Helping Hunter to Improve Concentration, Focus and Sleep

"We've had such a positive experience-you can just tell that they care."

Hunter’s Results

  • Calmer energy
  • Stronger focus in school
  • Improved reading and math scores
  • Better and more quality sleep
  • Enjoys participating in his own health management

When Emily’s son Hunter started kindergarten in fall 2022, she already knew he was a high-energy child. But now, Hunter’s impulsivity and lack of focus seemed to interfere with his ability to learn. And another red flag that something was wrong: His twin brother didn’t share the same traits.

“They say you shouldn’t compare your kids, but it’s really hard not to compare twins,” Emily said. “I noticed Hunter was really falling behind on learning basic things like colors, the alphabet and math. …The boys spent every hour of every day together, so I knew that it wasn’t a lifestyle thing. I thought, wow, something’s got to be up.”

One of Hunter’s teachers thought he might have an attention deficit-related disorder and suggested watching to see how things progressed during his time at school.

“But I wanted to get ahead of it—I didn’t want him to spend his whole life being behind,” Emily said. “My thought was, let’s not wait until it becomes a problem.”

Another concern was that Hunter wasn’t sleeping, waking up at all hours of the night—something that not only had an impact on Hunter, but on the rest of the family as well.

“As a parent, it’s exhausting when you go six years without sleeping in,” Emily said.

Like Hunter’s teacher, the boys’ doctor also suggested waiting to see what happened as Hunter aged. But Emily, who had previously worked with the Wisconsin Institute of Functional Medicine to manage weight gain and migraine headaches, believed that the provider’s at Wisconsin Institute of Functional Medicine might be able to help Hunter, too.

Hunter’s Journey

Hunter’s over-the-top energy level was immediately apparent to providers during his first visit to WIFM in January 2023.

“He was running around the room in our first appointment,” Emily recalled. “So they gave us some supplements to try out right away, and talked about how we can help him in a natural way with lifestyle changes.”

Within just a couple of weeks, Hunter’s teacher emailed Emily to comment on the improvements she saw. “We didn’t tell her we were doing this, and she said Hunter was doing so great in class. She said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing at home, but it seems like it’s working.’ It’s just been a super, positive experience.”

As it turned out, Emily learned that Hunter possesses a genetic mutation called MTHFR that impacts the processing of folic acid and other B vitamins. The mutation also impacts the body’s ability to eliminate environmental toxins, contributing to brain fog and an inability to focus.

Tiffany Dorton, FNP at WIFM added supplements to help improve Hunter’s serotonin, as well as a topical, natural supplement to help his body relax at night. Hunter also uses a sauna and soaks in Epsom salts to help his body to detox. Dietary changes incorporated more high-protein foods in the morning, which helps with his concentration.

Hunter is diligent about his own health, asking about protein in his meals and seeking time in the sauna.

“They did a really great job at describing to him what’s going on with his body, and why he can help make these changes, and what it will do for him—and he’s completely bought into it,” Emily says.

Now Hunter is sleeping until 7:30 a.m.—sometimes even 8:30 a.m. “He’s able to calm his body. It’s been amazing,” Emily said.

“He’s starting to read and learn and actually digest what’s happening around him,” Emily says. “I wish I would have brought him at the beginning of school year, because he picked things up so fast, once he was able to focus.”

Emily’s Advice for Others

“WIFM really took the time to understand Hunter’s situation and to look through the data collected through testing. But they don’t treat you based solely on the lab results—they talk to you as a person, and they try to understand how you’re actually feeling to help make the decision on how to treat you,” Emily said. “I really appreciate that conversation, and they came up with a super logical, well-thought-out recommendation for Hunter.”

“I’ve referred about seven people to WIFM,” Emily said. “One hundred percent, I would say go to them, tell them your problems, give it some time and work with them. You need to have that open dialogue and they’ll figure it out.”

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