Taking a Closer Look at IBD and How Functional Medicine in Charlotte Can Help

Crohn's disease was first recognized during the early 1930s. Even after this condition and others like it were discovered, many medical professionals didn't acknowledge them. When patients came to them with symptoms of conditions in the irritable bowel disease family, doctors often diagnosed them with simple digestive upset. They attributed their symptoms to unhealthy diets and other common causes.

In turn, those patients were largely left to suffer while the treatments doctors prescribed provided little relief from their misery. At this point, though, things have changed. Thanks to Functional Medicine in Charlotte, a growing number of IBD patients are finally getting actual relief from their conditions.

What Is IBD?

Today, millions of Americans suffer from IBD and other similar conditions. They deal with severe abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, extreme fatigue, and a wide range of other uncomfortable symptoms on a daily basis. Despite ongoing studies, the underlying cause of IBD is largely unknown.

Experts do, however, believe that stress and other factors can contribute to the condition. It's also believed to be an autoimmune response, meaning the body's immune system basically attacks the digestive system and causes all those miserable symptoms. As such, a Functional Medicine Doctor might look at a range of treatment options.

Treating IBD

Because of its somewhat ambiguous causes, treating IBD can be a bit difficult. Many physicians attempt to alleviate the symptoms with antidiarrheal medications, anti-inflammatory agents, and other basic solutions. Those medications are only minimally effective at best. Even then, they don't help every time the symptoms arise. Immune system suppressants may be used as well. Though they may help reduce the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups, they can also leave patients vulnerable to other conditions.

Taking a More Well-Rounded Approach

Quite a few people ask, "What is Functional Medicine?" It's basically a branch of medicine that treats the underlying causes of medical conditions rather than only their symptoms. In Functional Medicine, physicians look at each patient on a case-by-case basis to determine the individual causes of IBD. From there, they can determine the best treatments for each patient.

Doctors in this branch of medicine may focus on the cause of the autoimmune responses and inflammation that are contributing to IBD. Then, they address those factors. In turn, they help reduce the symptoms and help patients to live more normal lives. At the same time, treating the underlying causes of IBD can reduce patients' risks of developing inflammation in other areas of the body, blood clots, colon cancer, and additional side effects of the condition.