Top Integrative Treatments For Functional Medicine

Research therapy options reviewed by experts, researchers and other patients. See what people thought about their experiance and outcomes.Read their stories and therapy ideas.Do you have a personal story to share about what worked for your condition? Share your journey so others can heal.

53 Case Studies
70 Member Stories
2298 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

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Anxiety is so common that you or someone you know has dealt with it, or perhaps still is dealing with it. Or maybe that somebody is you, and you are trying to understand whether there's a possibility of curing your anxiety. Functional Medicine might just be that step for you. What are the causes of depression and anxiety? Surely, there are common causes such as stress, injury, or chronic pain, but did you know that imbalances in the system may also elicit these indicators? Apparently, unrelated causes include imbalances in blood glucose, neurotransmitter imbalances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, Omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, and food allergies. Extra sugar has been shown to influence opioid receptors in the brain and can have a profound effect on mood. Food allergies cause inflammation and changes in the lining of the intestine, which may influence our body's production of the important neurotransmitter serotonin. Still, more studies through the years have demonstrated a direct link between nutritional deficiencies and mental disease.


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39 Case Studies
41 Member Stories
2299 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Arthritis

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Functional medicine's strategy is always to get to the root cause of disease in a holistic and systemic approach. By taking a look at the body's systems as a whole we could detect indications of illness present before acute imbalances in your blood levels are evident. This approach to disease is fantastic for chronic diseases like arthritis where early detection is paramount to recovery and prevention.

Functional Medicine incorporates gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, endocrine, neurological, and psychological therapies to support the whole body's healing capacity. The functional medicine approach for arthritis is based on the belief that our intestine comprises 70-80% of our immune system. Correcting leaky gut and improving digestion are high priorities for a functional medicine approach to both kinds of arthritis. This is because most arthritis is brought on by chronic inflammation throughout the body. Though each category is a bit different, they both have exactly the identical functional medicine treatments focused on the gut and diet. Increasing antioxidants, gut recovery, and anti-inflammatory foods are ways to get in front of this inflammation and balance the immune system.

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19 Case Studies
39 Member Stories
2273 Research
36 Case Studies
61 Member Stories
3331 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Cancer Care

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The Functional Medicine approach is extremely patient-focused, resulting in an individualized treatment program for improved health outcomes. Treating cancer is an example where functional and conventional medicine differs. Typically, traditional medicine appears immediately at treating cancer but fails to address the reason behind cancer. Doctors are overly focused on diagnosing the disorder based on body symptoms and location rather than the cause or mechanism involved.

Additionally, it does not help that no two cancer cases are the same. Two Patients who have the exact same cancer and go through precisely the same treatment may respond differently.  FM practitioners work with patients to address the underlying root causes, identifying the conditions where disorders thrive and enabling us to learn how to start altering those conditions, and improving the patient's quality of life.

Nowadays, patients seldom die from their primary cancer. The majority of cancer deaths are from the secondary spread, which is a metastatic disease (when cancer spreads into another body part from where it began ). Consequently, the avoidance of metastatic disease is an integral element in survival. Fortunately, testing and treatment for cancer are somewhat more advanced now. Additionally, dietary awareness is also progressing. Practitioners are now able to give patients accurate information and advice about lifestyle options for cancer management, such as weight, diet, and lifestyle improvement ⁠- all if handled well, can improve survival and quality of life.

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32 Case Studies
41 Member Stories
2297 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Constipation

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Bowel habits vary for each individual, but when you have difficulty passing feces or have less than three bowel movements per week or pain with bowel movements, you're probably constipated. People today tend to feel bloated, sluggish, and deficiency of optimum energy when they're constipated. Kids who get constipated often have worse behavior during those times. Consider the toxic waste that your body is trying to get rid of.  The longer this waste remains in the GI tract that the more likely you are to be influenced by them.

