Tips For Conquering Peripheral Neuropathy With Functional Medicine

The vast majority of Earth’s population does not deal with any chronic medical conditions that severely curtail their ability to function on a daily basis, but those who do deal with such conditions can attest to the fact the rest of the population is not missing out on much – and when it comes to conditions that can curtail one’s quality of life, there are few that rival peripheral neuropathy; if you deal with peripheral neuropathy, you know that you can deal with everything from decreased motor and sensory abilities to numbness, tingling, and pain in the nerves to constipation and incontinence – and one of the most frustrating things of all about this condition is that, in spite of the great medical advancements of the last couple hundred years, the common “solution” to this problem is to treat the symptoms, while leaving the root of the problem alone.

If peripheral neuropathy is something that you deal with, and you have had to live with the frustration of the lack of effectiveness of modern medicine, you are not alone, as just about every serious medical affliction that people sometimes deal with has only medicine available for it that treats the symptoms and does nothing to cure the illness itself; a great example of this that is easy for many people to understand is insomnia, as insomnia is not an illness in and of itself, but is instead a symptom – yet in spite of this fact, most doctors only look to “cure” the insomnia without looking to cure whatever it is that is causing the insomnia to occur, and this misplaced approach to medicine is exactly what takes place with peripheral neuropathy.

If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, one thing that you should know is that an upsurge has occurred lately in a form of “medicine” known as functional medicine – and while the branding of this approach to medicine (complete with a label) is fairly new, it is actually an approach to medicine that harkens back to the ancient, fundamentally sound concept of curing the root of the problem instead of trying to cure the symptoms; basically, functional medicine takes the positive knowledge we have gained from modern medicine, and it uses this knowledge to figure out how to cure the problems that cause such uncomfortable symptoms to occur.

As far as peripheral neuropathy treatment goes, this is quite a shift in thinking, as this approach to curing the disease puts patients in a position where they can actually start to get better, instead of simply putting them in a position where they can sometimes “feel” better – which, of course, makes a big difference in the long run!

You may actually have heard of the idea of a peripheral neuropathy diet, or of peripheral neuropathy supplementation, and basically, each of these two things falls under the category of functional medicine – which is something that has been picking up a lot of momentum lately in pockets of the …

Functional Medicine & Chiropractic In Treatment of Concussions

Concussions are a form of traumatic injury to the head accompanied by temporary impairment of brain function. This kind of damage is often referred to as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or mild head injury (MHI) and is one of the most common types of external damage in the head and neck region.

In 2013, about 2.8 million traumatic brain injury-related visits to the emergency department took place in the United States. Modern studies reveal that the most common mechanisms of TBI are:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Falls
  • A hit by or against a certain object

Roughly speaking, all concussions can be divided into two major groups: sports-related and not related to sports. Although the treatment in both cases is roughly universal, patients who had received a sport-related concussion often worry about how quickly they would be able to return to their training sessions, games and tournaments. A major part of the functional treatment of TBI is in explaining the importance of complete recovery before going back to physical activities: this is crucial not only for the patient's health but also for his or her optimal physical performance.

What Happens During A Concussion?

Regardless of the specific mechanism of the damage, a concussion occurs when there is an abrupt and extreme change in speed. For example, when a goalkeeper is hit by a ball in the head, he receives a huge local acceleration – and the skull, being a solid structure, is the first to respond accordingly by moving in the direction of the blow.

The brain, on the other hand, is a "floating" structure suspended in cerebrovascular liquid in the skull, so it takes longer to change its direction and speed of movement. Thus, when a sudden blow to the head is received, the brain is smashed against the cranium, damaging the local soft tissues.

Similarly, when a person is driving a vehicle such as a car or bike, a sudden stop (such as due to a road accident) would cause an abrupt decrease in speed which initially affects the skull: for the next moments, the brain would be still moving in the initial direction thus hitting the skull.

The resulting symptoms from such damage may include:

  • Physical: headache (both local and diffuse), nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, seeing flashes of light or blinking stars, blurred vision, tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • Emotional and behavioral: depression, anxiety, sleepiness or insomnia, fatigue, irritability.
  • Cognitive: impaired memory and concentration, feeling "slowed down" or "in a fog."

But that's just half of the problem. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , people who had suffered from a concussion have significantly increased risk of dying from other medical issues such as:

  • Seizures – 50-fold increase in risk.
  • Accidental drug poisoning – 11-fold increase in risk.
  • Infections – 9-fold increase in risk.
  • Pneumonia – 6-fold increase in risk.

This is why a holistic treatment of concussions is crucial for the long-term health of each and every patient, as …

What You Need To Know About Functional Medicine & Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

You've got questions about natural treatments for IBS, and we have answers.

