The Power of Functional Medicine, Nutrition and Your Mind

Is it possible to control your health with nutrition, exercise and your mind. Treating diseases with food is not a new concept. A quote from Thomas Edison: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”

For anyone not familiar with Functional Medicine, it is finding the root cause of a disease and not just treating symptoms. Jeffrey Bland Phd founded the Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991. Most Western Medicine doctors treat symptoms. If you have a disease there is a protocol for procedures, and medications to have done or take.

Your body doesn’t just get cancer or heart disease or diabetes there are always underlying causes. That is what Functional Medicine does. It works on the premise of diet, exercise, sleep, and your mind as paramount in treating and preventing diseases.

A little over a year ago, I started experiencing medical issues. My lower back was starting to really bother me. I am a Yoga teacher and that wasn’t a good thing. I had known for years that my back was not in great shape but as I never had pain, I didn’t react to it.

A few months later, I was diagnosed with Uveitis (I had never heard of it). It is inflammation in your eye which could be a precursor to autoimmune disease. I was put on steroids in my eye. I went to my Primary doctor. The blood tests revealed that I showed up positive for Scleroderma. (I also didn’t know what that was) It is an autoimmune disease. I was told to go to a Rheumatologist for further testing.

For the past 8 years I have been taking anti inflammatory supplements: Turmeric, Tart Cherry Juice, Flax Oil, CoQ10 and other supplements. I considered myself pretty healthy although my diet was not good. In fact, it was pretty unhealthy.

As my back continued to get worse; I couldn’t stand up in the morning and had to take a hot shower and then do my exercise to be able to teach my yoga classes.

I made an appointment with the top Rheumatologist in the Cleveland Clinic. That would be 6 weeks away. In order to do everything I could to help myself, I went on the Functional Diet to see if that made a difference. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, seafood, grass fed beef (occasionally) no citrus, no alcohol, caffeine, gluten, sugar, dairy. I hated giving up cheese! There are so many great substitutes for dairy and gluten.

Within one week, my Uveitis cleared up. I had it for 2 months. The second week my back pain disappeared.

During my visit to the doctor, I gave him my diet, list of supplements I take and told him I was a Yoga teacher. He asked me several questions and after he asked if I could bend over and I went to the floor, he said there is no way you have any autoimmune disease. I asked him about my back. He took x rays. Before I left he showed them to me and said “Don’t stop doing what you are doing or you will have to have back surgery. Your back is in horrible shape”

That was in November 2018. I have been pain free since I went on the diet. I have slowly added back in some things to my diet but pretty much stay away from dairy, sugar and gluten.

There is a quote from Dr. Deepak Chopra on illness. “Believe the diagnosis but not the prognosis. Nobody can predict. Recognize that only 5% is true; 95% of the prognosis can be changed. Take in everything! Explore, spiritual, diet, environment, energy healing, sleep, exercise, your mind; go beyond the fear of death.”

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