The Krispy Kreme Challenge was started over 10 years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina and has grown to over 8,000 participants. Runners are required to run 2.5 miles from the NC State campus bell tower to the Krispy Kreme, inhale a dozen doughnuts and then race the 2.5 miles back. All within an hour.Healthy right? Hey at least it was for a good cause. Although we were only able to stomach a dozen between us we had a great time participating and were able to help raise money for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. I guess next year we’ll have to train our legs a little less and our stomachs a little more!
Many of you have reached out wanting to know more about what integrative and functional medicine exactly is, so I thought I would give a little background about my understanding of the medical discipline and also share some resources on where you can learn more.
Integrative and functional medicine is just a different way of thinking and understanding disease. It is a holistic discipline that gets beyond the diagnosis by utilizing personalized approaches, both allopathic and alternative, to assess and treat the underlying causes of disease. This approach looks at the interactions between the environment and our genes from prenatal throughout the lifespan and uses this information to understand how and where our diseases are stemming from. This approach doesn’t just merely treat our symptoms based on the standard systems based model; it is considered whole systems medicine that aims to remove our bodies’ imbalances. An alarming percentage of chronic diseases are driven by our environment and by understanding the way this environment interacts with our genes we are able to improve health and restore function through gene expression, balancing hormone levels, optimizing protein networks, etc.
To break it down even further, integrative medicine gives providers the tools to look at all aspects of a person and lifestyle, while functional medicine provides the map to organize and apply this information in a systematic way. I like to think of functional medicine as a subset of integrative medicine. My favorite analogy of describing functional and integrative medicine came from Chris Kresser during the Fat Summit. He explained that if you are walking around with a rock in your shoe conventional medicine would advise you take Advil for the pain, whereas functional medicine would tell you to remove the rock. To me this makes a lot more sense and more closely aligns with the way I want to practice medicine.
Learning about integrative medicine not only sparked an educational passion for me, but also made me reevaluate my approaches to my own health. If you’re like me and want to continue to learn more I have provided some links below to some functional and integrative information websites and books. Never stop exploring!
I hope you all find some time this week to listen to the Fat Summit lectures I previously posted about. Just a reminder the lectures will be released daily over the course of the week and they will only be available for 24 hours, so make sure to check out the schedule to decide which days/lectures most appeal to you! I also wanted to take some time to tell you more about one of their sponsors, Thrive Market. I personally think this is an awesome resource to anyone who’s interested in healthy, organic foods as well as natural, non-toxic products. They have a wide variety of organic, non GMO, and gluten free foods as well as natural cleaning, baby and beauty products and it’s all delivered right to your door for less than wholesale prices! Check it out to get a free one month membership and with every new member sign up, Thrive Market will donate an annual membership to a low income family in need, how awesome!
Fat Summit is a lecture series led by Dr. Mark Hyman about health, wellness, weight loss and the myth of fat. There’s going to be a lot of great FREE educational information throughout the week, so whether you’re starting a new year new you resolution or just generally interested in improving your health I highly recommend you check it out!