About - Rachel Balm
Rachel is a degree qualified Functional Medicine Practitioner.
She specialises in Gut Health, Thyroid Disorders, Mental Health, Sleep issues, Fatigue, Detoxification and General Wellbeing.
Rachel has further training from the Institute of Functional Medicine, Monash University and Dr Nirala Jacobi in FODMAPs, and SIBO and IBS management. She has also been mentored by some of Australia’s top functional medicine practitioners.
Rachel Balm – ND
Functional Medicine Practitioner
My name is Rachel Balm and I am a degree qualified Naturopath and Functional Medicine Practitioner. I have a passion for finding ways to enhance the body’s vitality, and uncover the cause of disease and physical discomfort.
In clinical practice I use general and functional medicine testing to detect nutritional deficiencies, hormone or neurotransmitter imbalances, and issues with absorption and metabolism. Together we take a deep-dive into your biochemistry, metabolic pathways, genetics, and general body functions to find out what’s going wrong and to create a plan to correct and manage it.
I believe the power of functional medicine lies in the ability to analyse how your body functions at an in-depth level, and to encourage its natural regenerative capacity, and bring your body back into balance. This balance, or homeostasis of the body, translates into better physical and mental health, and feeling strong, energised, and balanced in life.
My Health Story
My health began to decline at a young age when I had shingles covering my face.
The shingles was incorrectly treated with antibiotics, which lead to a range of other infections. I then had Helicobacter pylori (twice), which is a bacteria known to cause stomach ulcers and require strong antibiotics to eliminate it. It wrecked my digestion. After a serious bout of food poisoning, I also started to experience food intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
These issues coupled with stress and a poorly crafted diet, resulted in my nutrient deficiencies and general vitality becoming worse. I then started having severe period pain and a myriad of bowel and bladder issues. Later I found out that these conditions were related to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and endometriosis. The pain, ongoing symptoms, and chronic fatigue started to affect other areas of my life, including my mood, my sleep, and my ability to enjoy day-to-day things like food and physical activity.
Journey to Functional Medicine
My health issues led me to seek the help of other natural health and functional medicine practitioners. Through a series of tests we were able to identify what was driving my ill health, and what I could do to improve it. It has taken a team, and a lot of learning, to help me to understand my body and how to maintain my health.
Having been through a lot myself, I can relate to the frustration, confusion, and hopelessness that can come with healthcare. I tried a lot of diets, and was told many times that my health was “fine” or that test results were “normal”. After a lot of trial and error, and finally getting positive results through functional medicine, I was driven to become a practitioner so I could help others experience the benefits of it.
Since completing the Bachelor of Health Science, I have undertaken postgraduate training in nutrition (such as FODMAPs), and SIBO and IBS management, through Monash University and renowned practitioners such as Dr Nirala Jacobi. I continue to study nutrition and functional medicine to further my expertise and stay up-to-date with research and integrative therapies.
Qualifications and Mentorships
- Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
- Institute Functional Medicine (IFM) Training
- Monash University - FODMAP and IBS practitioner
- CIRS/Mould-Illness Aware health professional
- SIBO Practitioner Training - Dr Nirala Jacobi
- Hashimoto's Thyroid Functional Medicine Training - Datis Kharrazian
- Nutrition and Functional Medicine Postgraduate Program - Rachel Arthur
- Institute Functional Medicine (IFM) - Member
- Australian National Register of Accredited Natural Therapists (ANRANT) – Registered practitioner
- Gut health and gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, IBD, SIBO)
- Food intolerances and coeliac disease
- Thyroid dysfunction & Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Nutritional deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity
- Chronic infections, parasites, and gut microbiome imbalance
- Anxiety, stress, and fatigue
- Insomnia / sleep issues
- Detoxification, methylation and MTHFR
I consult from the Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine in Palmyra, Western Australia, at the Antony St Specialist Centre. I see patients in person, as well as via Telehealth for patients across Australia and worldwide.