What Is Integrative Medicine?
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Neurodegenerative Disorders - Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, other dementias, Parkinson's disease, and ALS (better known as Lou Gherig's disease) are examples of neurodegenerative disorders. Simply put, cells in the brain and spinal cord may get damaged over a lifetime. Depending on the location of various cells in the neurological system determines what symptoms an individual will develop. There are very few drugs to reverse the course of neurodegenerative disorders. Generally, 90% of the cells that perform a given function are compromised before a patient begins to develop symptoms of a neurodegenerative disorder. These cells do not regenerate easily.
A Functional medicine approach looks at how excess toxins and deficient nutrients may be contributing to accelerated loss of function of these nerve cells. Elimination of toxins and higher doses of nutrients will frequently slow the deterioration and sometimes even reverse the process. The amount of recovery depends entirely upon how much damage the nerve cells have already sustained. For example, patients who have had MS for 15-20 years with extensive loss of function will probably not regain as much function as those who have been diagnosed with MS within the past two years.
We had one individual who was diagnosed with MS after having some dental work done on his silver amalgams. Eighteen months later, he presented to our office and we were able to determine that he had severe mercury toxicity. As we chelated the mercury from his body, his MS symptoms initially got better transiently. Over time this improvement became more sustained. We encourage anyone with neurodegenerative disorders to seek out a Functional medicine physician earlier, rather than later.