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Episode 44: How Functional Medicine Treatment Changed My Pharmacy Career

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“It just made me realize the importance of health coaching. Not telling people what to do, but helping them realize their wants and their needs, and helping dive into their personal strengths, and getting them to pave their own way. Because they really are the experts on their life and on their body,” explains Heather Cracauer. Heather began her career in healthcare as a doctor of pharmacy and has 14 years of experience as a pharmacist. When she caught covid in the Fall of 2020, she began experiencing chronic health issues like fatigue, headaches, and overall feeling like garbage. Her traditional doctors could not find the issue with standard lab testing and one suggested she see a functional medicine practitioner. That practitioner ran a bunch of tests and the results were shocking. Heather’s body was dealing with mold exposure, SIBO, and dysbiosis. She immediately wanted to learn more about functional medicine. 

Now Heather is a certified functional medicine practitioner who runs a virtual practice from her home offering health and functional nutrition coaching.

Heather went into medicine wanting to help people achieve better health. As a pharmacist, she did not get to spend enough time with each patient to really help them with their health goals as much as she would have liked. When she realized that functional medicine could help get to the root cause of chronic illnesses, she found her calling in health coaching. As a pharmacist, Heather was giving patients medications for their ailments rather than helping them to determine the root cause. But now, she is able to eliminate medicine from her patient’s charts and replace it with nutrition and lifestyle changes. 

The difference that functional medicine can make in patients’ lives is truly mind blowing. Heath coaching and nutrition should be treated like an integral part of the healthcare system, yet traditional Western medicine is years behind in this regard. By getting to the actual root cause of the illnesses in the body, chronic conditions can be eliminated and there can be a reduction in the amount of medication a patient needs to take.

About Heather Cracauer, PharmD, CFMP, Health Coach, Founder of Cracauer Functional Pharmacy Solutions :

Heather holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is also a certified functional medicine practitioner certified through Functional Medicine University, health coach and functional nutrition coach through MindBodyGreen LLC and a Bredesen Protocol certified practitioner.

Heather has 14 years of pharmacy experience. She worked in community pharmacy for 8 years where she thoroughly enjoyed caring for patients of all ages. She then transitioned to a pediatric hospital where she spent the majority of her time caring for complex patients with conditions including transplant, cancer, cystic fibrosis, metabolic disorders and acute care conditions.

Heather left traditional pharmacy practice in 2020. Although she enjoyed caring for patients in a clinical setting, she wanted to help individuals achieve health and wellness through proper nutrition, environmental cleanliness and lifestyle modifications and using these functional medicine strategies to manage chronic conditions. Heather now owns Cracauer Functional Pharmacy Solutions. She strives to give patients the opportunity to achieve wellness not by adding on drug therapies to treat their symptoms but to treat each individual uniquely, identify the root cause(s) of their condition(s) so that they can truly achieve optimal health. She offers services including health coaching, Alzheimer’s prevention, health supplement consultations and nutrition services including elimination diets, plant-based diets and liver cleanses.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • With the proper nutrition and lifestyle choices, chronic conditions can be improved or reversed to the point that medications can be decreased or eliminated. A health coach can help guide patients through these changes and can provide expert teaching on health-related topics.
  • Health coaching can play a critical role in the health care system, both in traditional medicine and functional medicine. Coaches serve as a link between doctor and patient and can help improve patient outcomes.
  • Cracauer Functional Pharmacy Solutions offers functional medicine health coaching and other health services including Alzheimer’s prevention, health supplement consultations, and nutritional programs including elimination diets, a plant-based program and a 28 day program all with recipe guides and personalized support.


  • “I got the functional medicine tests back and it was shocking. I had mold exposure, I had dysbiosis 10 out of 10 on that scale with SIBO. I had inflammatory markers that were just sky high. Just so many things were wrong. So it’s kind of the catalyst that was the light bulb, where I realized there’s more to medicine. We can actually get to the root cause.” (4:36-5:33 | Heather) 


  • “It just made me realize the importance of health coaching. Not telling people what to do, but helping them realize what they want, their wants and their needs, and helping dive into their personal strengths, and getting them to pave their own way. Because they really are the experts on their life and on their body.” (12:28-12:54 | Heather)


  • “What has always driven me is just helping people achieve health, good health, better health, whatever that means to them.” (16:56-17:05 | Heather)


  • “I feel like health coaching and nutritionists need to become part of the integral system.” (25:35-25:42 | Heather)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Heather Cracauer, PharmD:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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