Once I received my MS diagnosis, like most people, I spent some time reading articles and books about the disease, its usual progression, and how to modify my life and daily activities to accommodate my symptoms.
Also like most newly diagnosed people, the materials I picked up to learn about this incurable, debilitating disease were the things provided by the National MS Society, written by conventional or “old-school” medical organizations, or even from drug companies.
The old-school approach, as most already know, label MS as “incurable”. Unable to determine a cause or a cure, traditional doctors are forced into a corner of treating only symptoms of MS.
You know the drill…..after months, or in some cases years of testing and doctor consultations, you finally receive a diagnosis and the bad news that your condition has no known definitive cause or cure.
Then you’re given a myriad of prescription drugs that will supposedly help with the fatigue, spasticity, depression, limb weakness, muscle/nerve pain, etc., etc., and eventually sent back home to see how/when/if the disease progresses and hope for the best.
What Is Functional Medicine?
As it turns out, there are other perspectives out there on autoimmune disease; another perspective on the science behind its’ cause, and very compelling arguments about how to manage – and sometimes eliminate — symptoms.
This perspective is often referred to as functional or integrative medicine, and with hundreds and thousands of success stories, is gaining momentum in the U.S. and throughout the world.
The idea of functional medicine was conceptualized by Dr. Jeffrey Bland in 1991 when he formed the Institute for Functional Medicine[i] (IFM) . Since that time, IFM philosophies have been gaining in popularity among healthcare professionals.
To date, over 4,500 practitioners in 65 countries have been educated on the proven principles and practices of Functional Medicine through IFM’s foundational training course and certification process.
Simply put, functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease by addressing the person as a whole, rather than just an isolated set of symptoms. It requires a practitioner to consider a person’s history, genetics, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors, which includes nutrition and nutritional supplements as core elements.
What this innovative thinking forces us to do is look at possible root causes for diseases. We know in MS the myelin sheath typically becomes damaged, but what is causing that damage?
What healthcare practitioners and researchers are starting to figure out is that inflammation is behind almost every chronic disease. Reduce or eliminate inflammation and, voila’, you have minimized or eliminated the symptoms of disease.
It might sound easy but it’s not, it’s rather a complex process because the human body is a complex and beautifully intricate apparatus; each of us are biochemically different. The process of eliminating inflammation and re-establishing health is unique for each of us. It takes time, patience, and commitment to unravel the kind of inflammation that eventually morphs into a disease like multiple sclerosis. But the point is, in many people it can be done, and often quite successfully.
Why is this important for you to know?
I want you to know you have options other than those given to you by conventional medicine. If you are someone who is dealing with MS, or another type of chronic disease, you need to know that there is another science-based, therapeutic model available that can help you weather the storm. You are no longer stuck at a dead-end with toxic pharmaceutical drugs to minimize symptoms, a cane to improve your mobility, or inject-able drugs to improve your odds of enduring another attack.
I challenge you to think a little outside the box of conventional medicine and consider the possibilities.
There’s hope waiting for you on the other side.
Wishing you happiness and good health!