By using functional medicine, there are a lot of options to aid with constipation naturally. A wholesome gut depends upon a balance of intestinal flora, or germs, and thus do healthy bowel movements. In an antibacterial world, we should not be so quick to turn our nose up with live bacteria inside them, such as fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and kimchi, along with eating yogurt with live cultures in it. Eating"live" foods such as these can promote the richness and diversity of our intestinal flora. If fermented foods create your mind sour, then try taking a daily probiotic supplement. Moreover, the intestinal flora in our intestine feeds on prebiotics found in fiber, so a diet full of various raw fruits and steamed vegetables will help keep your gut happy. Healthy fats also play a significant role in gut health, so be sure you are receiving cold-pressed olive and coconut oils and fatty acids such as omega-3s on your daily diet.

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62 Case Studies
57 Member Stories
2344 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Depression

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Functional medicine is a revolutionary concept that emphasizes that everything is linked. The brain is influenced by the various organs of the body and vice versa. Our gut, for example, has been associated with the development of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease,  and other mental disorders. Some research studies show that problems with neurotransmitter production begin from the gut before it impacts the brain. There's also growing evidence that toxicity, nutrient deficiency, blood glucose control, and other dietary variables are highly related to brain dysfunction. Functional medicine examines all of the elements which might have an influence on the individual's condition instead of traditional medicine that only concentrates on the medical condition itself.

Functional medicine takes a systems biology approach and offers new treatment ideas for mental illness. The focus is on the underlying causes of the disease rather than the symptoms. This holistic approach requires the evaluation of clinical imbalances throughout the patient's physical examination, laboratory tests, and medical history. It also looks into the genetic footprint and environmental factors like diet, exercise, and exposure to toxic substances. Functional medicine practitioners also think about the emotional, social, and spiritual elements that influence the patient's health.

Beyond conventional psychiatric treatments, practical medicine manages other variables with profound impacts on mental health. It explores a wide selection of interventions that are customized based on the needs of the individual. Together with surgical or pharmaceutical interventions, functional medicine incorporates therapeutic diet, detoxification programs, counseling, lifestyle modification, stress management, and nutritional supplements as part of this treatment. The purpose of this treatment isn't just to alleviate the symptoms but to heal the disease and improve the general health of the individual.

With the increasing epidemic of psychiatric disorders negatively impacting the lives of countless individuals, functional medicine takes a holistic and effective remedy to mental illness. If you are experiencing symptoms affecting your physical or mental health and would like to get to the bottom of the issue, consider an evaluation with a functional medicine professional.


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77 Case Studies
57 Member Stories
2384 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Diabetes: Type II

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Functional medicine's approach is to get at the root cause of diabetes. If you've been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Functional Medicine can help to discover the root cause and fix many, if not all, of the related symptoms. There's a problem with blood glucose in Type 2 Diabetes, but Type 2 Diabetes isn't a blood sugar issue. Elevated blood glucose is a symptom; it is not the cause. Anyone living with diabetes type 2 knows it is important to manage insulin levels. Functional medicine provides unique tools to control insulin and blood glucose, such as exercise, diet, stress management, detoxification, and optimizing essential nutrients. 

Why is insulin's role important? Insulin helps maintain glucose (sugar) levels in the blood within a normal range. When you eat food, carbohydrates in the food are broken down into sugar, which is our main source of energy. When glucose enters the blood, the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which enables glucose to enter the body's tissues. Excess glucose is stored in the liver when necessary to sustain blood glucose between meals, the liver releases sugar, and the pancreas reacts with more insulin to allow it to enter cells. This balancing act keeps the quantity of sugar in the blood stable. Chronic high blood sugar may result in complications like blindness, nerve damage, and kidney damage.

Particular environmental and lifestyle factors increase the need for insulin, which is an issue once the body can not produce enough.

