Women In Wellness: Dr. Kylie Burton on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
VITAMIN D!!!!! So many people take this just because. But they aren’t taking enough. Instead of a maintenance dose of 2,000 IU’s/day, it needs to be 10,000 IU’s per day; especially if they struggle with anxiety or depression and/or the winter blues.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kylie Burton.
Dr. Kylie is a licensed chiropractor and a functional medicine expert who’s helped thousands of individuals with seemingly impossible health struggles, find answers, healing, and hope, even if they’ve been told their labs are normal. After getting suspended in medical school for refusing to fit inside the mold, she’s plowing a new path by teaching other practitioners (of all backgrounds) how to incorporate a better way of reading labs inside their practices. Her recent series of webinars for a supplement company, Systemic Formulas (who only dispenses to licensed doctors), has been viewed over 1,000 times leading to many seeking mentorship.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I grew up in western medicine. You felt a little sick, you went and got an antibiotic. I don’t think I ever took a supplement in my life until I was in my 20’s. Alternative medicine was a foreign concept to me. I’d never heard of chiropractic or functional medicine until I applied to become an assistant to a chiropractor right out of undergrad. I had a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and thought dairy was a good source of calcium. Little did I know.
His leap of faith in me forever changed my life. I knew absolutely nothing about what he did in his office. In fact, my first day on the job, I passed out in a treatment room with a patient! Thankfully he didn’t give up. And neither did I.
As time went on, I started to learn this entire new approach to health, to healing, to medicine, and it worked! It worked for those who nothing had worked before! But there was one problem: the doctor was male. I was female.
“Shhh, don’t tell the doctor.” I heard many times from women who would tell me all sorts of issues regarding menopause, fertility struggles, hormone chaos, low libido, the list goes on. Once they would share with me these issues and how what they’ve tried isn’t helping, they would always say, “Shhh, don’t tell the doctor.”
I truly believe the entire reason was because women don’t want to talk to a man about women problems. I know I would rather have an OB female or a midwife who is female. Nothing against men. It is just more comfortable talking to a girl about girl problems because she understands.
So I did a thing. I applied to chiropractic school. I figured, if these women were not receiving the care that they needed, I would go get that stupid piece of paper which allowed me to put a DR in front of my name so they could receive the care they needed. And I did.
4 years later, I began my own practice — because I knew the care that was not being offered, but was needed. And if I worked with or under someone else, I’d just be another doctor in their long story and that wasn’t okay with me. I want to be the last doctor people tell their current story to — I want to help them change it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I remember the first time someone paid me to mentor them. I had been in practice for less than 2 years. She had been a nurse practitioner for over 20! Having been introduced to functional medicine through seminars, she knew this was the route medicine needed to go for chronic illness. So one of my patients was also one of hers. She first connected with me on social media. As trust was built, she reached out to me and after creating a roadmap, I started mentoring her in the ways of functional medicine.
But she had one problem: insurance. Insurance dictates care. Because she was unwilling to escape the insurance model, she couldn’t continue on with practicing functional medicine as it was too big of a roadblock.
My lesson: I learned the biggest factor for my success is having confidence in myself. I have no idea who’s watching and listening. All I know is that they’re listening. And one day I’ll get a phone call saying they’re ready and jump.
Second: if you truly want to heal, you must escape the world of insurance. People always ask me if I take insurance and my reply is, “insurance doesn’t take me because I get you out of the system.” When insurance dictates care, you stay in the system. After all, a patient cured is a customer lost.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My biggest mistake was believing that I needed a brick and mortar practice before I could start “practicing.” Thankfully I didn’t spend any fancy money on a fancy location. Instead, I got one that would suit my needs. The one thing I did spend money on was a brand-new chiropractic table with all the drop pieces. I lost over $1,000 selling it a few months ago as I no longer perform chiropractic work. I literally am a functional medicine specialist and no brick and mortar practice is going to keep me trapped.
Lessons I learned: don’t spend money on something you think you want right away. Spend money on what you know you want later. I had no idea a virtual practice was even possible until my mentor shared the concept with me. “What’re you gonna do when you have another baby? Shut your practice down for 3 months?
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I decided to drive 60 miles to my brother’s college track meet one Friday morning. Once it was over, mid-afternoon, my family and I decided to get dinner before driving home during rush hour traffic. We went to a restaurant we rarely attend — only on special occasions. But this was no special occasion.
My family had gone inside. I had stayed in the car so I could feed my baby before joining them. Tears were coming down my face as I had just found out my brother was having a baby girl. Less then 3 months previously, I had lost my baby girl at 20 weeks in pregnancy. So there I was, in the car, in an emotional state; when my dad knocks on the window.
“There’s someone here you need to come meet. He’s well-known in the functional medicine world.” A few names ran through my head. “Who on earth is in Provo, Utah, that knows functional medicine?” I remember thinking.
So I wiped the tears (though he could tell I had been crying when I approached him).
“Hey, I’m Dr. Greg Mongeon. I hear you just started your own functional medicine practice.” And so the conversation began.
What are the chances that his family was sitting at the same restaurant as my family was? Divine Intervention. My mom had just sparked a conversation and learned what he did, who he was, and success he’s had (both in business and with patients). From then on, he’s been my mentor.
Not only has he transform the way I run a business (from brick and mortar to completely virtual so I could be a mom), but he’s transformed my confidence in my own ability to be a doctor.
