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“Chiara presented with one of the most severe cases we have worked on and has achieved the most profound results.
  • Mary Tufano


It’s been five months since The Root Cause Solution opened an office here in Fitness Incentive, and what an incredibly wonderful journey it has been! We have two dozen clients actively committed to improving their health. We’ve seen their hard work result in some life-changing outcomes that we wanted to share in hopes of providing you with insight into the power of functional nutrition.

Below, we are profiling our youngest client. She presented with one of the most severe cases we have worked on and has achieved the most profound results.


A 19-year-old college student who came to us with the following main complaints:

  1. Fatigue/Low Energy.
  2. Digestive issues including gas, bloating, abdominal pain/distention and diarrhea.
  3. Severe anxiety and depression.
  4. Thyroid issues.
  5. Compromised immune system.
  6. Weight gain.
  7. Yeast overgrowth.
  8. Painful periods/PMS
  9. Brain tumor. 


Chiara shared that she was on several prescription medications, including Birth Control, Prozac for depression, and Synthroid for hypothyroidism. She had previously taken Accutane for many years to help treat acne. She was suffering from an over-production of yeast on her skin. Her dermatologist prescribed a steroidal cream that worked initially, yet the rashes would always return. Chiara suffered extremely painful periods that included severe, heavy bleeding for days on end. She was suffering from IBS symptoms and was overweight. Her immune system was compromised, and she suffered from colds that took a long time to heal. She broke out in hives every time she ate. She experienced muscle and joint pain from lactic acid build-up, and she was very dehydrated. Chiara also has a brain tumor called Prolactinoma. It is a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland. It measures 5mm, yet if it reaches 10mm, she will need surgery to have it removed. 


Low Eosinophils –A sign of excessive stress, which can make it difficult for the body to fight infections, especially those caused by parasites. 

High Bilirubin – A sign of liver congestion. Poor diet and prescription drug medications could be contributing factors. 

High Calcium – A result of an overactive parathyroid gland. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, joint pain, muscle cramps, weight gain, and decreased levels of Vitamin D. 




“I was struggling with my physical health for a long time. I was suffering from hypothyroidism, hyperprolactinemia, IBS, gut inflammation, bloating, fatigue, you name it! I felt completely hopeless until I asked Mary about her new practice and how it could help someone like me. After informing me of everything she could do for me, I finally felt like someone understood what was going on within my body, and I regained hope for bettering myself. When we first discussed working together, Mary told me that she would not accept me as a client unless I went off birth control. At first, I refused. But I also quickly came to the realization that if Mary wouldn’t even consider me as a client unless I went off the pill, then the damage it must be doing to my body is considerable. I realized if I wanted to become the best version of myself, I would have to commit myself fully and do what is right for my body. I decided to start my healing journey with Mary and Isabelle soon after this. We went through an intensive questionnaire that revealed the areas where my body needed the most attention to feel better. We truthfully found and dug deep into the “root cause” of my issues! We also reviewed my medical history and current diagnoses to properly plan my recovery. I learned the foods I was sensitive to and should avoid and how to adjust my lifestyle accordingly. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the whole process and the burst of energy it gave me. I felt as though I was finally prioritizing my health, which is something I’ve failed to do for my whole life. Putting my health first has allowed me to do things that were unimaginable before starting my journey. I had a very unmanageable and heavy menstrual cycle, and it wasn’t until I started to better myself that it finally became manageable. I can exercise and go out while on my cycle instead of staying in bed in excruciating pain. The biggest change I noticed is that I am no longer inflamed in my face, and my skin has cleared up entirely, glowing like never before. It is absolutely shocking to me how we were able to get my thyroid levels back to normal when they were extremely off, even while being on medication. I truly feel better than ever: my energy is up, my motivation is strong, and my mental health has improved greatly. As someone who struggled with anxiety and depression for years, my progress can only seem unbelievable to an outsider, but Mary’s process really works like magic! I also found that I am less irritable and more focused on everything in my life! It’s been three and a half months, and I’ve lost 46 pounds and feeling the best I ever have physically and emotionally. I would highly recommend Mary and the process. There is no way to repay or express my gratitude for Mary and Isabelle and everything they have done for me!”


In Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®, we classify internal stress in the body as H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors, which can cause fatigue, autoimmune issues, gastrointestinal issues, weight gain, and many other symptoms. H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors are how I work to identify the underlying causes of symptoms instead of just treating them at a surface level. It is what we determine in your DISCOVERY SESSION.

 These H.I.D.D.E.N. systems are the foundation of your body’s functions and must be working properly for you to feel great and symptom-free. An issue in one of these systems can spread throughout your entire body, creating a cascade of stress and inflammatory responses resulting in Metabolic Chaos®. H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors are found in the following:

·  Hormones

·  Immune system

·  Digestion

·  Detoxification system

·  Energy Levels

·  Nervous System


The Root Cause Solution designs a custom natural protocol using the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® program, which focuses on Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction, and Supplementation. This lifestyle program helps improve how your body functions, AND THEN THE HEALING BEGINS! 


    • I took Chiara food shopping at Trader Joe’s and taught her how to focus on vegetables first. We talked about meal-prepping her veggies for the week and then adding in healthy protein and fat options. 
    • I taught her how to read food labels and take note of the carb and sugar content. 
    • We discussed restricting the top food allergens, including gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and soy. 
    • I put her on the Low Fodmap diet, which restricts the consumption of all fermentable carbohydrates and avoids onions and garlic, which are two main triggers. 
    • She bought a food scale to weigh and measure food at every meal (4 to 6 oz. protein; 1 tablespoon olive oil on salad, etc.)
    • She downloaded the (free) Fodmap App on her phone to help her determine which foods she is free to eat and which she should avoid. 
    • I also had her download the CRONOMETER app on her phone (free version) to log her daily food intake and help manage her macros and vitamin nutrient breakdown. 
    • She logs her meals and symptoms in a food journal, which helps create mindful eating and awareness around how food is making her body feel. 


We talked about adopting sleep hygiene habits that promote real rest and recovery. 

    • This included keeping a regular sleep/wake schedule, going to bed before 10pm, and waking at 6am to 7am. Two hours of sleep before midnight are worth 4 hours of sleep after midnight to your adrenal glands, hormones, immune system, brain function, and detoxification systems. 
    • Chiara started the habit of early morning walks before starting her day and getting natural sunlight on her face to help set her circadian rhythm for the day.
    • Eating a glycemically balanced snack (fat and protein such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs, etc.) with mineral supplements before bed.
    • Restricting phone and computer time after dinner. 
    • Moving phone and computer charging to another room to help avoid EMF exposure, which can disrupt sleep. 


Over-exercise and extreme exercise can stress the body and over-burden the adrenals. As a result of her adrenal fatigue, we talked about incorporating LOW IMPACT movements. Chiara joined a gym and now engages in Zumba, aerobics classes, yoga, Pilates, and uses the Stairmill. She has found a new community of friends and loves working out. She has a healthy schedule with active rest days built in. 


Chiara is a psychology major with firsthand knowledge of a healthy mindset. She understands the importance of dealing with unresolved issues and the ability to cope with them in a productive way. Here are her stress-reducing practices:

o THERAPY sessions once a week. 


o Long walks with her dad. 

o Practicing self-love with positive self-talk. 


o  Mega IgG 2000 – Helps heal the gut lining in addition to supporting the immune system. 

o  Support Mineral by Biomatrix – Promotes rest and recovery. 

o  L-glutamine – Supports muscle recovery and helps heal the gut lining.

o  Support Adrenal by Biomatrix – HPA Axis/Hormone balance. It helps the body cope with daily stressors. 

o  Support Digestion by Biomatrix – Nutrient assimilation and microbiome balance.

If you’re interested in learning how The Root Cause Solution can help you on your healing journey, call, text, or email today. 631.629.9942. marytufano@therootcausesolution.comFollow Mary on Instagram and Facebook @therootcausesolution

About The Author

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Mary Tufano

Mary Tufano is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner (FDN-P) and founder of The Root Cause Solution, a full-service diagnostic lab testing company.

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