Five Ways Functional Medicine Promotes Preventative Care in Newton, MA
As we look ahead to the school year starting and the seasons changing, illness looms on the horizon. Flu, colds, and new COVID variants will be circling around soon enough.
What if we told you that preventative care is possible? Functional medicine not only allows people to recover from disease but helps prevent illness from developing in the future.
Here are five ways that functional medicine treatment promotes preventative care.
The foods we eat set up our bodies for health and resilience… and also for developing illnesses in the future.
Nutrition is a key player in functional medicine and preventative care. Most people consume a majority of highly processed foods that are low in nutrients. The body thrives off a variety of key nutrients and functions best when properly nourished.
Many processed foods are broken down into simple sugars, which don’t nourish the body as much as other nutrients. With high amounts of sugar needing energy to process and store, it’s easy for the body to get overwhelmed. When invasive or diseased bacteria enter the body, these systems are “behind” and can’t muster adequate forces to defend themselves from illness.
With a foundation of good nutrition that supports your bodily functions, you can expect to get sick less and recover more quickly.
#2. Stress Management
The term “worried sick” is a lot more accurate than you might think. Most people walk around stressed, which leads to mental health problems, poor appetite, and a weakened immune system.
When the body is stressed, it produces cortisol. This hormone controls stress responses in the body, plays a part in our circadian rhythm, and balances our metabolisms, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Too much cortisol, however, is detrimental to our immunity. Most of us function as chronically stressed human beings, and these constant levels of cortisol in the blood cause inflammation and weaken the immune system.
Stressful periods often result in illness, whether a stomach bug or just a nasty cold. These illnesses often end up as a good wake-up call to take better care of ourselves.
At Five Journeys, stress management is one piece of our approach and preventative care. Emotional health is one of the five pillars of our practice, which includes healthy stress management.
We help patients manage stress by advising self-care activities and mental health services as needed. Our physical bodies also influence stress levels, such as gut health. By addressing every piece of the puzzle, we help our patients live a life less stressed.
#3. Gut Health
Functional medicine doctors rave about gut health, and it’s no wonder why! The gut affects every aspect of our health, from absorbing key nutrients to our mood and mental health. Gut flora makes up over 75% of the immune system, making it imperative for preventative care.
A perfect gut microbiome maintains balanced bacteria and a stable pH. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, this balance becomes skewed. Poor diet, environmental toxins, and high stress levels often throw the gut off kilter.
Functional medicine doctors help patients heal their gut bacteria through a variety of factors. This often looks like dietary changes, limited toxic exposure, managing stress, or eating high-probiotic foods.
Preventative care isn’t truly possible without a healthy gut. Next time illness comes around, you can expect to have a strong immune system fighting for you.
Staying active is good for your all-around health. By engaging in regular exercise, you can expect to get stronger, feel happier, gain flexibility, and be able to enjoy your life even more. For example, you can say “yes!” to a hiking trip with friends or a fun mud run.
At Five Journeys, we evaluate each patient’s current lifestyle habits, including exercise. If we recommend more exercise, start small. Incorporate more movement into your day, such as taking a walk or folding the laundry. You can dial up workouts from the comfort of your own home, go big and attend a fitness class, or purchase a gym membership.
Exercise strengthens your immune system alongside your muscles, so move your body in ways you enjoy!
Even if you’re doing “all the right things” — eating well, exercising, managing stress, and healing your gut — your body can still be overwhelmed by external factors.
The environment we live in plays a huge part in our health, just as much as what we eat, how often we exercise, stress levels, and gut health.
Toxins exist all across our daily lives: shampoo, laundry detergent, flame retardant, water, air fresheners, makeup, and lotions. When the body is constantly filtering out these toxins, it has little energy left for maintaining our bodies, much less fighting off disease!
How on earth do our bodies ever get the upper hand? The answer: detoxification.
Five Journeys specializes in helping patients detox. Dr. Wendie Trubow and Dr. Ed Levitan co-wrote a guide for detoxification, and they help their patients do the same.
Preventative Care in Newton, MA
The key to preventative care is to create an environment where illness and bacteria aren’t able to thrive. Through nutrition, exercise, stress management, gut health, and detoxification, Five Journeys helps patients start thriving again. Preventative care is an added bonus to the treatment we provide, and we pay close attention to each patient’s health, so they have fewer chances of developing illness. Ready to get started? Take our health quiz today and plug into preventative care in Newton, MA.