Dr. Larry R. Zezula | For Appointments: 770-973-8800 | DRZ3@comcast.net |Office Location: 1642 Roswell Road, Marietta, GA 30062

Evidence Based Medicine

Dr. David Brownstein published an article on his website regarding criticism some holistic doctors receive from the traditional medical establishment regarding evidence-based medicine.  Evidence-based medicine is based on studies, usually involving pharmaceuticals, that doctors rely on when making  treatment plans for their patients.  The problem Dr. Brownstein points out is that many of the articles that are published about these studies are ghost-written articles that are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.  While the articles are listed as having been written by an MD, it turns out that in some cases the doctor was paid to give his or her name to the article.  As an example, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals was caught ghostwriting 26 papers that promoted conventional hormone replacement therapy in various scientific journals.  It is now estimated that at least 10% of all medical articles are ghost-written.  The problem with this practice is that industry-sponsored medical articles often contain bias that promotes the effectiveness of a particular drug compared to a competitor’s drug.  When there is too much bias, it becomes fraud.

For patients who are prescribed a particular medication from their physician, you need to consider what the therapy does.  Most pharmaceutical drugs work by blocking, poisoning, or inhibiting the body’s biochemical pathways.   As an alternative, functional medicine employees the use of nutrients that support the body’s biochemistry to help boost deficiencies that are the cause of the medical condition.  Rather than fighting the symptoms, functional medicine focuses on attacking the cause.

You can  read Dr. Browstein’s full article by clicking here.

By |February 20th, 2014|Functional Medicine|Comments Off

The Functional Medicine Approach

The term “functional medicine” is defined as personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and treatment of underlying causes (as opposed to treatment of symptoms) of serious and chronic diseases. This means that we seek to know the underlying cause of illness as opposed to just looking at the signs that indicate the body is ill. Let me share two stories that illustrate the difference in functional medicine and the traditional approach.

I recently had a patient come to me after going to the Mayo Clinic. They were experiencing some gas and bloating, flushing, and some chronic pain.  After testing, the patient was given an antacid, an antihistamine, and a pain killer.

Do you see what happened?  The patient was given one medication for each of their symptoms.  Did anyone ever stop to ask if there was one primary issue that might be causing all the symptoms?  I spoke with the treating doctor at Mayo about this, and he told me that even at Mayo, the approach is to first give out medications to eliminate symptoms and only if that fails do you dig deeper to try and find a unifying cause of the symptoms.  This is exactly the opposite of a functional medicine approach.

I also get patients from other alternative practitioners that have fallen into this symptom based way of thinking. I had a patient come in with anxiety, difficulty sleeping, chronic fatigue, and constipation.  They had already seen another natural practitioner prior to entering my office.  They had been given valerian root for the anxiety, melatonin for the sleep, cortisol for the energy, and fiber for the constipation.  While this may be a more natural or drug free approach, it is not a functional approach. They still […]

By |July 4th, 2013|Functional Medicine|Comments Off

Traditional Medicine versus Functional Medicine Treatments

When you have a health problem, the typical remedy offered by a traditional medicine practitioner involves prescription drugs that attempt to alleviate the symptoms.  Functional medicine practitioners focus instead on the function of the body’s systems in order to locate and treat the source of the illness.

Consider the following medical conditions and compare the treatment options available from traditional medicine with those available from functional medicine.

High Blood Pressure

Traditional Medicine –  Drug therapy using ACE inhibitors, Calcium Channel blockers, or Lasix
Functional Medicine –  Fish oil, B12, Co Q 10, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium

Cardiac Arrhythmia

Traditional Medicine –  Drug therapy, shock therapy, and ablation heart surgery
Functional Medicine –  Organic iodine, vitamin B and G complexes

Clogged Arteries

Traditional Medicine – Statin drugs that lower cholesterol, stents, bypass surgery, or angioplasty.
Functional Medicine –  Vitamin K2

Congestive Heart Failure

Traditional Medicine –  Drug therapy
Functional Medicine –  Vitamins B4, F, G, and cardio-factor nutrients

Cancer

Traditional Medicine –  Chemotherapy and radiation
Functional Medicine –   Phytonutrient compounds produced from Spanish black radish, Brussels sprouts, kale, and tillandsia.

Angina

Traditional Medicine – Nitroglycerine tablets
Functional Medicine –  Vitamins E2 and F combined with organic minerals

High Cholesterol

Traditional Medicine –  Statin drugs
Functional Medicine –  Phytochemical Betain in combination with vitamins F and G and phytonutrients.

Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids

Traditional Medicine –  Surgery
Functional Medicine –  Collinsonia root extract.

Muscle Cramps

Traditional Medicine –  Drug therapy using muscle relaxants
Functional Medicine –  Supplements that include calcium lactate and vitamin F.

Osteoporosis

Traditional Medicine –  Drug therapy and bone density testing
Functional Medicine –  Osteo-factor nutrients such as vitamin D3, vitamin K2, parathyroid extract, amino acids, and raw bone nutrients.

Arthritis and Joint Pane

Traditional Medicine –  Drugs to reduce inflammation and painkillers.
Functional Medicine –  Osteo-factor nutrients such as vitamin K2, enzymes, glucosamine, and amino acids.