That’s it; the 'party' is over! 52 weeks and 52 blogs later, I hope you have learnt some interesting things. Without really planning the subject of the blogs, we have still managed to cover all the major areas of Functional Medicine.
Unsurprisingly, no less than 20 of my blogs have been dedicated to food, exposing the greatest myths and most common dietary errors. The significant damage caused by sugars, fructose, cereals, gluten and animal milks have all been covered. Also, attention was given to the overload of eggs (without respecting the winter break imposed by nature) and the insufficient consumption of oily fish and good quality plant oils. Many of my blogs have dealt with fats, both good and bad: let’s no longer demonize cholesterol or even animal fats in general, and let’s avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fatty acids) like the plague!
Fats also play a critical role in the lubrication of the intestinal mucosa, the gateway for absorbing all of our nutrients, especially the fat-soluble vitamins and other micronutrients that are difficult to absorb such as iron, calcium and most of the B vitamins. It is with great pleasure that I have wrung the neck of numerous myths that have misled the general public and generate tragic dietary errors and health problems.
Don’t believe anyone who says: “you become fat because you eat fats”, “a calorie is a calorie”, "calcium should always come from dairy products” or “whole grains are the base of the food pyramid”. We've had enough of all these dogmas that, in reality, have no scientific basis! They are just total nonsense that everyone repeats, including some doctors, with total disregard of the biological reality.
We are all different and from an early age it is essential to personalise dietary advice because the balance of the major food groups (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) depends on genes and even on the intestinal flora unique to each individual. For some, this flora has suffered tremendous damage by aggressive antibiotic therapy, which selects the most efficient microorganisms to digest complex sugars, which leads to greater extraction of calories for these subjects. Do not listen to dieticians who insist that you count calories, drink orange juice before breakfast and swallow a rice cake as a snack: stop the massacre...and find the right people to help you eat well.
Besides the blog on antibiotics, two others deal with the risks of drugs and their deleterious consequences for digestive health (proton pump inhibitors) and bone health (biphosphonates). Three other blogs are aimed at the correct interpretation of laboratory tests and some errors of interpretation that are all too frequent. Let’s recall the founding philosophy of Functional Medicine, which is the restoration of physiological and biochemical functions as close as possible to equilibrium. Here is a dogma that deserves to be supported: “let’s restore normality!’.
This principle clearly applies to endocrine function, both thyroid hormones (11 blogs in total) and adrenal hormones (4 blogs), and even female sex hormones after the menopause (2 blogs). This approach implies that even mild or moderate imbalance (sometimes mistakenly called “subclinical”) deserves consideration by the medical profession. Do not wait for this to be proven inadequate or for the obvious deficiency to be recognised: let’s intervene before the dysfunction has yet to cause a major illness. We will be much more effective at this stage: prevention first! Why wait for a disease that will then require medication to treat it?
To please the pharmaceutical industry? Yes, it is true, a drug can often perform miracles in a crisis and it is ideally suited to solving the most acute cases. But taken chronically, these chemical products push us little by little further away from the physiological equilibrium that is so desirable. Therefore, let’s do all that we can to make sure we don't need it!