So what can be done? In conventional medicine, the principal treatment is to prescribe metformin or a different drug, or even to provide insulin if the A1C is truly high, further raising the person's risk of obesity and inflammation. However, science actually supports lifestyle and diet changes as the main treatment for Type 2 Diabetes and for laboratory changes that indicate any insulin resistance. For good diabetes management, we have to provide adequate exercise, good nutrition, and manageable stress levels. Functional health specialists understand that you have unique requirements and are prepared to assist you in creating a customized action plan to control your blood glucose and insulin levels.

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30 Case Studies
45 Member Stories
2289 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Fibromyalgia

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In the root of the majority of Fibromyalgia cases, there is some triggering event where the person hasn't fully recovered. Some examples are divorce or death of a loved one or any other stressful event in your lifetime. In treating fibromyalgia naturally and efficiently, it's essential to address the original source and/or triggering event. Support throughout the healing journey is critical to one's general health. A thorough functional medicine approach can address the acute phase of getting chronic fibromyalgia pain. Dysfunction in a few critical systems appears to be the common denominator with fibromyalgia. Areas involved include the mitochondria, the hypothalamus in the brain, and the immune system. Defects in the mitochondria lead to a lack of energy, fatigue, and pain. Incorrect control signals from the hypothalamus lead to disrupted sleep, which then causes a deficiency of significant hormones, rest, and tissue repair. The immune system changes contribute to the altered balance of immune pathways, which result in excess inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.

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27 Case Studies
47 Member Stories
2274 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

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The key to solving this dilemma is not taking an acid blocker, which can cause a number of problems. It may provide you symptomatic relief, but there are issues with these drugs. They may lead to an increase in pneumonia, in bloating, in overgrowth of bad bugs in your gut. They may also prevent mineral absorption. You will need some acid in your stomach to digest your food and absorb the nutrients. Reducing the acid in your stomach could result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Nutrient deficiency can result in neuropathy, memory difficulties, digestive problems, osteoporosis, and a lot more.

There are simple actions one can take to find out if there are any particular triggers that are causing your problem. Repair your diet. The things which are common and easy to eliminate are spicy foods, citrus foods, tomato-based foods, and fried foods.  Do away with food allergens for a brief time period, like two weeks. Gluten and milk are the most frequent ones. Attempt to eliminate the causes for a couple of weeks, such as alcohol, caffeine, and smoking, all of which trigger reflux. Not permanently, but try it for some time, and see if it is causing your problem. Change your lifestyle. By way of instance, don't eat three hours before bed. Give yourself an opportunity to digest your food.

Deal with anxiety before you consume it. Try certain supplements to help. Rather than long-term pharmaceutical use, lifestyle alterations can help GERD patients find relief. Some that were analyzed for GERD include weight reduction, head-of-bed altitude, and avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, and late-night foods.10 Another modification that's been indicated in the literature is avoiding foods that may aggravate reflux symptoms such as coffee, chocolate, highly acidic foods, and fatty foods. 

Functional medicine provides guidance on how to recognize the inherent conditions of gastrointestinal issues (such as stress, sleep, or depression) and how to develop and organize individual therapy protocols with lifestyle, diet, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and botanicals for individuals to reevaluate their lifestyle treatments.

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18 Case Studies
39 Member Stories
2283 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Gestational Diabetes

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Women with gestational diabetes will need to monitor their blood glucose levels to remain in a healthy range. Natural ways to handle gestational diabetes symptoms include:

1. Diet & Nutritional Therapy: Your pregnancy diet is the most important element in preventing and managing gestational diabetes. Pregnant women need to have a diet that delivers adequate nutrition to be able to ensure their baby's and their well-being. Women that are pregnant mustn't consume too many calories, particularly empty calories from processed and junk foods, baked goods, and carbonated drinks. Achieving appropriate weight reduction is among the essential strategies to prevent and manage gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, excessive weight gain may cause adverse outcomes for both the mom and infant. Plus, it can even result in youth obesity to your little one. 

