Many chronic illnesses go undiagnosed for years, even decades. This is because many health providers fail to consider infection as the underlying factor. Many conventional health providers see infections as resulting only in acute, short-term health problems. However, persistent infection can last for prolonged periods of time, often leading to misdiagnoses.
This is one area where holistic medicine and functional wellness practices are looking to find the underlying cause of chronic illnesses that have been undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, by conventional medicine.
Many people have undergone extensive diagnostic testing and treatment plans, yet still fail to recover their health and sometimes, health even begins to decline. The cause is often undiagnosed infection from:
- Spirochetes (illnesses from ticks)
These invaders can enter the body and cause health issues for decades. What’s more, a lot of research has shown that these kinds of infections can be a major cause of autoimmune disease.
Symptoms of Chronic Infection
- Nerve disorders like neuropathy
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Temperature control issues (sweating attacks, cold hands and feet)
- Changes in vision
- Digestive problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Neurological problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Sleep disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia)
The Link Between Infections and Autoimmune Disorders
When the body becomes infected, it responds by unleashing attacks on the invading life form or substance with antibodies. The problem occurs when the body overreacts and mistakes the body’s own tissues and organs with the infection itself. When this happens, it begins to attack healthy cells in the body.
The reason the body does this is because many cells and chemicals that cause infection resemble that of human tissue. In these instances, the immune system has a hard time discerning between the infection and the body itself.
There is another theorized way in which infection can trigger autoimmune disorders. This is when a fungus, bacteria, or parasite attaches to tissue protein in the body and creates a new compound.
The immune system is very cautious about new things entering the body. It likes consistency and familiarity. So when it recognizes a new compound, it’s often seen as foreign, even if in this case it happens to actually be your own tissue.
The immune system attacks the new compound, and thus attacks its own body.
How Holistic Medicine & Functional Wellness Help
The goal of functional medicine is the overall health of the body. This is opposed to conventional medicine which treats specific symptoms as the result of isolated incidents in the body. Functional medicine, on the other hands, understands there is nothing isolated in the body because the body is an interconnected system.
Functional medicine seeks out the underlying causes of your symptoms with extensive infection testing. Functional medicine also treats each individual in accordance with their specific environmental condition, genetics, and lifestyle; what works for some individuals may not work for others, and may even be counterproductive.
Examples of functional wellness programs include:
- Blood work evaluation
- Saliva testing
- Stool analysis
- Genetic testing
- Nutritional counseling
- Traditional Chinese medicine
- Detox programs
- Nutritional supplementation
- Stress-management techniques
- Electronic stimulation therapy
- CHiropractic care
- Electro-shock-wave therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Homeopathic injections
- Infrared sauna therapy