What Is A Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner? [FDN]

What is an FDN? FDN stands for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I know, it’s a mouthful. Being an FDN practitioner can change your life and your clients’ lives in profound and meaningful ways. Educate, support, inspire and help others live their best lives, while living your own best life.

What Is A Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner - Puzzle Piece

What FDNs Do

  • Provide education to the client on what they can do naturally to get well and stay well
  • Use functional lab testing to uncover hidden stressors, vital voids, and healing opportunities
  • Empowerment through a holistic health coaching model
  • Generate lab guided self-healing protocols
  • Guide the client through their unique self-healing journey
  • Provide resources for education and support

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What FDNs Don’t Do

  • Diagnose
  • Treat specific conditions
  • Advise on medications
  • Advise on medical needs or care
  • Provide medical treatment
  • Treat lab results
  • Instruct their client to go against their doctor’s advice
  • Speak negatively of physicians

As FDNs we don’t medicate, we educate. Education is key. We also test, instead of guessing, by using functional lab testing to investigate the underlying causes of dysfunction. These causes include weak links in metabolism, along with lifestyle and environmental causes.

Functional diagnostic nutrition practitioners don’t diagnose or treat disease. That’s not the model we use, nor do we desire to use it. We develop individualized wellness plans to restore function, rather than treating symptoms, while implementing the healthcare directives provided by our clients’ doctors.

The FDN program provides superior holistic health coaching training to understand the physiological, bio-chemical, behavioral and mental/emotional factors that are necessary to improve client health and well-being. This training and understanding make FDNs some of the most successful wellness coaches out there.

Why Be A Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner

There are many paths an FDN can take to launch a successful career. Some practitioners use the course to supplement what they’re already doing. MDs, NDs, DCs, personal trainers, acupuncturist and others take the course to learn foundational principles, and to take advantage of the functional lab testing offered. Others take it as a stand-alone course and go into private practicing to support clients.

Advantages of being an FDN include:

1. No need to rent office space. You can use a home office if you’d like, or go to client’s residents or places of work.

2. Work from anywhere virtually if you choose. Skype is almost as good as meeting in person and is convenient.

3. Work part or full time. You decide how many clients you want to take on at any given time.

4. Rewarding and fulfilling. Supporting clients in their health journey and seeing noticeable improvements in their health and outlook is very rewarding.

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Lasting Changes

Doctors don’t have the time to help their patients make lasting changes that involve lifestyle tweaks, in terms of nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management, yet all these factors are critical when addressing chronic disease. It’s a new model of healthcare that provides invaluable support to people seeking behavior modification.

For instance, diabetes is an epidemic in today’s society. Six months of functional health coaching has been shown to help those with diabetes lose weight, reduce weight circumference and lower hemoglobin A1C.

A holistic health program can be instrumental in stabilizing clients’ moods, along with improvements in health metrics, such as fitness. Quality of life can greatly be improved in people with cancer.

[Read More: 5 Ways A Cancer Coach Can Support Someone With Cancer]

Lab Testing

FDNs utilize functional lab testing to uncover hidden sources of imbalance and dysfunction. However, they don’t treat test results, rather they help identify the primary cause of their client’s complaints. Unlike the medical model that treats symptoms, FDNs view symptoms as a manifestation of the problem, rather than the problem itself.

This is why cutting-edge functional lab testing is critical because it helps to identify the underlying imbalances that create symptoms. Functional diagnostic nutrition is a health-building model of non-specific treatment that results in better outcomes than treating conditions specifically. This means, FDNs can help anyone with any condition, with their health-building principles, protocols, and approach.

Targeted lab work, together with a comprehensive health history, provide valuable insights into what could be wrong, and the areas that potentially need attention. Here is a list of a few of the labs FDNs are able to run using the Medical Director Program, which was developed for unlicensed FDNs who are not working under a licensed practitioner.

The FDN Medical Director Program provides access to all lab testing taught in the course, along with several other functional labs. FDNs pay a fee to access this program.

  • GI Function
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • SIBO
  • GI Pathogen
  • Food Sensitivity
  • Infection
  • Blood Chemistry
  • Mycotoxin
  • Organic acids
  • Adrenal/Hormone testing
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Micronutrient
  • Thyroid

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The FDN Certification Course

The FDN certification course teaches functional lab training, along with data-driven protocols and tools to confidently help clients get to the root cause of their health issues, while providing a way for a health coach or professional to expand their career. This could be building a private practice, working alongside a medical practitioner, or enhancing an existing business.

FDNs use the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success program to teach and empower their clients to get well and stay well. Clients are then better able to empower others with the education they received. Function Diagnostic Nutrition is approved by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), which enables FDNs to apply for Board Certification.

The AADP is a way to complement a practitioners’ professional image and prestige, and comprises both traditional and non-traditional methodologies and therapies, uniting all holistic health practitioners. Members include MDs, NDs, DCs, PhDs, RNs, OMDs, health coaches and other drugless practitioners.

Click here for information regarding registration and pricing. 

DRESS For Health Success Program

D.R.E.S.S. is a trademarked system FDNs use foundationally to build health:

D stands for “Diet.” FDNs work on dialing in a person’s diet, nutrient-intake, and macronutrients based on their metabolic type so they can create optimal energy for healing.

R stands for “Rest.” Functional health coaches understand the importance sleep plays as a pillar of health and wellness.

E stands for “Exercise.” Movement is vital for an optimally-functioning physiology.

S stands for “Stress Reduction.” Many imbalances are directly caused by stress, including physical, emotional, mental, chemical, psychological, or biochemical. FDNs use detective work to uncover the sources of stress.

S stands for “Supplementation.” Notice how this pillar of health is the last one. Supplementation should never be used as a stand-alone therapy, but rather to “supplement” a health-building protocol.

Key Points

If you would like to help people get well and stay well, please consider the FDN course. Learn how to help people on a deeper level to get real results, while augmenting your skillset.

It’s an incredible model that will set you apart from other health professionals. The best part is you can work virtually from anywhere in the world on your own time schedule. If this training model aligns with your goals:

 CLICK HERE to learn more

Have you heard of FDN? Let me know in the comments:)

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6 thoughts on “What Is A Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner? [FDN]”

  1. I am a firm believer in alternative medicine and other forms of finding out the underlying cause of a sickness or illness rather than masking the symptoms with mere medicine that may cause more side effects than before. This looks like another great way to understand the human body and takes a different approach to medicine less seen, but which is probably more relevant and useful than traditional medicine. Great read.

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comment. The key to achieving wellness, and staying well, is to find the root cause of what’s causing a person to have symptoms. This model looks at the body holistically and uses a different approach than does allopathic medicine. When the two work together it’s magic!

  2. This is the first I’ve ever heard of FDN, but it sounds like it would make a good career. If I read correctly, FDN can be beneficial in improving the lives of healthy people, as well as those who suffer from various diseases. I believe this is something that could benefit just about anyone.

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, being an FDN is a wonderful career. It can help you with your own health goals, even if you’re healthy because we can all improve in certain areas. I’ve helped people who just want to make a few tweaks to their lifestyle, but otherwise feel great. It’s a good model to maintain health, as well as to improve it. Thanks so much for reading!

  3. I have never heard of an FDN. This post really explained it well. I am 50, so I don’t know that I would be starting a new business. However, I am very interested in this subject. Is this course something you can take for your own personal knowledge? Thanks for this information, it opened my eyes to knew things I would love the learn about.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for reading my post about FDNs and what they do. Yes, people take the course for their own personal knowledge, and to improve their own health or that of their families. Many, however, like the model so much that they decide to launch a lucrative business teaching others what they have learned. 


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