An alternative to traditional medication-led treatment.

Treating Inflammation differently

An alternative to traditional medication-led treatment.

In the world of wellness and functional medicine, there is a broader general understanding of inflammation, and it is something of a dirty word. From the information that we gather online, we may know that it’s “bad’, or that it’s linked to chronic disease of all kinds, but we don’t necessarily know why, what that means, or what to do about it.

Inflammation is not inherently “bad”. When regulated and under control, it’s an essential component of immune system function, and necessary for fighting pathogens and healing from injuries.

Problems arise when inflammation is not regulated, not under control, when it becomes chronic and spreads throughout the body.

We mentioned that inflammation is a popular topic in functional medicine, but it’s not that chronic inflammation is not recognized as a problem in conventional medicine. In fact, chronic inflammation is recognized as problematic in all areas of medicine. The problem is that in general, specialists are focused on treating the effects of inflammation on the area of the body in which they specialize, rather than addressing the root cause of a systemic problem.

These days, it’s not uncommon to have multiple diagnoses of chronic illnesses. One person might have four “separate” conditions; for example, diabetes, high blood pressure, IBD, and asthma.

Inflammation is at the root of all of these conditions. But rather than identify this systemic inflammation as the underlying cause of the body’s state of disease, four separate specialists are likely to be treating each diagnosis as though it stands alone, and often prescribing medications that will reduce the symptoms or effects of inflammation within their designated part of the body, an approach that may provide symptom relief but that does not address the larger problem.

In functional medicine, we look at the body as a whole. Rather than simply asking “how can we reduce inflammation as it relates to this body part, symptom, or diagnosis” – a question that is still important – we want to dig deeper, and ask “why is there so much inflammation in the body, and what can we do about it?”.

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