Functional medicine recognizes that symptoms alone can’t tell the whole story, and one-size-fits-all approaches are sometimes limited. The system helps restore your body to its optimal state by addressing the underlying causes. The treatment plan may include dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle changes.
8 Disorders Functional Medicine can Address
This chronic condition affects about four million people in the US. Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness in muscles, tendons, and joints. It also causes an overall sense of fatigue.
Symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Generalized pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Restricted range of motion
Here’s how functional medicine helps with Fibromyalgia:
- Identifies your triggers
- Reduces inflammation throughout your body and restores balance in your gut microbiome
- Supports hormone production and balance
- Improves sleep quality through nutrition and other lifestyle changes
- Addresses underlying conditions, such as depression or anxiety, that may be contributing to the severity of your symptoms
- Manages stress levels through meditation practices or other methods of relaxation
- Provides nutrient-rich foods that support healthy function throughout the body
Chronic fatigue, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, causes extreme exhaustion and fatigue. The disorder makes it difficult to perform daily activities, like getting out of bed or cooking a meal. It’s estimated that about 2.5 million people in America have chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms include:
- Painful lymph nodes
- Weakness and muscle aches
- Extreme exhaustion and fatigue
- Problems sleeping or staying asleep
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue lasting more than 24 hours after physical activity
A chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis will be given to those experiencing severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer with other symptoms. Your functional medicine practitioner performs a physical exam and asks about your medical history. They may also need blood tests to rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.
Holistic treatment options vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. In mild cases, treatment may include lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep and proper nutrition.
Lyme disease is a condition that affects the transmission of information among cells. It’s caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through infected ticks’ bites.
Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 cases of this disease are reported to the center for disease and prevention yearly. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, it can lead to neurological and cardiac complications.
Functional medicine helps treat Lyme disease through early diagnosis before complications develop.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
MS is a chronic, inflammatory disease where the immune system attacks the central nervous system. It affects the brain and spinal cord, resulting in muscle weakness and impaired balance, coordination, and vision. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 400,000 Americans have MS.
Although there’s no known cure for MS, functional medicine helps manage symptoms and keep your condition under control by improving your overall health through diet and lifestyle changes.
Diabetes occurs when the body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels causing it to take longer than usual for the body to break down food. This results in high blood glucose (sugar) levels.
About 29 million Americans have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for 90% of the diagnosed cases. Unlike regular diabetic medications that regulate sugar level, functional medicine diagnoses the cause of the disease and offers a more lasting solution.
Functional medicine approaches to treating diabetes include lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements. If you’re interested in exploring other treatment options, ask your doctor about these natural therapies.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental disorders affecting millions worldwide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 52.9 million Americans experienced depressive episodes in 2020.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes sadness and hopelessness, along with other symptoms such as fatigue, loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, and difficulty concentrating. Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry or fear about everyday events. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems.
Functional medicine practitioners offer an alternative approach to managing depression and anxiety using lifestyle changes rather than medications alone. The goal is to address underlying factors that contribute to these conditions.
This autoimmune disease causes the body to attack its joints. It affects 1.3 million people in the US.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include:
- Stiffness in the morning or after periods of rest
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints
- Joints that lock or feel stiff
- Fatigue and weakness
Functional medicine treats rheumatoid arthritis by identifying triggers or underlying factors contributing to your symptoms. Doctors identify food sensitivities, infections, or other factors contributing to your condition. Once these factors are identified, your doctor will develop an effective treatment plan that addresses these issues.
Cardiovascular disease is a general term for a condition that affects the heart or blood vessels. High cholesterol levels, obesity and diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, and high blood pressure are the leading causes.
The World Health Organization indicates that nearly 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular disease yearly.
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations or skipped heartbeats
- Pain in arms or jaw on exertion.
Functional medicine practitioners use lab testing to assess cardiovascular risk factors such as inflammation, hormone imbalances, food sensitivities, etc. The tests help determine if any underlying causes may be contributing to your cardiovascular issues.
Eliminate Chronic Conditions with Functional Medicine
Health conditions that don’t respond to conventional treatments are easily managed with the integrative healthcare offered by functional medicine and with the right tools and support. Functional medicine is an alternative technique that treats many diseases, including chronic health conditions.
Are you struggling with a chronic disorder(s)? A team of trained and certified functional medicine practitioners at Kings Pharmacy and Compounding Center will walk you through getting your life back on track.