Lupus Treatment: Everything You NEED to Know About Functional Medicine
Being diagnosed with Lupus is scary and knowing where to turn for the best care is overwhelming.
As a fellow Lupus Warrior, I’ve been through it myself so I’m going to cover everything you need to know about Lupus treatment and the difference between Conventional Medicine treatments through emergency based medicine belief (immunosuppressive drugs, blood pressure meds, antimalarial medications etc.) and compare it to Functional Medicine Treatment For Lupus which has shown to be the most reliable treatment option for decreasing symptom severity long term.
Using the Functional medicine approach as a Lupus treatment we have long-term remission without harsh medications and their side effects.
Here you are, wondering what else can you possibly do to get rid of Lupus symptoms like; fatigue, infections, brain fog, joint pain, and stomach issues (to name a few). It’s frustrating reading a million different articles on the internet wondering who knows what they are talking about and if it’ll really work.
WHAT IF you could combine conventional medicine ( aka listen to your doctors) and Functional medicine (well-rounded, open-minded doctors) and actually feel better, look better, and finally live a normal life again?!
Guess what? You can! It’s called integrative medicine.
Functional medicine takes disease management and modifies it.
You proactively manage your health so that you have an optimal range of nutrients in your body. When you’re in an optimal range, the disease is not present.
Lupus treatment through functional medicine will allow you to have a higher quality of life, be happier, and healthier.
This is becoming more popular in the mainstream world. So much so that the Cleveland Clinic has a unit dedicated to functional medicine.
The Cleveland Clinic is a great example of how we can still have faith in our doctors if they adopt this method, which is slowly spreading. This clinic combines the Cleveland Clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine(IFM) which is led by Dr. Mark Hymen. His staff is experts in treating many autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions.
Why Functional Medicine For Lupus Is The Answer
Lupus treatment through Functional Medicine(FM) is more effective than conventional medicine. It addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a system-oriented approach while engaging the patient and practitioner for a therapeutic partnership.
Think about it, every single day you complain about debilitating symptoms. You’re too tired at work, you’re too tired to do anything productive after work and the pain is unbearable more often than not.
Rashes are embarrassing and affect us physically with pain, infections come and go and stop us from enjoying the outdoors. It can affect us emotionally too.
Do you have stomach problems? of course. Did the doctor give you a magic pill and it “worked” for a few days? Now you’re back with symptoms that come and go constantly. This means something in your life is triggering it and it’s not working for longterm care.
Lupus treatment through functional medicine involves healing your gut as a first step (immune system). Your gut health is directly linked to joint pain, chronic inflammation in organs and joints, and mental your stability. There is a strong connection between your brain and the gut.
They communicate through pathways which is why what we put in our on our body directly affects our mood and health.
As we continually experience these debilitating symptoms, we are taking corticosteroids, immunosuppressed drugs, antimalarial drugs, and antibiotics all while pushing and advocating on social media for better treatment options that are safer and more effective.
I think it’s safe to say what we are doing with the mainstream doctors aren’t working, otherwise, we wouldn’t be begging for safer treatments.
So, doctors who practice FM focus on imbalanced gut flora or microbiome in the gut which are causing disease and triggering symptoms. Through that, they determine what the possible causes of imbalanced gut flora are.
When you heal your gut, which makes up the majority of your immune system, you will become one of the many people who are in full remission of any disease.
See how functional medicine(FM) can be used as a Lupus treatment to get rid of our symptoms and active disease?! It will allow us to actually live a fulfilling life again.
This route has revolutionized medicine to better address healthcare needs.
What’s the biggest difference between conventional and functional medicine?
First world countries practice medicine that is based on emergency medicine and treating symptoms. This is 100% needed in those situations.
However, with autoimmune disease, we need consistent care that has a direct approach to addressing the patients needs from the cause of disease, rather than just taming symptoms.
This is done by FM doctors. Their number rule is to spend more time with you.
WHAT?! Doctor’s actually spend time with us and learn every detail of our history and health concerns? Why isn’t everyone picking this up faster? That should be your next question.
Anyway, first, doctor’s who practice functional medicine can be MDs, DOs, NPs, and specialists.
These doctor’s shift traditional disease-centered focus to a patient-centered approach. They will sit with you and have you fill out a lengthy questionnaire (over 100 questions usually).
Review with you, determine your genetic disposition, your environment during childhood and current, in-depth blood work and tests and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and chronic disease.
