Functional Medicine for Symptom Relief

By Sharon Norling, MD, MBA

Do you ever wonder why you feel the way you do? Do you wonder what is causing your symptoms?

Your doctor may have dismissed you, misdiagnosed you or just prescribed a drug to cover up the symptoms.

[CALLOUT: When a doctor says “there is nothing wrong with you” what is really wrong is that the doctor has not found the root cause of the illness.]

The problem is that today doctors don’t often look for the root causes of symptoms and illnesses. How can you fix something if you don’t know what is causing it?

When a doctor says, “there is nothing wrong with you,” what is really wrong is that the doctor has not found the root cause of the illness. You look good on paper, but you still feel terrible. Too often physicians are in the practice of providing a quick diagnosis followed by a prescription or a procedure. This approach works well for acute situations, but for those patients suffering with chronic ailments, this approach is not always effective in treating, healing, and certainly not for preventing chronic disease.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has recently indicated that there is a large gap between what physicians do for patients with chronic disease and what should be done. In fact, most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex chronic diseases.

More proactive patients and doctors practicing functional medicine find themselves searching for the root cause of illnesses as the routine tests often come back negative or “normal.”

One common trend is to see a specialist. Sending you and your body parts off to multiple specialists does not make sense when the symptoms can be linked to the same underlying condition. What’s worse is when patients ask, “what else can I do besides surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, pharmaceuticals, etc.?” and are met with physician disregard.

The answer is functional medicine. Functional medicine is a comprehensive approach that cares for the whole person, not just a body part. It combines the best of conventional medicine with effective natural approaches. Specialty labs are used to find the underlying cause of illness. This is personalized medicine. Evidence-based natural therapies are recommended whenever possible.

One of the most common problems I see in my practice is food sensitivities. When patients take a skin allergy test for foods, they are testing for IgE antibodies. This type of food allergy can occur within minutes of ingesting the irritant and accounts for only 5% of food allergies. Most people know when they have an IgE food allergy.

Sometimes your food sensitivities may be to your favorite foods and you don’t even know it. These are known as IgG food sensitivities, and severe cases can cause inflammation. A single specific blood test can check for IgG sensitivities to 180 foods. Individuals with inflammation and fibromyalgia symptoms should be tested for IgG food and gluten sensitivities. Many of your symptoms could be related to these sensitivities.

When the body reacts to food as an allergen it produces antibodies, as if the food is an invader. Allergic food proteins are like foreign substances that the body is attempting to defend against. This causes inflammation, which is the underlying cause of a multitude of symptoms and illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Because of inflammation, food sensitivities can create pain, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, mental changes, sleep disturbances, sinusitis, arthritis, depression, nasal congestion, diarrhea, and other conditions.

These manifestations of inflammation are chronic conditions that over time become chronic illnesses. IgG antibodies that combine with serum protein activate complementary reactions, causing permeative cell damage (i.e., arthritis, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and other serious chronic conditions). Testing for IgG sensitivities can be the first step in identifying the causes of or precursors to serious conditions. IgG food sensitivities are hidden, delayed and silent often difficult to figure out by symptoms alone.

Other important areas of advanced testing are for thyroid levels, adrenal fatigue, hormones, and neurotransmitters. These specialized lab results provide crucial information for each individual that will aid in prescribing the correct treatment protocol. Removing foods causing the sensitivities, omitting gluten, treating adrenal fatigue, correcting low thyroid function, treating hidden gastrointestinal infection, and balancing neurotransmitters can minimize or eliminate symptoms.

[Callout: Functional medicine is a comprehensive approach that cares for the whole person, not just a body part.]

Three ways to find your best health:

Find a doctor who listens to you and who specializes in functional medicine to help you find the root cause of your illness.
Use specialized advanced testing with reputable laboratories to make your best health choices. This allows for personalized treatment.
Enjoy life. Functional medicine is holistic medicine, which reminds us of the connection of mind, body, and spirit. So make sure you are feeding your soul with sacred time. Be sure to choose activities that make your heart sing.

There are tests, answers, and solutions. You do not need to suffer with chronic illnesses for years with no answers and an ever mounting pile of prescriptions with more and more dangerous side effects. Live your best life today.

Sharon Norling, MD, MBA has spent her life working to find the root causes for chronic illnesses to reduce or eliminate symptoms. In her practice in Westlake Village, CA, she sees patients from all over the U.S. The prescription of pharmaceutical remedies without knowing the imbalance that causes the problems can lead to long term addiction and medical errors, which is something she seeks to avoid through advanced functional medicine.

Dr. Norling’s book, Your Doctor is Wrong, explains how she looks for the root cause in hidden food allergies, neurotransmitter imbalances, adrenal fatigue and vitamin deficiencies through high-tech specialized laboratory testing. She has taken the evidence-based approach of conventional medicine and combined it with the holistic approach common in functional medicine to achieve dependably positive results for her patients.

To get more information please call us 818-707-9355. We are here to help You.