Bethlehem Nutrition & Wellness CenterMar 15, 2021 12:42PM ● By Sheila Julson
A study published April 7, 2020 in the peer-reviewed medical journal Arthritis and Rheumatology affirms that autoimmune disease is on the rise on America. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s natural defense system can’t distinguish between the body’s own cells and foreign cells. When this happens, the body mistakenly attacks normal cells, ultimately affecting a wide range of areas throughout the body.
Functional Medicine Nutritionist Kathy Harrington opened Bethlehem Nutrition & Wellness Center six years ago to help people navigate the often confusing world of nutrition. With a food as medicine approach, she guides clients suffering from autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus and celiac disease. She also sees clients that want to proactively boost their immune systems to prevent diseases, colds and viruses.
“The immune system is so complex, and that’s why a functional medicine approach works so well to help people regain their health from autoimmune conditions. Proper nutrition can heal,” Harrington emphasizes. “My approach addresses the factors contributing to inflammation in the body so we can rebalance the immune system.”
Harrington is a graduate of the University of Western States’ rigorous Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine master’s degree program. She’s also an adjunct faculty member there and teaches functional nutrition. She had worked in natural health care settings for more than 25 years.
Her background, along with principles from the Western States’ master’s program, has given her the framework to take personalized approaches for each individual. She considers genetics, biochemistry, healthy history and each client’s current state of health when designing nutrition programs.
Individualizes Approaches to Tackle Inflammation
Harrington collects a comprehensive health history for each client, along with genetic and lifestyle information, to determine the underlying causes of their health concerns. “I truly listen to each client and gather the right information so I can organize a time line that will give me ideas about underlying causes,” she explains. “That way, I can choose targeted testing to further guide me toward an individualized treatment plan.”
In addition to practicing applied kinesiology muscle response testing, Harrington utilizes advanced functional medicine testing including blood, saliva and stool testing to help determine imbalances and thus guide diet and lifestyle changes. “That helps me develop individualized nutrition programs and personalized herbal supplement programs that are really effective to not just help people regain their health, but enjoy lasting health and wellness,” she says. She carries professional grade supplements free from artificial dyes, fillers and sugar.
A crucial component of complete nutrition is identifying food sensitivities, Harrington notes. While the internet contains some helpful information, she points out that it can lead to self-diagnosing, or attempting fad diets that might not work for every individual.
“There’s such a wide mix of conflicting information out there,” she says. “In one way it’s nice, because people are more educated. On the other hand, people are getting such a wide range of dietary advice that they’re confused and don’t know how it actually applies to them. I specialize in helping people identify food sensitivities and develop a specific nutrition protocol so they’re empowered to know exactly what foods they should or should not eat.”
Harrington’s services also include guided detoxification, with an emphasis on optimizing liver function. “It’s a foundational part of care and supports gut health,” she affirms. She counsels people on eating fresher, cleaner foods. She also recommends ways to detoxify the body through individualized programs.
Harrington sees clients of all ages with a wide range of conditions. She particularly enjoys working with clients with autoimmune diseases, as well as children. “People with chronic health conditions are interested in alternative approaches. Even people without chronic health conditions want to optimize their immune system, especially during the pandemic,” she concludes. “Optimal immune function not only fights viruses but also leads to less pain and fewer headaches because the body is functioning better.”
Bethlehem Nutrition & Wellness Center is located in the Park Plaza Professional Center, 3400 Bath Pike, in Bethlehem. For more information, call 610-419-3909 or visit BethlehemNutrition.com. See ad, page 14.