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Diseases Where Functional Medicine Can Help

Functional medicine is an integrative strategy for helping the patient as an individual. It provides a patient-centred approach to managing chronic diseases.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this article to reject the conventional medicine model. It works well in food poisoning, accidents, injuries, and other acute cases where the causing factor is obvious.

But in some chronic diseases, allopathic medicine might not be the best solution. Allopathic physicians might only treat the symptoms and not the root cause. They rely on drugs to relieve your symptoms without going through a thorough analysis of your lifestyle habits that might be causing those symptoms.

On the other hand, functional medicine experts will spend hours and hours digging deep into your daily life to find out where the root cause of your disease lies. Then, they design dietary and lifestyle adjustments explicitly tailored to your individual needs to catch the evil in its nip.

The functional medicine approach for managing chronic diseases is on the rise. According to a National Health Interview Survey, the number of US adults using functional treatments has skyrocketed over the past five years.

Here are a few common chronic diseases and functional medicine approaches for their treatment.

Gut Diseases

All gut diseases can be prevented and reverted by adjusting your gut microbiome, digestion, absorption and inflammation. A balanced gut microbiome is a key to a healthy gut. Advanced functional gut microbiome testing helps functional medicine practitioner to find out more about your gut environment and make personalized protocols to fix those imbalances

Heart Diseases

More than 80% of heart diseases can be prevented with only these four things. 1) Eating healthy, 2) maintaining a healthy weight, 3) exercising regularly and 4) not smoking. Sadly, less than 3% of Americans meet these criteria. Functional medicine focuses on these factors in a lot of detail and also, works on various other causes of inflammation which could be related to insulin dysregulation or omega 3 deficiencies.

Diabetes Type 2

Functional medicine focuses on identifying the factors that cause insulin resistance in your body, including inflammation, stress hormones, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, GI problems, and liver problems. Once identified, the root cause is addressed by making the right functional program.

Alzheimer’s disease

The root cause of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of plaques in the brain. Functional medicine digs deep into individual risk factors of plaque formation and seeks to prevent their development in the first place.

Asthma

Functional medicine experts identify the trigger factors that initiate an asthma flare. For example, they advise some blood tests to check different non- heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities, gut microbiome and leaky gut and minimize the risk of asthma triggers by altering your food choices and lifestyle

Arthritis

Functional medicine works on root causes of inflammation like micronutrient deficiencies or macronutrient excesses. It provides a wide range of natural options to relieve the pain of inflammation, with almost no side effects.

Autoimmune Diseases

Instead of using medications to mask the symptoms, we get to the root cause triggering that immune reaction. Exposure to toxins, food sensitivities, mold toxicity, and hormonal dysfunction are common causes of autoimmunity. Once the trigger is identified, removing it from your daily life cures your disease.

Menstrual Diseases

Instead of using medications to mask the symptoms, we get to the root cause triggering that immune reaction. Exposure to toxins, food sensitivities, mould toxicity, and hormonal dysfunction are common causes of autoimmunity. Once the trigger is identified, removing it from your daily life cures your disease.

Most menstrual diseases occur due to hormonal imbalances. Functional medicine addresses what’s triggering the hormonal imbalance related to cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone metabolites via food, lifestyle and natural supplementation to keep your hormones in balance and prevent menstrual disorders.

To conclude, functional medicine is a very powerful way of helping patients improve their health issues by improving the root cause. It takes a deeper look at why these symptoms are occurring and how can we help.

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Dr Menka Gupta

IFMCP, MSc, MBBS

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