12 Symptoms that Can be Improved with Food & Lifestyle

by: Raegen Barger  |  August 22, 2023

Did you know that when you experience a lot of symptoms at once like aches & pains, tummy troubles, brain fog, PMS symptoms, cravings, and ongoing anxiety, they could all be linked?  

At Being, our dietitians have worked with more than 10,000 clients cumulatively and regularly work with people that have been suffering for years, without realizing that food and lifestyle interventions can be a powerful tool for healing the body and mitigating symptoms. We get messages from clients daily sharing their reduction in medications and improvements in the following symptoms.  

Here are the top 12 symptoms we regularly see clients resolve or drastically improve, and a few simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that can go a long way with symptom improvement. 

Acid Reflux

The conventional medicine recommendation is to prescribe Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) which have a long list of side effects. One 2023 study found that taking a PPI for >4 years was associated with a 33% increased risk of developing dementia compared to nonusers. 

Acid reflux is one of the easiest symptoms to resolve with nutrition and lifestyle. A few places to start: Limit ultra-processed foods, including foods high in added sugar and unhealthy fats; add collagen protein powder or grass-fed beef protein powder + bone broth daily to help support a healthy gut lining; and avoid late night eating. Cutting off your eating right after dinner gives your stomach time to empty. 


Over 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and experiencing bouts of anxiety is even more common. Anti-anxiety medications coupled with therapy are helpful treatment tools; but nutrition and lifestyle choices can also contribute to better mental well-being. Our clients report improvements in anxiety and mental health on a daily basis. Gut-supporting foods - like legumes and fermented foods - support the gut-brain axis. Also, because magnesium is involved in producing neurotransmitters vital to regulating mood, taking this supplement can be effective in lowering anxiety. Lastly, regular physical activity is associated with improvements in anxiety and may lower the long-term incidences of anxiety.

Bloating & GI Issues

There are a lot of different causes of bloating, many that stem from imbalances in the gut microbiome like bacterial overgrowth, food sensitivities, chronic stress, antibiotic use and more. However, there are some easy ways to improve symptoms and alleviate some of the discomfort associated with bloating and other GI issues. A few places to start: 

  • Stay on top of your hydration. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces of water to stay hydrated. Not a big fan of water? Look at adding a little flavor (without the sugar)!
  • Daily bowel movements are a must! If you aren’t pooping daily, it could be contributing to your bloating and discomfort. Incorporating adequate fiber - along with fluids - is key.
  • Move your body! Movement helps move food more efficiently through your system, giving bacteria less time to produce gasses from your food. 

Painful Cycles

This is not something to normalize! Cramping, irritability, excess fatigue and pain during your cycle can be a sign that you may have imbalances in nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar, inflammation, hormones or even the gut. When you get to the root and support these systems, it can drastically reduce period pain. A randomized controlled trial demonstrated that supplementing with omega-3s reduced period pain more than a popular pain reliever. It’s also of value to stay mindful of added sugar & alcohol intake.


It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people experience insomnia. Not being able to sleep has a domino effect, increasing blood sugar, fatigue, irritability, cravings and more. Most people are surprised to know that food and lifestyle factors are some of the most common causes of insomnia. Here’s a few basic places to start: 

  • Avoid caffeine after lunch. Caffeine, and its effects, can linger in the body for six hours after consumption and take up to 10 hours to clear from your bloodstream, making it hard to fall asleep at night.
  • Limit screen time before bed. Blue light from screens can affect sleep and throw off our circadian rhythm. If screentime is unavoidable in the evening, consider purchasing a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
  • Integrate in daily movement. Exercise helps with melatonin production which can support better sleep. Even a little relaxing yoga or a short walk can help you catch some important zzz’s.


There’s a lot of factors that play a role in a person’s predisposition and susceptibility to allergies, including how they were delivered as a baby, early-life use of antibiotics, dust and mold exposure, as well as outdoor pollution and toxin exposure. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, allergy symptoms can be reduced and sometimes even eliminated. This support includes prioritizing whole, fiber-rich foods that can decrease inflammation and support healthy gut microorganisms; potentially adding in a multi-strain probiotic supplement and prebiotics; as well as reducing toxin exposure, including that in tap water and personal care products. 


Migraines and severe headaches affect roughly 1 in 6 adults in the US and are associated with other physical and psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. There is evidence that inflammation plays a role and certain foods may trigger them for some. In addition to staying on top of your hydration, maintaining a stable blood sugar has also been shown to effectively and reliably reduce migraines.


Fatigue, or lack of energy, is a common complaint we hear from clients. Everyone is looking to feel stable energy throughout the day. Fatigue can be a symptom of mitochondrial dysfunction where low levels of ATP, our cellular energy, lead to feeling slow and sluggish. By improving mitochondrial function, we can increase the amount of ATP our bodies can produce for use by every cell in the body and excitedly, improve fatigue symptoms. Sleep and controlling blood sugar are two of the main strategies we tackle when it comes to improving the symptom of fatigue. 


Eczema, a type of dermatitis, is a condition that causes skin to become dry, itchy and bumpy. Skin has many important roles, one of which being to protect your body from outside elements, and eczema can weaken the skin’s barrier function. We regularly see common triggers that can exacerbate symptoms, for example, consuming hot beverages throughout the day, alcohol consumption, and regularly consuming high histamine foods. We work with clients to support their body’s immune system as well as incorporate foods that support the body’s detox pathways.

Joint Pain 

Rolling out of bed and feeling twice our age is not the longevity picture most of us have in mind! But joint aches and pains are a common symptom complaint we see with clients initially. Reducing inflammation is key to getting the cricks worked out and start running like the well-oiled machine we envision for ourselves. 

Putting a focus on incorporating anti-inflammatory foods is one of the best ways to nutritionally support our joints. What does that look like? We aim to limit the consumption of pro-inflammatory foods like added sugar, refined carbohydrates, seed oils, artificial colors, fried foods, and alcohol. Instead, the focus is placed on anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies, as well as grass-fed and finished beef, pasture-raised eggs. Adding collagen to coffee, tea, or smoothies can be supportive too.


Congestion is a sneaky symptom with so many contributing factors to consider. Is it environmental exposures from pollens, dust, and mold spores in the air? Or is it related to certain foods that may not be serving our bodies well? We like to consider all factors when looking at congestion symptoms but here are a few tips we often recommend as a starting point: 

  • Consider swapping out the dairy. Try non-dairy alternatives like nut milks instead.
  • Check in on your home air quality. For improved air quality at home, consider an air purifier to remove pet dander, viruses, bacteria, and mold.
  • Support gut health. Eat a nutrient-rich diet full of a variety of prebiotic and probiotic foods. 


Swelling can be triggered by a reaction to certain foods, and a common symptom for those diagnosed with autoimmune conditions. It could also be related to a high consumption of overly-processed foods high in sodium. It can be difficult to identify the root cause but keeping a food journal is a great way to start identifying foods that might be contributing to swelling. This symptom is frequently lowered or eliminated by identifying those food triggers, avoiding highly-processed convenience foods, and working to support a healthy gut microbiome.


If you try these interventions and continue to experience symptoms, look into our nutrition programs where our functional medicine dietitians can help you identify the root cause.

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