By definition, chronic disease does not develop overnight, nor does it resolve overnight.
Functional Medicine shines in this arena – where lifestyle, environment and genetics collide to express our health or disease.
Conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and many others, tend to have components and symptoms that are not well managed or treated with traditional medicine, mostly since it does not investigate the long term effects and the interplay of lifestyle, environment and genetics.
Issues such as nutrient and vitamin deficiencies that arise from simple everyday things like stress, caffeine and alcohol can lead to reduced functioning of our muscles, digestion, and detoxification systems, that in turn lead to more symptoms, pain and inflammation.
In many of my patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I often find underlying mechanisms of genetic mutations and nutrient deficiencies, that when addressed lead to improved quality of life and may help reduce further progression of symptoms.
Exposure to environmental toxins in the home, air and water aren’t usually an issue until many years of exposure have passed, coupled with inefficient detoxification and nutrient deficiencies. Again, these depleted systems are unable to “put out the fires” of inflammation and pain in the body and other systems and processes break down, leading to autoimmune disease, inability to manufacture neurotransmitters, and the breakdown and destruction of tissues.
The Human Genome Project (only completed in 2003 – so this information is still not widely known or investigated) shed light on many genetic components and variations that contribute to health and disease. However, even with the genetic components identified, it is not always black and white. There are many complicated interplays between the genes, as well as lifestyle, and environment (by now you should be seeing a trend)!!
With targeted testing we can investigate areas of your lifestyle, environment and genetics to help us understand where you may have deficiencies, compromised processes and genetic defects that are leading to your disease and symptoms.
Examples of testing include:
- Autoimmune Disease – Thyroid antibodies (Hashimoto’s, Graves), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis
- Micronutrient Status – vitamin & mineral status
- Genetic SNPs / mutations (MTHFR, MTRR, COMT, SOD, CBS etc) (see colored boxes on image above. They represent genes)
- Metabolic processes (energy production, inflammation protection, vitamin and mineral status)
- Toxic metals (mercury, lead etc)
- Stool testing – infections, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), IBD (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis), IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Neurotransmitter testing – depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease
The following example illustrates the methylation-cycle.