That’s who I’m grateful for. Together, we have taught in conferences, performed webinars, and joined each other’s podcast. It’ll be a lasting relationship and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his influence.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Chronic diseases affect more than 40% of American’s and over $329 billion is spent on prescribed drugs yearly. These drugs are meant to manage symptoms and are designed for people to depend on them to survive. The U.S. spends more money on healthcare than any other country, yet, out of all first-world countries, we are the sickest — with the highest obesity prevalence — and the trend is only worsening. 2/3rds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall.
I have helped thousands of individuals break free from the mold; get control of their health (which means their finances for many) and stop fearing the future. By helping them discover the WHY behind their health struggles, they can truly begin to live the dreams they’ve never dared to dream.
My one desire: empower more people to take action, to start thinking beyond the diagnosis, to gain hope.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1. VITAMIN D!!!!! So many people take this just because. But they aren’t taking enough. Instead of a maintenance dose of 2,000 IU’s/day, it needs to be 10,000 IU’s per day; especially if they struggle with anxiety or depression and/or the winter blues.
2. Change your Mindset: stop searching for a diagnosis
The biggest problem with our healthcare system is that we are indoctrinated to find a “diagnosis.” Once we have a diagnosis, then we have answers. Wrong. Once we have a diagnosis, we have a label next to our name, and hence, a pill to take the rest of our lives. Our health does not change when we receive a diagnosis. All that means is our symptoms fall underneath an umbrella, which means they can now prescribe a medication to manage the symptoms. That’s it. A diagnosis tells you nothing about “why.”
3. Diagnosis: IBS. The real problem: SIBO.
“I had constant stomach aches and diarrhea. My stomach cramping was so bad it interfered with daily life. I felt so frustrated! I constantly went to different doctors and specialists looking for answers. I received many different diagnosis’ but little answers. But for the first time, Dr. Kylie looked at what was going on with the whole body and not just alienating the symptoms. With her help we finally got to the root cause. From the first treatment, things started improving. Within a week of starting the supplements I could tell a difference. Now life doesn’t revolve around food and bathrooms. I am very happy! I can go more places and not have to bring my own food or worry about being sick.” Mason, 14
4. Never give up, even if you’re told your labs are normal!
Problem: “normal” thyroid labs but she still had all the symptoms
“I’m one of those hot mess mama’s that couldn’t get a straight answer from my doctor about my thyroid. All my labs were normal and I was sick and tired of getting nowhere with every visit. My neighbor told me to try functional medicine so I found Dr. Kylie. Best. Decision. Ever. She transformed my normal labs into answers and a personalized supplement plan. It was less than a month in when I already noticed I felt generally better. My digestive problems were resolving. Joint pains were not requiring ibuprofen for survival. And my energy — even my kids and husband have noticed! If you’re thinking about reaching out to her, do it. You’re not only going to start saving money, you’ll get your life back.” Erin, 36. Keeping your home healthy is just as important as keeping your body healthy.
5. Is your home making you sick?
“I’ve spent my whole retirement on my health and it’s gotten me nowhere. I’ve done it all. Coffee enemas, check. IV’s, check. Naturopaths, functional medicine doctors, the best specialists in the world. And it has gotten me nowhere. Until Dr. Kylie asked me one simple question: Have you lived in the same home the entire time? We tested it and sure enough, my home was a very toxic environment. Less than 2 months later, after treating my home, I feel like a brand-new person! I wish someone would have mentioned this years ago — it would have saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of grief. I can now be the grandma I want to be!” Mary, 57
6. Lower your toxic load. Make one simple change in your house by removing a toxic cleaner and replacing it with a natural cleaner.
Returning home from Iraq and Afganistan left this vet with health problems he’d never dreamt of — and doctor’s had never seen. His muscles would seize throughout the day leaving him unable to work. And nobody could explain it. Well, as he started telling me about his experienced over seas, serving our country — I quickly deciphered what the issue was: toxins! In the two countries mentioned above, they have no sewer, no garbage system. The only way to remove things were via bomb fires. So imagine the smoke, the toxins, being inhaled!
“I have been working with Dr. Burton and Kellie for about a year. They are great! Dr. Burton is very personable, accessible and knowledgeable. She is treating some heavy metal problems from my time in the military and she has become quite good at it. I would highly recommend them.” Michael, 63
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Live Beyond the Diagnosis. Stop searching for one. Stop being one.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- How many people I would pay to help me build before paying myself. I knew the first year it would be like that. But I’ve almost completed year 3 and still haven’t paid myself. Patience.
- How useless school is — I mean, I already knew that but it is frustrating to spend all the time and money and not do anything you learned in school.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint — with school you always had deadlines. You knew when something was going to be completed. Not in business. Not in clinical practice.
- Patient’s will have adverse effects from supplements. You’ll need to navigate them through that. — I literally thought this wasn’t going to happen. But I’m getting pretty good at navigating and preventing (if I do say so myself).
- Get a mentor ASAP — I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentor. The right mentor is priceless.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Definitely mental health. I wish I could just shout to the world that there is a reason why your loved ones are suffering and seeing a counselor isn’t going to solve the problem; nor are anti-depressants. Discovering the true cause to why their body’s are in survival mode is. But people don’t know this. So suicide rates are increasing; especially right now with the pandemic.
It just always breaks my heart when I see posts on social media regarding suicide. It could all be prevented if people just knew how to help change mental health. That’s the power of functional medicine.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Youtube: Search Dr. Kylie Burton
Podcast (spotify, podbean, and apple podcasts): Beyond the Diagnosis with Dr. Kylie
Thank you for these fantastic insights!
Women In Wellness: Dr Kylie Burton on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Jou was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.