Functional Medicine


Functional medicine blends biochemistry, anatomy, and naturopathy into an approach that is both conceptually and practically useful for the treatment of CAID. One of their key premises is that a leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability underlies chronic inflammation.


Both functional and traditional physicians agree that the small and large intestines are lined by mucus cells linked together by bridges called desmosomes. This lining creates a barrier that is impermeable to all substances, allowing only electrolytes to move freely across the wall. This barrier prevents unwanted molecules from entering into our bloodstream.

Our body absorbs nutrients when larger proteins and carbohydrates are broken down into smaller units until they fit into receptors on the

cell’s membrane, like a lock and key, and are actually engulfed by protoplasm from the cell. Nutrients can then be transported to our bloodstream and circulatory system. However, there are many factors that can partially disrupt the desmosomes, allowing larger particles to pass through this barrier or enter directly into the bloodstream before they are adequately broken down. When this occurs, they are seen by the body as antigenic, “foreign invaders,” which sets off a low level inflammatory reaction meant to protect the body.

This low-grade inflammatory response is what functional medicine believes is the key to understanding a host of conditions, ranging from arthritis and eczema to chronic sinusitis and asthma. Factors that can disrupt the desmosomes fall into five common categories.

Sinus Tips:
Functional medical practitioners believe that a low level inflammatory state contributes to bronchial irritability and the likelihood of bron - chospasm. An analysis of 2,000 child
■ Corn starch in baking powder and any processed foods ■ Corn syrup in beverages and processed foods ■ Vinegar in ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard is usually from
Eat only the foods listed under “Foods to Include” and avoid foods listed under “Foods to Exclude.” If you have a question about a particular food, check to see if it is on
This is called an “elimination diet” because you will be removing certain foods and food categories from your diet. These modifications allow your body’s compromised detoxifi
The “remove” aspect of functional medicine (the first of the 4 Rs) includes dietary changes, particularly when there has been a history of antibiotic misuse. When necessary, I
The following list includes only a few of the substances that functional medicine practitioners use for CAID symptoms. They believe that if taken daily, these nutrients will reduce
This initial hit of inflammation would probably lead you to believe that you had come down with a simple cold.