I am Penny Wilson, PhD, RDN. I help women who have fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, and can’t lose weight figure out why and work with them to resolve the underlying issues.
In addition to being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I have a PhD in Kinesiology. This combination provides me a deep knowledge of nutrition and how the human body works.
Where it all started. . . .
I began my journey into integrative and functional medicine in the Fall of 2014. However, I had been moving towards this path for years.
In the early 2000s, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). To me, this is a useless diagnosis because all it says is that “we know your gut is unhappy but we don’t know why.” I’ve seen multiple GI doctors trying to figure out why my gut is unhappy. Sometimes I could eat and be fine. Others, I’d end up having to lay down on the couch for a few hours until the bloating and pain in my stomach subsided enough so I could sit and do my work. The problems seemed random. It was so frustrating!
After IBS struck, my thyroid also decided to quit working full-time. Or, maybe my thyroid issues started first; I don’t really remember which came first. I had to take at least a two to three hour nap each afternoon. It didn’t matter how much I slept, I always needed more. My hair started to fall out. I started to gain weight. My IBS got worse. I went to the doctor and was told that since my lab values were within the normal range (even though they were on the very low end), that I was fine. What?!?!?! I finally found a doctor who would treat me because, even though I was “normal”, I had all the classic symptoms of hypothyroid.
Stepping out of the box. . . .
As I continued experimenting on myself, and working with my clients on various issues, I realized what I’d been taught in school wasn’t the whole story. The traditional approaches to healing the gut, losing weight, etc. didn’t always work. This led me to start investigating moving into an integrative and functional nutrition approach. Once I found out how this paradigm worked, I knew it was the path for me. This approach has changed my life and helps me change the lives of my clients.
By working with an Integrative and Functional Doctor and completing functional testing we also discovered that my adrenals were not working like they should, too. The adrenals are upstream from the thyroid which means that thyroid problems are often linked to the adrenals. Adrenal function is also linked with how the gut functions. These three are like three legs of a stool. If one isn’t working well, the others are impacted.
By advocating for myself, finding the right doctor, learning about a new way of practicing nutrition, I’ve healed my gut, gotten my thyroid hormones balanced, gotten my adrenals happy, gotten my energy back, cleared my brain fog, and improved my memory. I feel better than I have in years! I see and feel the power of this approach personally. Every single day.
I want to help you feel better, too. If you are interested in talking with me, just head over to the “Let’s Talk” page and send me a setup a time to talk.
Working with athletes. . . .
Before transitioning into integrative and functional medicine I worked with a lot of, primarily, endurance athletes. My sports nutrition clients include a wide variety of athletes including those walking their first marathon to experienced professional triathletes completing Ironman distance events and Olympic athletes. I was the dietitian for the Houston Rockets and the Sugar Land Skeeters (an independent, minor league baseball team).
I’m also an athlete. I raced bicycles on both the road and velodrome (a bike track) in the mid-1990s, ran five marathons including Houston, the Marine Corps Marathon in DC, the Paris Marathon, the New York Marathon and the Goofy Challenge at Disney World. I completed numerous triathlons including a 70.3 distance race. Now, I’m transitioning to trail running with my dogs Baker and boomer, hiking, cross-country, and downhill skiing.
Community involvement . . . .
I’m a member of the Vail Rotary Club and have volunteered with numerous non-profits in both Houston and Colorado.
For more information on the difference between a “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist” and “Nutritionist” or learn more about Integrative and Functional Medicine, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.