As a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Annette works with clients to optimize their gut health using a functional medicine approach to address underlying issues and causes.
Nurse Practitioner, Gut Health Team
I am a strong proponent of functional medicine as a method to determine how and why illness occurs and to restore health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I am able to help VIVA Wellness clients suffering from autoimmune conditions, digestion issues such as bloating or heartburn, thyroid disease, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and more.
My own gut health issues drove me toward helping others.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was just finishing nursing school and when the 'symptom management only' treatment I was receiving didn't help me, I did my own research. I began seeing a function medicine doctor who ordered tests that evaluated my gut health, nutritional status, hormone levels and toxic burden. Long story short, I made real changes in my diet and within two weeks I started seeing real improvement.
After that I really wanted to share my experience with others. I began to focus my career path on gut health and functional medicine.
It's rare that any chronic issue doesn't begin in the gut.
I believe the foundations of gut health are not going to be found in a supplement or in the most expensive treatment—start by looking at the 21 meals per week, you consume on a daily basis. Stop looking for a magic pill and start eating a real, whole food, nutrient dense diet, with minimal processed foods and sugars. This will bring you the most benefit.
Poor gut health can affect the whole body.
You may be experiencing issues like joint paint, weight gain, swelling, inflammation, mood variability, sleeplessness, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and skin problems that can be an indicator of poor gut health. Often by simply addressing your gut health these other symptoms can be resolved.
I start clients with research-based functional medicine testing.
We skip the guessing part and do the testing up front. Treating digestive or skin disorders through an elimination diet and a few random supplements can be extremely confusing, stressful and a waste of time and money. My clients start by receiving functional medicine testing (stool, urine, breath tests) first, which allows an experienced provider to hone in on exactly what their health needs are. Then we can begin addressing the problem right away with research-based solutions.
I'm so excited to be working with the experienced team at VIVA Wellness.
I love love love that my fellow clinicians at VIVA Wellness are nurse practitioners, too, along with the other RNs and certified therapists and specialists. I love that our founder, Jennifer Hruz, is not only a business owner, but an NP, a visionary, and a mother. We are really a different kind of provider who yes, can prescribe medications, order labs, diagnose illness, etc., but we are compassionate and caring in a way that no other provider is. On top of that, the blend of services offered at VIVA Wellness really make it possible for our clients to achieve optimal health and healing.
Annette Harris DNP, FNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner / Gut Health
Annette Harris, DNP, FNP-BC is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from UW Milwaukee. She has completed her Doctoral Residency in Integrative Medicine. She has done research in Functional Medicine in the management of IBS/IBD. She has worked in a variety of settings including pediatric, home care, long-term care, medical/surgical, and ICU. She is currently completing a Fellowship in Functional Dermatology. When not working with clients or studying, Annette enjoys spending time with her husband and young son and will be welcoming a baby daughter in September.
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