chronic ear infections during the first few years of my life. I remember going to doctor’s office quite often and having been prescribed rounds of antibiotics with no change in my health. It wasn’t until my parents took me to see a naturopath that my health improved. No longer was I sick during the winter months and able to enjoy life in Canada.
Although I was raised in a family that prioritized healthy eating, in university I found myself addicted to coffee, sugar and fast food. Needless to say my health suffered again. A bloated, constipated insomniac with anxiety and no energy. I began to see the connection between food and how you feel. This is what led me to study the naturopathic medical program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. After graduation, I worked for many years in the supplement and nutraceutical sector conducting research and providing education to retailers, consumers and professionals ultimately moving in practice. Over the years I have helped hundreds of patients attain their health goals and continue my efforts at helping patients understand their body and what they require for optimal health and wellness.
My highest goal is to contribute to your wellbeing and to serve you in a way that supports your journey to health.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine determines the how and why symptoms are expressed by looking at the root cause of disease.
The functional medicine model recognizes this and offers an individualized, patient-centered, science based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease.
In other words treating the symptoms rarely results in health. Rather, when we look at each person’s genetic, biochemical and lifestyle factors can we start to offer direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
By addressing the root cause, we can begin to identify the complexity of disease. One condition or symptom may of different causes and likewise one cause may result in different conditions. Once we can identify the cause we are now able to offer a more holistic approach to healing.
Just like the leaves on a tree, we are all unique.
Symptoms are usually the first signal that something is not right in our body. In an effort to lessen our symptoms, we tend to seek cures that can alleviate us so that we feel like ourselves again. In order to relieve symptoms, the functional medicine model looks at all aspects of your life, such as personal habits in diet and nutrition along with genetic factors to provide a more balanced approach to health.
Using the analogy of a tree, we can see that if we don’t focus on nourishing the roots, which is the foundation of health and wellness, it becomes hard to achieve optimal wellness. In this way, functional medicine does not solely focus on symptoms, rather it looks at proper nutrition, lifestyle, and other factors such as stress to create a holistic treatment plan for the individual.
The functional medicine approach seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease. The body is evaluated as a whole, not just a collection of separate organ systems each addressed by separate medical specialties. Health is promoted as vitality, not just absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning their story, we bring every patient into the process and tailor each treatment to address their individual needs.
Signs & Symptoms
Anxiety, Bloating, Constipation, Depression, Fatigue, Hair Loss, Heartburn, Hot Flashes, Insomnia, Memory Issues, Brain Fog, Menstrual Irregularities, Pain, Rash, and Weight Gain or Loss
Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Autoimmune Disease, Cancer, GERD, Heart Disease, Insulin Resistance, Obesity, and Psoriasis
Lifestyle and Environmental Factors
Sleep and relaxation, Exercise and movement, Nutrition and hydration, Stress, Relationships
The Functional Organizing System
Antecedents or predisposing factors to illness, Triggers or factors that provoke signs and symptoms of illness, Mediators or perpetuators, Biochemical or social, that contribute to ongoing dysfunction, Genetic predisposition