2. Stress Management: Research shows that women with Gestational diabetes often experience stress and anxiety that is related to feeling as though they're losing control of their illness, having difficulty sticking to dietary adjustments, and experiencing the anxiety of maternal and infant complications. This risk of increased anxiety, stress, and signs of depression while pregnant is problematic because these mental health problems can affect your hormone levels, such as your insulin levels. Studies also reveal that stress, depression, and anxiety during pregnancy is associated with lower birth weight for babies and possible issues with infant growth. Experiencing stress and depression during pregnancy increases your chance of experiencing postpartum depression after giving birth.

3. Physical Activity: Research shows that exercise may improve glycemic control in women with gestational diabetes. Moderate physical activity for half an hour per day or more is recommended for all pregnant women but especially those who have gestational diabetes, provided that there are not any medical complications.

4. Calcium: Higher dietary calcium intake has been associated with lowering the risk of gestational diabetes, according to research published in Public Health Nutrition in 2017. You can increase your calcium levels by eating calcium-rich foods like yogurt, cheese, cooked kale, broccoli, and almonds. There's a mixed study regarding the safety of calcium supplements and consuming very substantial levels of calcium, so speak with your physician before using supplements to raise your levels.

5. Vitamin-D Deficiency and Gestational Diabetes: Recent scientific studies of pregnant women show that vitamin-D deficiency during pregnancy has been correlated with a significantly increased risk for the development of gestational diabetes from the 2nd trimester. Increased insulin resistance was connected to vitamin-D deficiency and increased incidence of gestational diabetes.

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26 Case Studies
41 Member Stories
2279 Research
42 Case Studies
43 Member Stories
2366 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Heart Disease

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The concept that eating cholesterol will raise blood cholesterol, and lead to cardiovascular disease, has its origins in the 1950s' diet-heart hypothesis, which essentially states that cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet cause elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood, which polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS) like those found in canola, soybean, corn, and vegetable oils, in their liquid-at-room-temperature condition, won't clog the arteries and helps prevent cardiovascular disease.

Together with these so-called facts is the notion that an above-normal amount of cholesterol and particularly LDL "bad" cholesterol will undoubtedly increase your odds of getting a heart attack or a stroke. Are all these things so many individuals believe not only wrong and oversimplified? These beliefs have really contributed to the chronic disease epidemic happening right now in this nation. Science says so.

If high blood cholesterol, in fact, causes heart disease, then it ought to be a risk factor in most people for all ages and both genders. Conversely, lowering blood glucose should decrease cardiovascular disease. In fact, however, we see the reverse. The rate of cardiovascular disease in 65-year-old guys is ten times greater than that of 45-year-old guys, no matter blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, a study in the Journal of American Medical Association found that elevated LDL cholesterol isn't really a risk factor in cardiovascular disease or a cause in any deaths in the elderly. Thus, it's highly unlikely and illogical that the risk factor of this disease would cease to be significant for particular age groups, for the condition that is the leading cause of death. Approximately 125,000 women are researched in 11 unique studies, with no connection being found between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the main cause of being a killer of women in addition to men, but the closer we examine the research, the more it seems that cholesterol may have nothing to do with this.

The World Health Organization's MONICA Study examined a broad assortment of populations and their cholesterol and heart disease rates in an effort to discover a straight proportional correlation. What they found was the opposite. In Australia, the Aboriginals have the lowest cholesterol and the maximum rate of cardiovascular disease. They have 30x that of people in France and 15x greater than those in the united kingdom. Conversely, the Swiss have among the highest cholesterol levels and only 1/3 the heart disease rate of the United Kingdom. Dr. Malcom Kendrick, the author of The Good Cholesterol Con, said, "It's incredible to me that you can examine this information and sustain your belief in the cholesterol theory."

