Ashley Shrader, DNP
Ashley Shrader, DNP is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and IFM Certified Practitioner. Prior to Functional Medicine, Ashley worked in various conventional healthcare settings, which revealed the algorithmic and impersonal nature of the traditional healthcare model that leaves many patients overlooked and neglected. Unsatisfied with this approach, she pursued continuing education with the Institute for Functional Medicine, a rigorous and intensive certification program, which emphasizes treating the whole person and the root causes of their symptoms. Ashley’s primary passion is brain health and neurodegenerative disease prevention. As a Registered Yoga Teacher, Ashley believes that mental, emotional, and spiritual health are the foundation for the path to healing. Her career in healthcare reflects her own personal health and wellness journey, which she shares below. Outside of the clinic, you can find Ashley on the yoga mat or hiking with her family in the beautiful mountains of Southern Oregon.
Dr. Ashley’s Story
My journey in functional medicine began when caring for patients in a busy inner city emergency department in Washington, DC many years ago. There I witnessed the continual failure of the conventional primary care system to prevent mostly reversible chronic disease. I was also simultaneously battling my own personal health struggles on the heels of my previous career in consulting. I developed several unusual symptoms such as brain fog, insomnia, and tinnitus, and was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism. I was given a pill and essentially told not to ask questions, that there was nothing else I could do, that there was no attributable cause other than genetics.
It was because of functional medicine that I was able to identify and treat the underlying root causes of my immune dysfunction such as poor gut health, nutrient deficiencies, environmental exposures, and poor stress management to rediscover well-being again.
Then in 2020, my mother was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a fatal neurodegenerative disease. What’s more, I learned she and I both had a genetic predisposition to developing both ALS and frontotemporal dementia. After the traumatic experience of watching someone I love rapidly lose their most important physical functions to a brain disease, I developed a strong interest in cellular health, epigenetics, mitochondrial function, and neurodegenerative disease prevention. My passion for brain health is what led me to Dr. Gordon and Northwest Wellness, where I will continue to humbly serve patients as they endeavor on their own functional medicine journey, with specific focus on patients looking to for support their brain health and neurodegenerative disease prevention.