What Make Functional Medicine Better and More Reliable?
- Functional Medicine is centered around YOU, just you. Not the other patients and what worked for them because of their history and needs.
- YOUR history is thoroughly included and your disease has a cause. They will find it.
- Healing will not happen overnight and they know that. An FM doctor will explain that so you’re patient and understand your lifestyle needs to be modified.
- It’s evidence-based
- They spend time with you, more than 30 minutes, sometimes over an hour.
- Lupus treatments will vary from patient to patient.
- What triggered Lupus to be activated in me is probably not the same as yours and they know that and care to find out.
- Treatments are based on the strengths of conventional medicine for crisis care.
- Treatment is based on Western, Eastern, alternative, preventative and integrative practice. By combining all of these approaches, you will heal and have a better quality of life.
- Knowledge is widespread and detailed to be used to address and sustain your health.
- Medicine, nutrition, stress reduction, supplementation, exercise combined in the right quantities for your illness and body’s needs will improve all of your organs, your body and prevent disease.
- Functional medicine can be practiced among a variety of doctors like MDs, DOs, NPs, and specialists
- Medicine, nutrition, stress reduction, supplementation, exercise combined in the right quantities for your illness and body’s needs will improve all of your organs, your entire body and put you into remission safely
- Treating lupus and other illnesses are based on the cause of illness or disease rather than symptoms
- Focusing on the cause of disease, they thoroughly learn about your life from childhood to current, lifestyle choices, thorough bloodwork and tests (not just the usual CBC and typical ranges of each finding etc)
- Use the latest diagnostics and base blood test ranges on optimal ranges rather than “normal values”
- Appointments are often 60 minutes (due to above points)
- Treatment plans are personalized
- Not covered by insurance (yet), some of their suggestions are covered by benefit flex cards like supplements, therapies, gyms, PT, etc.
- Medications can still be prescribed, but so are specific supplements, exercise, and diet to decrease side effects of those medications
Why Us Lupies Still Need Conventional Medicine Too
You fill out forms, your doctor might read it and the entire 15-minute session is them addressing the most current or worst symptom and writing a prescription for your symptom(s). They always ask what is the worst today and tackle that battle, because they don’t have time for anything else.
First of all, these questionnaires are related to the current problem and disease, it doesn’t include your lifestyle or preventive measures you’ve taken or didn’t take.
Conventional medicine in the USA is made up of drugs and surgery to “solve” your problems. It’s the most profitable business in the world, billions each year is made for profit.
- The drugs undergo 4 phases to be approved by the FDA. This sounds thorough, but most studies done have been modified to fit the needs of the pharmaceutical company to be passed and are passed with severe and unknown long-term side effects.
- The side effects are a dirty laundry list of why you’ll be a business man’s dream – a consumer and customer for life! I’m sure you started off with one or two pills a day and now you have a handful.
Lupus treatments through conventional medicine are effective, but they are not effective enough. This is one of the problems.
The other problem is they treat symptoms and cause more symptoms to arise. They make you “feel” better for some time and then another problem arises and the cycle continues.
- Think about it – your medications for arthritis don’t fix the problem, they manage the pain.
- Your hormone replacement drugs – do they address the cause of the hormone imbalance? No.
- Your high blood pressure medications – do they help your heart or lower markers that doctors measure? That’s not one in the same. They don’t make your heart stronger or healthier. Diet and exercise does ( not just “eating healthy” either)
Conventional medicine is making us reliant on them and keeps us sick.
Plus, a study from John Hopkins University found 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error and no one talks about that! These deaths can occur from systemic problems within the healthcare system, not just “bad” doctors.
What Should We Continue to Use From Conventional Medicine?
- They treat symptoms – yes, sometimes we need this for treatment when we have headaches, cold, constipation, small, irregular problems that arise from time to time
- Treat emergencies – break a bone? Have a heart attack? Kidney and liver shutting down? They are there for you right away!
- They use evidence-based medicine too – it just needs a little work sometimes on efficacy, but the science is there
What’s Wrong with Conventional Medicine?
- Doctors are taught to recognize and treat symptoms, how to perform surgeries and procedures.
- There is little training on the cause of disease and how to get rid of those causes.
- Think of the options you receive when you go to the doctor – medication for symptom or procedure. I get one of these options every time I have a problem and I’m sure you do too.