If the diet-heart hypothesis was correct, we ought to see a lower risk of coronary disease once cholesterol is reduced. We understand the reverse in the literature. More than 40 trials on the subject demonstrated that lowering cholesterol had the exact same or sometimes a surprisingly higher risk of heart attack compared to control groups.

In terms of LDL being "bad," that idea is also oversimplified. There are two kinds of LDL: the small dense LDL and large buoyant LDL. Small dense LDL particles are like small darts that tear holes in the lining of arteries, but sizeable buoyant LDL particles are similar to big fluffy balls. They can not do any harm and might actually prevent the small dense LDL from causing damage. Because of this, a simple cholesterol test that doesn't separate out these two kinds of LDL cholesterol can't predict your risk. So what actually predicts heart attack and stroke? Those are the bio-markers that actually predict heart attack and stroke:

- Low HDL "good" cholesterol

- High Triglycerides, which may reflect a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates.

-  High levels of small dense LDL

Cholesterol is involved, just not at all in the way we thought, and the only way to genuinely assess risk is to conduct different, more comprehensive evaluations. Blood tests called the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) that informs if they have more small dense LDL or the large buoyant LDL. In addition, we look at inflammation that's an underlying cause of heart disease, which doesn't have anything to do with cholesterol, and we look at chronic disease as a whole, which is a measure of overall health and vitality. There are two other important predictors of heart attack and stroke linked to inflammation: High homocysteine, and High C-reactive protein.


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33 Case Studies
43 Member Stories
2273 Research
42 Case Studies
51 Member Stories
2299 Research
57 Case Studies
56 Member Stories
2308 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Migraine

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A migraine can cause acute, often throbbing pain that is usually on just one side of the head. It's frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, and worsening of symptoms with action.

Environmental factors that have been associated with migraines include imbalances in hormones, food sensitivities, chemicals, alcohol, anxiety, changes in the wake-sleep routine, physical factors, and changes in weather or barometric pressure. When using a functional medicine approach, it's crucial to recognize the role of the gut. This includes a function for the microbiome (such as nitrate-reducing germs in the mouth) because migraine sufferers have a different mixture of gut bacteria that may make them more sensitive to certain foods. This activates the gut-associated immune system and affects gut permeability or leaky gut. Low levels of serotonin in the gut seem to be linked to migraines.

Functional medicine evaluates the root causes of chronic illness. The functional medicine approach is great for treating migraine in its roots. To achieve this goal, it uses the Functional Medicine operating system. This includes the systems biology approach known as the Functional Medicine Matrix, therapeutic lifestyle factors such as sleep, movement & exercise, nutrition, relationships, relaxation, and stress. This approach permits the practitioner to rate imbalances all the way to the cellular level. This systemic approach helps sort out why the disease has occurred, to begin with. By understanding each of these imbalances, the individual with migraines is permitted to make adjustments to correct them. Each part of this Matrix is known as a "node," and there are seven nodes on the Functional Medicine Matrix.

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19 Case Studies
39 Member Stories
2273 Research
34 Case Studies
44 Member Stories
2274 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS

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Despite being the most common hormonal disorder in women, PCOS is often underdiagnosed. People with PCOS are not always aware that their symptoms can be ameliorated and do not all seek care and PCOS comes with many health risks, so diagnosis early on can reduce the long-term health impacts.  PCOS involves a constellation of symptoms. Cysts on the ovaries are just one of several components of this complex syndrome. Though medical diagnoses are required and may be helpful, they can also often be quite paralyzing and stop people from discovering ways to heal their bodies and protect against progression without constantly needing to rely solely on drugs.

Functional medication has a different strategy for PCOS. The traditional approach to PCOS relies on medicine or in an effort to attempt and deal with the symptoms. It's easy to miss the chance to address deeper issues in the root cause.

