Identify Hidden Underlying Causes

What if I told you that all of the hard work that you have spent in working with at least half of your clients has been a waste of time and money? And what if I told you that it also wasn’t your fault? 

Almost every negative health condition begins with a silent & hidden trigger.  As time passes, if that underlying root cause is never identified and taken care of…at best, it will prevent your clients from reaching their fitness and weight loss goals and at the worst their health could progress into a serious condition.

Table of Contents

On this page, learn how to effectively explore a client’s past history, through the use of asking the right questions, certain testing metrics, and assessments so that you can better identify many of the most common underlying causes behind a majority of the health problems and illnesses today. Once the true cause of a problem is identified, then learn how to create individualized treatment plans that are all within the scope of practice of any health coach today.

Playing the Health Detective Role with Clients

The definition of underlying refers to something being beneath something else. Think of underlying as the roots of a tree that are below the ground. Less than optimal health conditions have to start somewhere.  That starting point is what is called the true root cause of a problem. Unfortunately, root causes usually go undiagnosed, unobstructed, and are not properly identified until the symptoms of the problem finally start to appear. By that point, many times a person’s condition has worsened and the conventional medical model usually then comes into the equation. 


Now because of the fact that root causes are not always easily detected, many times only symptoms of a problem are treated but the root cause is left to be identified. When that happens think bandaids vs. solutions. 

What this does is place a person into a vicious cycle of treating symptoms and not making the necessary lifestyle changes that are needed in order to help a person actually heal.  After a few repeated cycles, the same problems tend to resurface over and over, oftentimes transitioning into a condition that is even worse off than the original problem due to the compounding effect that the previous cycles had.


On this page, the goal is to help health coaches look beneath the surface of their clients’ conditions and symptoms and help them correctly identify the root cause(s) behind their clients problems.  Once the true cause is identified, then an individualized treatment plan, that is within the scope of practice of a health coach, should be implemented. 


If this method of coaching is mastered, then the health coaches of tomorrow will be better able to help their clients heal from within and prevent the progression or the development of any chronic condition from ever emerging in the first place. Or let’s say that is the goal in which I am striving for!

Top Underlying Causes of Most Health Problems Today

Most negative health conditions or plateaus that a person faces usually have one or more of the following underlying root causes holding them back. 


  • Chronic Stress
  • Mental and Emotional Constraints
  • Digestive Dysfunction
  • Imbalanced Microbiome/s
  • Intestinal Permeability (aka. Leaky Gut)
  • Poor Liver Function
  • Hidden Infections
  • Food Intolerances and Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Environmental Toxins

After looking at the above list, and if you are currently a health coach, have you considered all of the options listed above as potential causes behind some of your client’s biggest troubles? Even if you have, and if a clear problem has been identified, do you know how to effectively put a plan in place in order to fix that root cause and help your client exceed their expectations in working with you? If not, please keep reading.

Connecting a Client’s Symptoms to the Top Root Cause Triggers

Let’s face it when a client hires you to lose weight, look good, and overall feel better, hitting them with the hard facts about some deep underlying issue/s isn’t usually what they want to hear. But, this is exactly what has to happen if your client is ever going to properly identify any potential underlying root causes such as a dysfunctional gut, or a clogged liver, metabolic adaptation or unmanaged stress that may be holding them back from ever  reaching their desired goal(s). 


Remember, that clients may or may not know many of the issues that could be the cause of their problems and it might just be up to you to help to shine some light on the problem and guide them through the process of correcting their issues.

“How Healthy Are You” Questionnaire

Symptoms are the Biggest Clues that Health Coaches Have. Use This Tool to Help Connect the Dots.


What Does a Health Coach Have at Their Disposal to Help Clients Identify Their Problems?

Now, there are some great functional medicine testing options available through certain practitioners that can at times help a person identify whether a problem exists in many of the above categories but many of those testing options can be rather expensive.  Unfortunately, the majority of the time, many of those same tests also provide inaccurate results. A better method and the one I tend to go to first and on that is completely FREE and still does a great job of helping clients connect their symptoms to their own root cause triggers is by using targeted a health symptom questionnaire. 


A well-crafted symptom questionnaire can take much of the heavy lifting off you, the coach, and help your client realize that a bigger problem may exist below the surface. The real power of questionnaires or assessments is in having clients physically identify the symptoms and or problems that he or she faces on a daily basis, and then tallying up the total scores on a questionnaire, and then seeing all of the symptoms stacked up, that may or may not indicate that a problem is present or not.  It can be very powerful to let client’s identify their issues all on their own.


I have been using targeted questionnaires with clients for every possible area of dysfunction in the body ranging from:


  • Mental and Emotional Constraints


  • Bacterial Overgrowths


  • Digestive Enzyme Production


  • Taxed or Overworked Adrenals


  • Nutrient Deficiencies


  • Inflammation in Certain Areas of the Body


  • Insulin Resistance


  • Specific Hormonal Issues


  • Poor Liver Detoxification


  • Heavy Metals Exposure


  • Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Toxicity


  • Lymphatic Drainage


  • And many more…

And believe me, they ARE powerful tools when it comes to getting clients on board or in buying into your philosophy and you plan in going forward as a coach. 

By using questionnaires with clients it will also better enable you as a coach in playing that health detective role so that you can better help your clients in connecting a physical presence to their pain and or problems (aka true root causes) while at the same time rather quickly helping you to also:

  • Identify if there is an environmental, emotional, or personal belief stressor that may be holding them back.


  • Vastly increase their health outcomes and improve their results in working with you after a problem has been identified.


  • Improve client adherence and compliance.

When you ask the right questions and connect a client’s symptoms to a potential problem by doing so as their coach you allow that client to have their own personal “Aha” Moment like, “Oh My Gosh”, “Yes That’s Totally Me” and “It All Totally Makes Sense Now!” 


Reaching this point with a client is so critical to the coaching process. As by doing so you will have now “clinically correlated” the client’s symptoms to a condition. When this happens, it usually serves as the first step towards getting them on board with your specific protocols that will help them feel better or reach their goals. 


This becomes especially important whenever a doctor or physician may be required in a client’s journey because going through this same process will also help a person/client develop what is called “informed consent.” 


People are often confused about what exactly informed consent means and when it’s needed in a medical setting. So, let’s help clean up the confusion and show exactly how identifying a person’s underlying root cause trigger/s can serve as a means in which any individual can gain informed consent and become the Chief Executive Officer or CEO of their health once again.

Download One of the Best Tools to Help Identify a Client’s Root Cause Triggers


“How Healthy Are You” Questionnaire

The Client CEO

In any type of healthcare setting, informed consent is what allows a client or a patient to be engaged in their own medical care. It enables a person to make their own decision with regards to what treatments they want or what treatments they do not ever want to receive.  This allows a client/patient and their doctor to work as a team instead of the doctor just expecting the patient to blindly follow their orders and or advice. When informed consent is not practiced in the doctor/patient relationship the compliance rates of the patient have been shown to be significantly lower.


In a more specific manner, that is geared more towards the health coaching relationship, if a coach can better educate their clients in terms of better understanding what their potential root cause(s) triggers may be, the process of informed consent then becomes a very powerful tool for the client whenever they have to discuss with their doctor any form of medical intervention that is being proposed or that is ever required. If this can be done then it will dramatically increase a patients compliance rate with any form of treatment and or protocols that are being proposed by either doctor or you as their health coach.

How Healthy Are Your Client's Really?

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Identify Hidden Underlying Causes (Part Two)

Next: Fixing the potential problems or at least, many of the most common underlying hidden causes of many of the most common health problems could fill a full set of encyclopedia Britannica's.

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