Functioning Well With Functional Medicine: The Low-Down on RA Treatment

The functional medicine approach is different from conventional medicine in that it seeks to find the cause of the problem rather than just addressing symptoms.  That is not to say there is no value in conventional medicine; I am very grateful for it when it comes to emergency care.   As for chronic illness, however, I contend that a functional approach (even when combined with conventional) is superior.  For me, I want to know what is causing my illness so that I can take the necessary steps to feel better, once and for all.  I want the power and control over my health and my body. The functional approach places me in the driver’s seat of my own health.   I can’t stand feeling helpless, and being crippled is a torturous prison cell.  I will do whatever it takes to remain free of those shackles.  

While I am afraid that my rheumatoid arthritis will never go away entirely, the functional approach has empowered me with knowledge and tools to manage it effectively without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.  Perhaps not everyone can do what I have done, but I would be willing to bet that most of us could….

My Treatment: An Overview

  • My doctor took all the standard auto-immune and inflammation related blood tests (and then some) to begin constructing the most complete and accurate picture of my health as possible.   
  • I was given a psychiatric examination to ascertain what my mental and emotional state was and how it may be contributing to my disease. 
  • My diet was analyzed and modified repeatedly to ensure that the foods I ate weren’t exacerbating  my symptoms. 
  • My genes were analyzed to determine if they could be a factor.  And they were, but not so much the typical “RA genes” as genes that were responsible for reacting to stress.  (I apologize for not being as scientifically articulate as I should be here).
  • I have been prescribed a combination of nutraceuticals that not only effectively relieve pain safely and without side effects, but reduce inflammation, and contribute to my overall health. (More on nutraceuticals coming soon)
  • I have been counseled  in fitness, work-life balance, stress reduction, anger management, and so much more – and was even  given the support to practice it all.
  • I received 30 – 60 minutes (depending on the nature of the visit) with my doctor and his undivided attention at each visit.

The best part is, all of it was designed around me.  It was completely individualized for me.  And that is how medicine should be. 

This disease is bad enough without having to deal with some of the horrible side effects related to many of the drugs commonly prescribed for RA.   My heart goes out to all who suffer.  I am not here to judge, condemn, or brag.  I just want to help as many people as I can to feel better.  Spreading awareness about the benefits of functional medicine is something I personnally can do to try and help.

On a side note….Good news! Many conventional doctors are adapting a functional approach to the way they practice medicine.   Ask around, you may be surprised to find these doctors are in your area!

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