Integrative medicine is the medicine of the future. And the good news is that tomorrow’s medicine is indeed available today! It was Thomas Carlyle who once said, “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Integrative medicine is true personalized medicine which contains mainstream biochemistry and genetic roots yet reaches outside the box of so-called conventional Western medicine. Actually, I call it “bigger box” medicine.
Changing the way you look at your health creates an open road in front of you. You can discover that you actually have control over your health and wellness. Most diseases can be traced to chronic inflammatory conditions. We live in a time where we are stressed emotionally, physically, and financially while being exposed to an ever-growing range of toxins in our environment. Add to this mixture inherited genetic susceptibility and you have a perfect storm for ill health. One need only to look at the exploding increase in childhood autism and attention deficit disorder, as well as the exponential growth of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, to see that “Houston, we have a problem!”
Enter the era of hope. It is called medicine’s “molecular revolution.” Contemporary medical science has lead us to a better understanding of disease as it relates to microcellular and biochemical abnormalities. The emerging fields of nutrigenomics and epigenetics have significantly changed the way we look at disease. No longer is disease considered a single response to a single cause. Rather, it is looked on as a combination of multiple factors, including predisposing genetics, environment and infectious disease.
The Human Genome Project was completed in June of 2000. The mapping of the human genome and the subsequent discovery of genetic SNPs (single genome polymorphisms) have changed the landscape of medicine. We can now do testing which can define distinct areas of genetic susceptibility. The field of nutrigenomics studies how natural products can interact with particular genes to decrease the risk of disease. One enormous player in this field is what is known as the methylation cycle. We all know that water is a key to life. In the same manner, methyl groups are critical for health and well-being (more on this next month). Likewise, epigenetics has demonstrated that we can turn on and off genetic expression by not only nutrition, but by our lifestyle choices.
Bottom line, the more you know, the less scary health choices become. But, be careful and get information from a reliable source. Unfortunately, this is not random searching of the Internet which is basically an electronic “bathroom wall.” Every day, I see patients who have taken unnecessary and even dangerous detours as they attempt to navigate the road to better health. You need a qualified and experienced coach. Doctors who are specialty trained in integrative medicine have the ability to give you the road map to better health using cutting edge technology and science-based remedies. Indeed, the medicine of the future is already here!
Paul D. Rothwell
M.D., FAAFP, FAAARM
FELLOW AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS AND AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ANTI-AGING AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
Paul D. Rothwell, M.D. is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice. He has been dual board certified in both Family Medicine and Functional and Regenerative Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine, the world’s largest and most respected organization supporting Integrative Medicine. He is in private practice but also enjoys teaching medical students as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Oklahoma Medical School. For more information about Dr. Rothwell, go to WellnessOK.com. To obtain further information or request Dr. Rothwell to speak for your organization, contact