Is Integrative Neurology a part of Functional Medicine?
Traditional medicine has been around for over one hundred years. It is not without its flaws, but it does have some advantages. One of the major drawbacks to traditional medicine is that it treats symptoms instead of causes. Functional medicine offers a different approach by looking at root causes and prevention instead of just treating symptoms. The following are four ways in which functional medicine differs from traditional approaches to healthcare:
-It tackles the root cause rather than just addressing symptomatic issues
-It takes an individualized approach versus a cookie cutter type scenario
-It views health as being interconnected with many factors including family history, lifestyle choices, environment, etc., whereas traditional treatments tend to focus on only one factor
-It does not rely on the use of prescriptions but instead focuses on lifestyle changes, nutrition and supplements.
Is functional medicine a new approach?
“Let food be thy medicine"- Hippocrates
Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare that has been around for centuries. While it may not be new, its benefits are still being recognized by more and more people looking for a holistic method of treatment. Functional medicine addresses the cause of issues rather than just treating symptoms while also taking into account environmental factors, lifestyle choices and family history when making recommendations on how to treat the patient. This approach ultimately leads to prevention of future issues rather than just managing symptoms.
What is integrative Neurology?
Integrative Neurology is an extension of this approach. Our brain and nervous system does not work in isolation of the body. Numerous neurological disorders are really related to systemic deficits, like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, which in turn cause strokes and dementia. Gut disturbances have been links to the development of Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease.
Migraines affect 16% of all women. They are also related to multiple different reasons. They can be caused by food allergies, imbalances in minerals and vitamins. They have been linked to magnesium deficiencies which is hard to diagnosis because magnesium levels are not routinely checked when a patient comes into the office with migraine symptoms.
Brain fog and Fatigue
Brain fog and Fatigue are very common complaints and there is not effective approach to treating them in current Western medicine models.
Would Functional Medicine work for me?
One of the key principles of functional medicine is that we are all individuals and no two people will have the same exact diagnosis or treatment plan. This means that you may need to see a variety of different health professionals in order to get help with your specific health concerns. A functional medicine practitioner will take the time to get to know you as a whole person, including your medical history, lifestyle, and dietary habits. This individualized approach is what sets functional medicine apart from traditional medicine models.
Neurological disorders are scary and difficult to manage. A lot of practitioners shine away from managing them due to lack of deep understanding of those disorders. This is the reason why integrative neurologist is much more effective in management of those disorders.
Integrative neurologist takes the treatment of neurological disorder from holistic approach, which means they want to treat not only symptoms but also triggers and causes. Some patient may still need to have more traditional neurological evaluations, like EEG, MRI and other testing techniques. Those tools will help with assessment of structural damage, but the main treatment approach will be still based on management of environment, lifestyle, mindset and nutrition.