Functional medicine: an alternative treatment for cancer: Fitter Food Radio episode 11

I’m listening to  Fitter Food Radio episode 11 with Jo Gamble on Embracing Nutrition.

It is quite fascinating. Focusing on Jo Gamble explaining the value of functional medicine for health.

Jo is a nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner who specialises in alternative treatment for cancer.

I’m getting to know the show so I can only comment on this episode. I’m always interested in different approaches to help and I like the way Jo tells her story. So I share for reference.

Functional medicine certainly sounds interesting but so do most approaches in the hands of a good promoter. The problems cited with the existing health system we’ve all heard before. I like the holistic approach we hear from Jo.

Though I’m still curious how much we really know and how much relies on the ability of the practitioner. The same can be said for the existing system as much for alternatives.

Jo makes the point that

doctors knowledge of nutrition is often not as good as our own

Given how much Doctors are required to know along with the lack of support to help them gain this knowledge and keep it up to date. I feel it is important to keep considering other ways of achieving the same result. Helping people gain health.

What are the things Jo says are critical to preventing cancer through lifestyle

  • enough sleep: atleast 8 hours
  • stress: too much leads to problems.

These are the things I see across all diseases. The same lifestyle factors leading to disease. Lack of sleep prevents your body fixing itself and dealing with problems. Of course this leads to disease, why would it not.

To much stress overworks you creating too much damage. It also prevents sleep and thus stops any repair.

Thanks to Matt Whitmore and Keris Marsden for an excellent show.

What is Functional Medicine?

Wikipedias introduction is:

Functional medicine reflects a systems biology approach which involves an analysis of how all components of the human biological systeminteract functionally with the environment over time. The Institute for Functional Medicine contrasts this approach with an organ system biology broken down into modern medical specialties.

Functional medicine, in agreement with modern medicine, holds that the entire “patient story” needs to be heard and understood in context in order to truly help the patient.[6] Where functional medicine differs from mainstream medicine is its willingness to employ treatments and drugs which may not be well evidenced by clinical research, including orthomolecular medicine and detoxification of unevidenced toxins.

Related links

The stress of life: a modern complaint?



In The stress of life: a modern complaint? the Lancet takes a look at the implications of over work and over worry.

The report notes that

Late 19th-century doctors and their patients also believed that stress could generate or exacerbate physical illness. Clinicians sometimes explained the development of cancer, diabetes, and thyroid disease, or the appearance and severity of influenza, in terms of the debilitating effects of over-work and over-worry.

going on to say

The emotional stresses and strains of bereavement, domestic difficulties, financial problems, and the pace of life were all regarded as plausible triggers of pathology. In 1872, an article in The Times suggested that rising death rates from heart disease were the “unavoidable result of the great mental strain and hurried excitement” generated by steam and electricity, over-crowded communities, and the relentless and exhausting struggle for existence.

Contemporary belief in the capacity for stress to produce both mental and physical disease was so strong, according to the prominent Cambridge physician T Clifford Allbutt (1836—1925), that many people regarded the 19th century as “a century of stress”.

I’ve previously asked  the question Do we cause irreparable harm when we push ourselves too far? trying to do too much too soon and not pacing ourselves properly

In this article they make a similar point

In the 1970s, the left-wing American writer Alvin Toffler argued that post-war populations were suffering from “future shock”, a state caused by “the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time”.

The final thought is quite balanced

past populations were no less stressed by warfare, epidemic disease, unemployment, and poverty than their modern counterparts are. Since at least the mid-19th century, narratives of distress have been bound together not only by mutual understandings and shared experiences of stress, but also by the apocalyptic fear that stress is the inevitable result of the psychological pressures generated by the unfettered growth of industrial and technological capitalism.

If I have sparked your interest then checkout The stress of life: a modern complaint?

90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress

For another angle checkout this video from DocMikeEvans which I include because it gives you a nice story. Stress has provided the pressure on which us humans have evolved so the answer is generally to find ways to manage it or even thrive on it. I think you will enjoy the way DocMike explains this paradox.