PCOS tends to have a lot of commonalities throughout the board. There will be several digestive issues happening. Though women might not be plagued with severe gastrointestinal symptoms, oftentimes, there are multiple underlying food intolerances. Gluten is often the most common one. Grains of various types also often cause a worsening of the inflammation that's happening in the GI tract. Therefore removing all grains for a time period often provides substantial healing opportunities. Much work can be performed on the gut without even needing laboratory testing and medical treatments. But it can be quite beneficial to find a few tests done to find out what additional therapies would be beneficial and also hasten the healing procedure. Nearly all female hormones are produced by the ovaries, and consequently, cysts in the uterus could clearly cause a hormonal mess. The secondary place female hormones have been created is in the adrenal glands that also manage our stress hormones. PCOS may result in plenty of stress, affecting adrenal function and further disrupting female hormone balance. Examining the adrenals and also obtaining a month-long saliva evaluation of progesterone and estrogen levels will reveal precisely how imbalanced the hormones are and probably show several regions where bio-identical progesterone at particular times throughout the month could show massive improvements in symptoms, such as fertility.

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20 Case Studies
39 Member Stories
2273 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

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There are numerous treatments for PMS effective at bringing some physical aid, but most come with side effects. The Functional Medicine approach looks at the holistic system view, including lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise. Magnesium and calcium have been shown to aid by decreasing pain and relieving the severity of PMS symptoms. Studies indicate that magnesium may attenuate anxiety, which can be related to PMS. A 2017 review of the effects of calcium supplementation on stress and anxiety showed a magnesium supplementation helped women reporting PMS symptoms. Vitamin D is another nutritional supplement reported to have beneficial effects on PMS. A 2018 research study found that vitamin D supplementation has been associated with a decline in the incidence of PMS symptoms in teenage women. These symptoms include backaches and changes in mood, in addition to a decrement in pain severity. Vitamin D supplementation was shown to help PMS symptoms.  Another study focused on teens who were known to be low in vitamin D, and supplementation within four weeks contributed to improvements in PMS-related symptoms such as irritability, crying easily, and disturbed relationships. However, not all studies have found significant consequences.

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40 Case Studies
41 Member Stories
2276 Research
53 Case Studies
47 Member Stories
2274 Research
25 Case Studies
39 Member Stories
2273 Research

Functional Medicine Treatments For Vitiligo

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Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition. It is unclear what causes vitiligo. Scientists believe it is caused by several factors such as genetics, bacterial overgrowth, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, accumulation of toxins, mental or emotional anxiety. The immune system attacks the melanin-producing cells known as melanocytes, and this process causes areas of the skin to reduce their pigmentation. It currently affects 1-2% of Americans

To date, there's no cure for vitiligo. But new hope is on the horizon, due to recent research that's improving our understanding of the pathways involved in this condition and possible new strategies to treat it. Vitiligo can negatively impact an individual's confidence and self-image, particularly if it affects areas that can not be hidden like the hands and face. Traditional treatment for vitiligo involves the ultraviolet light treatment, which can be quite helpful in improving the appearance. But with conventional treatment only, the internal autoimmune process remains because the underlying causative factors haven't been addressed. An integrative approach to vitiligo therapy is essential to deal with the root cause and protect against the development of other autoimmune problems. An integrative treatment approach to vitiligo would incorporate a holistic approach in conjunction with conventional therapy.

Functional medicine takes a scientific approach to focus on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. It takes a systems biology-based approach and determines how and why sickness occurs and restores health. Functional medication usually involves specialized lab testing to identify imbalances and diminished organ systems in the person. Remedies may include lifestyle medicine, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and herbs. To correct imbalances and help the human body's natural ability to heal. Functional medication can slow down the autoimmune process by re-balancing the immune system. In certain vitiligo sufferers, this is sometimes sufficient to cause the skin to recover pigment. In others, the functional medicine approach stops spreading vitiligo, and traditional therapies are required to stimulate the skin to produce pigment. A functional medicine approach can help normalize the overactive immune response and prevent additional spreading, so permanent improvement is experienced when traditional treatments are discontinued.

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