- Less than 5 classes are given on nutrition and food contamination – which are the prime cause of disease.
- Just because we live in the USA doesn’t mean most of us don’t suffer from vitamin deficiencies, especially with Lupus which makes it difficult to test and find simple solutions to a variety of symptoms.
- No classes are given on the effects of toxins in the body, yet many studies show toxins are the driver of poor health and disease. Take an environmental health class or research about it, you’ll be shocked.
- Time is of the essence for doctors, the insurance companies force them to double book and allow 15 minutes per patient, it’s expensive running a facility!
- America’s health care system is profit driven that forces doctors to have an overload of patients a day just to survive. It’s an assembly line and a quick fix because it’s covered by insurance and they have many biased rules.
- Your “health” revolves around profit $$ – Even Forbes has found the following information:
- Literally, no one makes money when people are healthy
- Drug prices are higher in the US than any other developed country
- You pay for your products 2x, once at the pharmacy and through tax to the NIH
- It’s so bad that republicans and democrats agree on this matter – YES, they agreed
- Pharmaceutical companies profits are larger than big oil and insurance companies. They’re even backed by most of the politicians complaining on TV and those so rich, us common folks don’t really understand who they are. These unknown billionaires dictate how our lives will be lived
- More research is produced in the US and is backed by a lot of pockets, this is great, until those pockets demand and control the outcome
- Millions of dollars have to be put into research before the FDA even approves it, which is why it has to succeed…
- Pills don’t heal, they break down your body slowly over time with man-made substances that have more disclaimers and side effects than ever necessary
- Conventional medicine provides great treatment for lupus-related symptoms in emergencies
- Doctor’s take less than 5 classes of nutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and toxins, which happens to be one of the biggest reasons of disease and illness
- Plenty of research is completed yearly, which costs millions or billions of dollars before it even reaches the FDA – hence why investors make sure they pass 😉
- Insurance covers your appointments – which is why they dictate how you’re treated
- Not enough time, about 10 minutes for your doctor to only treat the “worst” complaint
- Pills don’t heal, they break down your body’s immune system over time with man-made substances that have more disclaimers and side effects than ever necessary
Is Functional Medicine For Lupus Right For You
Lupus treatments can be difficult. Doctors are unsure of lupus and it’s mysterious ways because they are not used to thinking outside the box. Plus, they prescribe the usual top 5 drugs to help your symptoms only. Then, you go home feeling like crap most days and pretty good some days.
However, you’re not quite good enough and you don’t feel confident to go for a long hike or do an activity you miss dearly in case you cause a flare-up. This is one of many signs that current treatment isn’t good enough.
Exercise your rights to quality healthcare. Find a doctor who practices Functional medicine.
Instead of paying for the most expensive insurance plan, pay a doctor that will find the cause of disease and teach you how to function without him or her long term. Of course, get insurance for catastrophic events, but that only requires the minimum monthly amount.
Research what type of vitamins are immune supporters, not immune boosters. Understand the difference, it will help protect you from damaging your body more.
Vitamins and supplements are not created equal! Companies can misuse trending words like natural, healthy, and pure to misguide you. They can put fillers and chemicals into your pills and trick you.
Then, you wonder why you don’t notice much change or that you still have health problems, but your blood work may be improving.
Change your diet. Eating “healthy” has been redefined.
Modify your diet to gluten-free, soy, and dairy free. Incorporate organic veggies and free-range, grass-fed meats into your diet. Throw away toxic products and use homemade products ( it’s cheaper!)
- Vinegar and water will clean and sanitize just as good as the products with harsh chemicals. It’s also way cheaper!
Not only that, but our skin is the biggest absorber on our body. It’s great at removing toxins through sweat, but toxins build up over time in parts of our organs, fat cells, and embed themselves and alter DNA of our healthy cells.
So, hair products, skin products, and pesticides sprayed on our food are all absorbed into our body and we wonder why our immune system is faulty…
We need to take control of our health again! It starts with you. Ask questions, seek answers and critically think. Once you are able to think a bit deeper about the reality of your health and the environment that you live in, in all aspects of your life, you will feel confident in your decisions.
Once you feel confident, you’ll make healthier choices which WILL improve.
It’s a tricky world and it’s up to you to research deeper than what we’re fed through media and politics.
Leave a comment below of your experience with doctors ( I hope they were well!)
if you’d like more information on a specific topic or research article, let me know too! I love to help where I can 🙂