We treat a lot of IBS cases in practice in our Longmont and Denver, CO offices. Often, we see patients who have run the gauntlet with chronic GI pain, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea (or a combination of all of these), who have seen every doctor and taken all the prescription medications they've been recommended, and yet, they still feel miserable and their symptoms have not subsided. Or, they get some temporary relief, only to find new and (uncomfortable) triggers resulting in more flare ups.

We practice Functional Medicine. We take a different approach to treating gut issues. Especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome, because it affects people so differently, yet it's disease processes are often similar for most sufferers. In Functional Medicine, we do not automatically assume IBS is solely a "gut issue" because we know that IBS is often the symptomatic outcome of a combination of issues.

One of the first things we will recommend is blood work or other diagnostic testing (depending on your specific situation). Now, that may be met with a bit of hesitation at first as you say to yourself, "well, I've had blood work done already and they told me there's nothing wrong! Everything checked out as 'normal.'" Depending on the specific training of whom exactly is looking at and interpreting the results of these tests can mean a world of difference between continued recurrences of IBS, and the relief you're seeking. We say this because not all tests are created equally and viewing their results through the lens of Functional Blood Chemistry (which uses a different set of reference ranges) can detect whether the symptoms you experience are from infection, stress, a food sensitivity or a combination of many factors. Many men and women with IBS suffer from:

  • SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
  • Parasites
  • H. pylori
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Food sensitivities

It is imperative then to treat the root cause (s) of the IBS in order to control the symptoms. We generally like to treat IBS as a metabolic condition, because all of the body's systems must be brought back into harmony before any real, quantifiable, long term relief can begin. In addition to treating determinable IBS protagonists like those above, a "typical" Functional Medicine IBS protocol should also include …

A Metabolic cleanse heavily focusing on the Hepatic system. Clearing the liver, pancreas and gallbladder of sludge and toxins helps support those organs in order for them to work most efficiently. Not to mention, when these organs are fatigued, they cannot clear hormones as intended or help in digestion properly.

Next we will look at the patient's diet. We will either have an idea of ​​foods they need to permanently avoid from the results of their food sensitivity test (s), or we will recommend an elimination diet to find offending items. In our practice we strongly recommend food sensitivity testing through a lab called Cyrex. They have many arrays and can test …

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is an evolutionary practice that addresses the unique healthcare needs of those in the 21st century.

Rather than treating just the symptoms of any disease, functional medicine focuses on the underlying cause of disease by using an approach that focuses on the body's systems and their primary functions. Practitioners work to engage the patient in a partnership that will lead to overall better health and wellness.

Functional medicine practitioners focus on the whole person, rather than just the isolated constellation of symptoms. This shifts medicine from traditional sick care to a more patient-centered approach. These practitioners spend a great deal of time with their patients and listen to histories, while also evaluating the environment, lifestyle, and genetic factors that may play a role in long-term health and the development of chronic disease. By doing it this way, practitioners offer their patients a unique experience in healthcare, which will lead to higher engagement and vitality for each individual.

Why is Functional Medicine Needed?

There are several reasons why functional medicine has become more and more popular in our culture. Some of these reasons include the following:

Current medical practice is aimed toward acute care (or sick care), the diagnosis and treatment of disease or trauma, and conditions that need urgent attention such as broken bones or appendicitis. Medicine is not focused on the wellness of a human body, but in the curing of an already sick one.

There is a drastic increase in the number of chronic disease diagnoses among those in our society. These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, cancer, and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Acute care medical approaches do not allow the ability to treat or prevent complex chronic diseases. This is generally because it does not account for the unique make-up of the individual or outside factors that could be playing a role, especially in the environment, which exposes us all to toxins. Lifestyle choices also play a primary role in overall health and may have a direct influence on the rise of chronic illness in our Western culture

There is a gaping chasm between the way doctors practice and the research in their selected fields. This gap is enormous, as much as 50 years, especially in the field of chronic disease.

Sadly, most modern day physicians are not trained to look for underlying causes of disease. They are not taught to look at treatment strategies such as diet, nutrition, and exercise that could improve illnesses in their patients.

Functional Medicine Differentiation

The origins, prevention, and treatment of chronic disease, especially, is of primary concern to a functional medicine practitioner. The principles of functional medicine that differentiate them from conservative approaches include the following:

Patient-centered healthcare: The whole patient is the primary focus. This practice promotes positive vitality beyond the absence of disease and promotes overall good health. By truly listening to patients' stories and background, the functional medicine practitioner is able to guide the patient into self-discovery and then further tailor treatment …