News & Insights

Functional Medicine News & Emerging Research

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Video: Tom Sult, MD, on Chronic Stress

Tom Sult, MD, IFMCP, shares how helping patients with stress management can alter brain and body.

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Video: Sinusitis and the Immune System

The CDC estimates that 12.5% of American adults have chronic sinusitis, based on the 2017 National Health Survey data.2 For acute sinusitis, antibiotics are a frontline treatment, while for chronic sinusitis, further interventions are often recommended, including surgery. Tom Sult, MD, IFMCP, shares his approach to chronic sinusitis and how Functional Medicine may help improve outcomes.

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One Clinician's Approach to Asthma

In Functional Medicine, the concept of antecedents, triggers, and mediators underpins the treatment approach. For patients with asthma, Shilpa P. Saxena, MD, shares how understanding the triggers can lead to enormous improvements in health.

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Fight Inflammation and Stabilize Mast Cells Naturally

“We can’t view the different diseases as separate conditions anymore. Nearly all degenerative diseases have the same underlying biochemical etiology. And that’s one of a pro-inflammatory state. That pro-inflammatory state is more often than not induced by a pro-inflammatory diet. So inflammation is really the final common pathway in all of these different diseases … And the base [treatment] for all of these diseases should be one of an anti-inflammatory supporting diet.” – IFM educator Helen Messier

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Beneficial Effects of Meditation on Inflammation

Over the past two decades, mind-body interventions like meditation have been gaining empirical support for their ability to lessen perceived stress, alleviate depression, reduce loneliness, and even down-regulate central inflammatory pathways. This may be beneficial for people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma—in which psychological stress plays a role. Emerging research highlights the likelihood of multiple, distinct pathways underlying the effect of lifestyle interventions like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga on immune function.

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How Do Stress and Inflammation Contribute to Chronic Disease?

The relationship between stress and inflammation has been studied rigorously in the past decade, and researchers are continually finding evidence that the inflammatory pathway is pivotal in the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases. In fact, 75% to 90% of human disease is related to stress and inflammation, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.

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