In the New Year, Baer Chiropractic will be adding functional medicine to its list of services provided. As powerful as pain relief is, we are no longer satisfied with just getting people to feel better. Yes, it is the first step toward a healthy lifestyle. People have to move better before they can take control of their health. But that alone doesn’t address the epidemic of chronic diseases that we are experiencing in modern industrialized society today. Every one of my patients either has a chronic disease or is on the way to getting one. As Harry Truman said, “The buck stops here.”
All of the chronic diseases we are faced with today are lifestyle diseases that conventional medicine is approaching with pills and surgery. Heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s, and yes, even cancer are a direct result of poor diet, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins and poor handling of stress. The medical community and drug companies have been working toward curing these diseases, and perhaps with the best intentions, but things are getting worse. More diseases are born each year. “Adult” onset diabetes is now a disease of young teenagers.
Medical doctors have become so specialized that some of my patients have as many as five different specialists for each of their chronic conditions. Oftentimes they have symptoms that no one has time to treat and they get shuttled from one specialist to the next. Their cardiologist says their chest pain is reflux, and their gastro doctor says it is a pulmonary problem. And your family doctor is now merely a traffic cop that hopefully directs you to the proper specialist. In the end the answer is pills and more pills. And yes, sometimes pills are the temporary answer, but they can never take the place of a healthy diet and exercise.
Functional Medicine is a whole systems approach of finding the root cause of disease, not dispensing pills to mask the symptoms. If you are depressed maybe your body isn’t producing enough serotonin, but why? Why is your liver producing too much cholesterol and why is it causing plaque formations on your arteries? Why are there amyloid formations sticking to the brain cells in your hippocampus? Why are there tumors forming in your body? The answer is that the environment in your body is favorable for these pathologies to happen.
In functional medicine we simply ask the why questions. To do this we have to take a detailed look at the environment of your whole body. This might require a lot of specialized tests, and maybe temporarily taking supplements that aren’t covered by your insurance. But in the end, the answer is almost always going to be proper diet, consistent exercise, and stress management. Of course, it might be harder than just taking pills for the rest of your life, but it works.
And it does work! I recently went to my now former medical doctor with a list of the supplements I was taking. She took the list and without looking at it said, “There is no evidence that any of this works.” Well, the fact is, there is evidence. For years I have been touting Omega 3s and probiotics, based on evidence in medical journals that they do work. And suddenly, because they do work, pharmaceutical companies are marketing prescription forms of these supplements. I recently lowered my own cholesterol from 270 to 155 with diet, exercise and supplementation alone.
The bottom line is functional medicine doctors are reversing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and even Alzheimer’s. Call us today, we will happy to answer any questions and schedule an appointment for you. We look forward to helping you be the best that you can be.